Video: Lang family donates Whidbey Island property to EvCC’s Ocean Research College Academy

Release Date: August 20, 2015

Contacts: John Olson, Vice President of College Advancement and Executive Director of the EvCC Foundation, 425-388-9555; jolson@everettcc.edu
Katherine Schiffner, Director of Public Relations, 425-388-9554; kschiffner@everettcc.edu

Lang family donates Whidbey Island property to EvCC’s Ocean Research College Academy

EVERETT, Wash. – The family of an Everett Community College Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) graduate is donating 3.8 acres of waterfront property on south Whidbey Island for EvCC students to use for research. 

The undeveloped land is being donated by Gary and Kathi Lang. 

Kathi’s daughter, Rebekah, graduated from ORCA in 2013, finishing her last two years of high school and first two years of college at the same time. ORCA is an early college academy for high school students focused on marine science and hands-on student research.

The family is donating the land to the ORCA program “because of everything it has done for my daughter,” Kathi Lang said. “To be able to do something for kids in the future, that’s really important to us.”

Don Lang was a longtime principal at Port Angeles High School and a real estate agent. He was unable to develop the land due to shoreline restrictions, meaning the beach has an undisturbed section of eelgrass that ORCA students will study. 

“That eel grass is such a critical component of habitat for every species that enters into the sound,” said ORCA director and founder Ardi Kveven. “We can’t learn enough about it, and to have the students have an opportunity to be on this beach, to touch it and study it will transform the students’ research.”

Students will also use the site to collect data for ORCA’s ongoing State of Possession Sound monitoring, which gathers information about the sound’s ecosystem. 

ORCA is an early college academy for high school students, who can earn up to two years of college credit while completing their high school education, tuition free. Most students graduate with an associate’s degree in addition to a high school diploma. The program is the only early college academy of its kind in the country. 

“It’s just a classic program that my dad would have been thrilled to support if he’d have known about it when he was alive. It’s just absolutely perfect, and that he could do something to benefit that – I’m sure he’s up there smiling,” Gary Lang said.

For more information about ORCA, visit EverettCC.edu/ORCA, and to learn more about donating property, equipment, or funds to EvCC, visit EverettCC.edu/Foundation.