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News Releases
Poster for Oliver
Poster for Oliver
Chemeketa Community College Launches Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) (Photo) - 07/11/24

Oliver! will be the inaugural presentation.


Salem, Ore., June 17, 2024  — Chemeketa Community College proudly presents Theatre Under the Stars (T.U.T.S), a captivating musical experience set to enchant audiences with its production of "Oliver!" throughout August 2024. This performance showcases the exceptional talents of Chemeketa's students and staff, in conjunction with theatre professionals throughout the Willamette Valley. The musical, scheduled every Tuesday in August from 8 PM to 10:30 PM, local theatre companies to offer an affordable, family-friendly evening with tickets priced around $20 per person. Audiences are encouraged to bring low-profile lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic meals for a delightful outdoor theatre experience. By engaging local businesses and partnering with community theatres, Chemeketa aims to provide an inclusive and high-quality theatrical event, fostering community spirit and artistic excellence. Tickets may be purchased here:

At the heart of T.U.T.S lies our commitment to student excellence and community engagement. Under the expert guidance of our dedicated faculty and staff, students from the choral, orchestral, and drama programs immerse themselves in every aspect of production, from rehearsals to performance nights.

  • Choral Program: Led by Bryce Tomlin, our talented vocalists participate in a summer choral class, earning credits while honing their craft.
  • Drama Club: Stephen Munshaw, director and auditorium coordinator, mentors drama club students, offering hands-on experience in all facets of production.
  • Orchestral Program: Working alongside professional musicians from the Salem Orchestra, students under the direction of Marcus Harbaugh contribute their musical talents to the enchanting score of our production.

Theatre Under the Stars is a cherished tradition across North America, reminiscent of the golden age of summer stock theatre. Our rendition of Oliver promises to captivate audiences of all ages with its poignant themes of poverty, family, and resilience. As a semi-professional production, T.U.T.S sets the stage for a magical evening of entertainment, leaving audiences eagerly anticipating future performances.

T.U.T.S extends its reach beyond the college campus, fostering partnerships with local organizations and businesses to enrich the cultural tapestry of Salem and its surrounding areas.

  • Salem Orchestra: Collaborating with Chemeketa students, members of the Salem Orchestra bring their expertise to rehearsals and performances, enhancing the musical experience.
  • Community Sponsorships: We invite businesses to partner with us in supporting this cultural endeavor, showcasing their commitment to education and the arts.
  • Theatre Companies from across the Willamette valley are supporting this endeavor through costuming and props further enhancing the quality and authenticity of our production.

In our pursuit of excellence, T.U.T.S is proud to collaborate with esteemed partners who share our passion for the arts:

  • Christopher Dean: Renowned choreographer with credits including the NYC Rockettes.
  • Nathan Pierce: Technical Director with experience at Cirque du Soleil, ensuring a seamless production.
  • Pete Yoakum: Audio Engineer dedicated to delivering an immersive auditory experience.

This will bean unforgettable evening of music, drama, and community spirit. With affordable ticket pricing and a welcoming atmosphere, T.U.T.S promises to be the highlight of your summer entertainment calendar.

For information about sponsorship opportunities through the Chemeketa Foundation, please call 503-399-5138.  The Chemeketa Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support Chemeketa Community College students and programs. Tax ID 93-6097106. We thank you for your continued support of our students, programs, and community.

Together, let's illuminate the night sky with the magic of live theatre at Theatre Under the Stars!

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Attached Media Files: Poster for Oliver
Chemeketa Community College Board of Education Approves General Obligation Bond Measure - 07/03/24

The voter-approved 2008 bond is scheduled to retire in 2026


Salem, Ore., June 26, 2024— The Chemeketa Community College Board of Education unanimously voted to approve Resolution No. 23-24-13, calling for a General Obligation Bond Measure to be included in the November election. Voters will decide whether to approve this bond measure which will provide funding for the following key initiatives:

  • Expanding career and technical education: Increase capacity in healthcare, the trades, and emergency services.
  • Brooks Center reconfiguration: Expand programming for healthcare and emergency services.
  • Building 33 renovation: Create a new trades center for apprenticeship programs (plumbing, HVAC, sheet metal) on the Salem Campus.
  • Building 7 renovation: Modernize the 1981 structure for health and wellness programming, complementing its current physical education use and reconfiguring it with federal matching funds to serve the community as a disaster resource site.
  • Classroom modernization: Keep pace with technological and academic best practices.
  • Campus Safety and Deferred Maintenance Projects: These projects cover HVAC systems, parking lot maintenance, outdoor lighting, video cameras, and compliance measures.
  • Woodburn Center: Introduce a new science lab which would allow students to complete associate degrees locally. (The Center does not currently have a science lab.)
  • Student engagement: Create spaces to support student services, focusing on Salem Campus’s Building 2 and athletic fields.


If passed, the new Bond rate will remain the same as the expiring 2008 Bond rate, which is $0.27 per $1,000 of assessed property value. For a home valued at $280,000, the property owner would continue to pay $75.60 per year, or 20 cents per day. If passed, the 2024 bond will generate $140 million in revenue designated for campus/center improvements.






For more than 50 years, Chemeketa Community College has committed itself to transforming lives and our community through exceptional learning experiences in the Mid-Willamette Valley. As the second multi-campus district in Oregon, Chemeketa serves 30,000 students annually at its Salem and Yamhill Valley campuses, as well as Brooks, Eola, Winema, Dallas, Woodburn and Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry (CCBI).

Chemeketa Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educational institution.


Jessica Howard, President, Chemeketa Community College
Jessica Howard, President, Chemeketa Community College
Chemeketa Community College President Jessica Howard earns high marks in 5-year Performance Review (Photo) - 06/24/24

Board of Education Members Highlight President’s Accomplishments at June 18 Meeting


Salem, Ore., June 24, 2024— The Chemeketa Community College Board of Education has completed its annual performance review of President Jessica Howard, awarding her an "exceptional" rating across all evaluation categories. These categories include Board communications, management competencies, communications, team success facilitation, community engagement, educational planning and leadership, business, finance, facilities, and college personnel.

Despite challenges such as low enrollment, the Board commended Howard for her adept leadership and focus on both immediate goals and long-term needs. They highlighted her efforts to expand community and educational relationships, resulting in new partnerships that significantly benefit Chemeketa students.

The Board praised Howard's dedication to equity for all students, her effective communication skills, and her emphasis on initiatives that promote student achievement. They noted, “Jessica demonstrates excellent communication skills internally and externally, explaining issues in clear and understandable terms. Student achievement remains a paramount focus for Jessica, and she consistently communicates this priority. She is highly respected at local, state, and national levels and is sought after to serve on various committees and task forces that align with the College’s mission.”

Over the past year, Howard has successfully managed finances, fluctuating enrollment, and essential facility needs. Under her leadership, Chemeketa has increased the number of state and federal grants, providing additional resources to students and contributing significantly to the college budget. Notable expansions under her leadership include the Bachelor of Applied Science in Leadership and Management and upcoming Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, enhancing access to education in high-demand areas.

Howard has also been instrumental in redesigning student services to meet the diverse needs of Chemeketa’s students and proactively positioning the college for future success. She continues to attract and retain qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds, fostering an inclusive environment where all staff members feel valued and involved in long-term planning.

Her leadership style is marked by transparency and effective collaboration with all stakeholders. This has garnered Chemeketa both local and national recognition. The Board expressed their gratitude, stating that Howard’s leadership has had a profoundly positive impact on Chemeketa Community College. Her ability to work effectively with all stakeholders has earned the college significant recognition. The Board thanked Howard for her outstanding leadership.