By Justin Much
The Western Oregon University Alumni Association didn’t have to look very far to find its 2012 honoree.
Partnerships in Community Living Executive Director Zellee Allen was recognized with the WOU’s “Alumni Award of Excellence” during the school’s 155th Commencement held June 16. The award honors an alumnus or alumna who has made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments and career have brought credit to the university.
In Allen’s case, his reach starts at the PCL office just down the street at its headquarters in Monmouth, but its reach is much broader. PCL is a private, nonprofit organization that serves people with developmental disabilities in six counties throughout Oregon.
“The selection of Zellee Allen as our Alumni Award of Excellence winner this year clearly shows the commitment of our alumni board to honor those alumni who have worked to make our communities and all of Oregon stronger,” said Tommy Love, WOU’s Director of Advancement. “Under Zellee’s 25-year leadership, PCL has improved the lives of people with developmental disabilities, enabling them to live productive lives.
“To put it simply, PCL’s mission is about justice, compassion and helping others, which is directly in line with the inclusive campus environment we provide,” Love added. “His work is both noble and inspiring for all members of the WOU and larger communities.”
Allen was touched and honored that his ongoing work and passion was recognized by the WOU alumni.
“Our community is a very important part of how we do business, and it’s a very important part for the people that we support,” Allen said. “It’s our responsibility as citizens and community members to assure the people we support a place in the community. So I always think that it is our responsibility to help the community learn their responsibilities as well.”
A PCL biography notes that Allen holds a master’s degree in rehabilitation administration from the University of San Francisco, a bachelor of arts degree from WOU and serves as a board member for the Polk County Development Corporation. He is an active member of the Oregon Intervention System state-wide steering committee as well.
email@example.com or (503) 399-6736 or follow at twitter.com/justinmuch