General Membership Meeting

The Havasu Foundation for Higher Education will hold its second general membership meeting on Wednesday January 26.

"Anyone interested in higher education --or just in the state of education in our community-- is welcome to attend this meeting," according to President Floyd Hamilton."

Hamilton will update members and interested citizens on the progress of the group's effort to attract a four year university to Lake Havasu.

"We've been working with the City and with NAU on several ideas over the past few months. We want to let people know what's going on," Hamilton said.

The Havasu Foundation was organized in spring 2004, and held its first meeting last June. Over 200 individuals attended that event. Since then the HFHE has been recruiting members.

Havasu Foundation Membership Chair Connie Blevins said, "There are over 1300 members in the organization now, and we expect that number to go to 2000."

Harold Vangilder from the Sierra Vista Foundation will offer insights on the Sierra Vista experience in building University of Arizona South.

"Harold Vangilder spoke to the Havasu Foundation board in December," Hamilton said. "We were really inspired by what Harold had to tell us, and we thought our membership ought to hear what he has to say about getting a university in our town. So we have invited him back."

HFHE members and guests will also hear an update on the Arizona Board of Regents University Redesign project.

HFHE board member Bill Ullery and the Foundationís executive director Susan Youngdahl are among four Lake Havasu residents on stakeholder committees that will review and comment on the Regents redesign proposal.

Havasu Foundation Board member Jo Navaretta, who is also on the LHUSD board, commented, "There is so much going on regarding education in our community right now, from the K-12 override to the university project. It all fits together. To get a university, we need a strong K-12 system, and having a university will contribute to strengthening the K-12 schools."

The Havasu Foundation meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. at the Realtors' Association, 2293 Swanson Avenue (above Acoma). The meeting is open to the public. Further information is available by calling the Havasu Foundation office at 505-2757 or logging on to

HFHE gets positive response from Board of Regents

Havasu Foundation for Higher Education founder Dr. Bill Ullery and HFHE members Charlotte Rodriguez and Dr. Genevieve Newman presented the Foundation's letter proposing a four year regional college in Lake Havasu to the Arizona Board of Regents at the June 2 meeting in Phoenix.

According to HFHE members, Regent President Chris Herstam and Govenor Janet Napolitano showed positive interest in the idea of establishing a four-year college in Lake Havasu City. "We had a chance to talk with lots of key people both before and after the Regents' meeting" Ullery said. "We laid the groundwork for getting the Havasu Foundation involved in the restructuring discussions."

HFHE Executive Director Susan Youngdahl, who also attended the Regents' meeting, said "We have a meeting set up with NAU President John Haeger and hope to meet with Regent President Chris Herstam who will chair the restructuring task force. We will be looking at the plan Sierra Vista followed to develop U of A South."

Ullery added, "Everyone we talked to seemed to think Havasu is a great site for a four-year college. We are anxious to get this thing going."

The HFHE Letter to the Regents was reprinted in the Friday June 3 edition of the Today's News. The letter is also posted on the website

HFHE and NAU meet to discuss future Havasu campus

Members of the Havasu Foundation for Higher Education met in Flagstaff last Thursday with Northern Arizona University President John Haeger and Vice President Fred Hurst to discuss bringing a full, four-year NAU campus to Lake Havasu City. HFHE Executive Director Susan Youngdahl described the meeting as "very productive. We identified several mutual goals and agreed to work together to prepare a plan for ABOR review."

The Arizona Board of Regents voted on June 3 to conduct a feasibility study for restructuring the university system. Haeger said the proposed restructuring is an answer to the question "how do we meet the growing demand for higher education in Arizona. Under the proposed plan NAU will become the leading state institution focused on undergraduate education that is enhanced by NAU's rich tradition of selective graduate programs and research." The Regents set a July 1 deadline for input to be considered in the study.

"We have a tight deadline," HFHE President Floyd Hamilton said. "But the momentum is with us, and we have to take advantage of it." The Havasu Foundation will hold its first membership meeting on June 15 at 5:30 at the Realtors' Association, 2293 Swanson. The public is invited to the meeting. "This is the time for all those Lake Havasu citizens who believe in the long-term benefits of having a full-fledged, four-year college in our city to show their support."

"NAU's Fred Hurst, who will attend the HFHE June 15 meeting, is the university's front man on the project," according to Hamilton. "We are looking for a big turn-out at the meeting to show him that Havasu is the best place for the next NAU regional campus."

The Havasu Foundation for Higher Education is a non-profit group organized to improve the quality of and opportunity for higher education in Lake Havasu City. Membership is free and open to all those who share these goals.

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