(Riverton, Wyo.) – Central Wyoming College President Dr. Jo Anne McFarland was honored at Friday night’s United Tribes Spring Powwow by the reservation community for her dedication and support of Native students. One after one, college and tribal personnel paid tribute to McFarland, who is retiring next month after serving as CWC’s president for the past 25 years.
Marilú Duncan, the director of Central Wyoming College’s Student Support Services program, noted that since McFarland became president, 600 Native American students had been graduated from the college. That factoid drew applause from the powwow audience.
Other speakers who recognized McFarland’s leadership included Sergio Maldonado, chair of the college’s diversity committee, and State Representative Patrick Goggles. Following his words, his niece, Andi Clifford, who is running to replace her uncle in HD33, said her achievements were because of the education she received at CWC. “It was a good place to start and it gave me a head start,” she said.
Speaking for herself, McFarland thanked the powwow crowd for their gracious reception and she said she was thankful for all of the Reservation support she had received over the years.
The Powwow then recognized McFarland with an Honor Song, which she led around the floor of Rustler Gymnasium, accepting the personal thanks of many who came and shook her hand and then danced behind her.