Former Highline College President Dr. Edward Command passed away at age 83 on Feb. 12, 2022 at Woodland Retirement in Lacey. Dr. Command worked at Highline College for 30 years, serving as president from 1990 to 2000.
He came to Highline as a registrar in the late 1960s prior to becoming the administrative assistant to the president and eventually vice president to Dr. Shirley B. Gordon in 1977. He would become president in 1990 and would later describe it as a “10-year honeymoon” with his relationship with faculty. Former president Dr. Jack Bermingham, who was hired as vice president by Dr. Command, said, “He was a man of high integrity.”
Dr. Command was a Board of Director for the Highline College Foundation and served on the Administrators Executive Board for the Association of Washington Community and Technical Colleges. He was also a Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Hall of Fame member in 1999 and often attended Highline College athletic events. In fact, Dr. Command was the first college president to hire an academic advisor for college athletes, which set a precedent for other colleges in the region.
Upon announcing his retirement in 2000 at a faculty meeting, he received a standing ovation.
Born in Elma, Washington, Dr. Command began his education in a two-room schoolhouse with three grades per room. He graduated from Elma High School in 1956. Working hard every summer, he saved his money to put himself through college and graduated from Grays Harbor Community College in 1958 with an associate degree in education. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Washington University and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
Dr. Command taught science and mathematics at Chinook Jr. High School and Tyee High School in the Highline School District before coming to Highline College.
He is preceded in death by his wife Marge, who was a physical education instructor at Highline College and longtime women’s tennis coach.
Although Dr. Command requested no services or memorials, condolences may be sent to the Office of the President.