Bob Mohrbacher commentary: Honoring one of Lewis County’s treasures, Doris Wood-Brumsickle


On Nov. 1, Centralia College will be paying homage to one of Lewis County’s greatest treasures — Doris Wood-Brumsickle. 

Nov. 1 is Doris Wood Day at Centralia College and we will be having a special reception for her from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the lobby of Washington Hall on campus. Everyone is invited to celebrate Doris and help us thank her for all she’s done for Centralia College and our community.

Doris came to Centralia College in 1989 as an adjunct speech teacher. She had more than 20 years experience teaching everything from kindergarten to high school. After teaching her first class at Centralia College, she said she knew she was here to stay. She started teaching English classes and continued to work part-time until 1992, when she was offered a full-time tenured position in the English department. 

She was innovative and engaging from the get-go and a favorite of students and other faculty members. She created a children’s literature class that had students visiting the campus child care center once a week to read to children. Before Centralia College was authorized to offer its own bachelor’s degrees, Doris was one of the drivers behind a partnership program with Washington State University to provide teacher education courses at Centralia College. That program lasted 10 years and trained countless teachers in our area.

Doris organized an annual creative writing contest on campus. She started a visiting authors program. She was the English department chair for a number of years and was a mentor to other faculty going through the tenure process. She took the lead on accreditation projects and was the go-to person for anything that required patience, time, humor and energy. If anyone needed anything, they could count on Doris.

She is a two-time winner of the Centralia College Foundation’s Exceptional Faculty Award.

With so much passion and energy for teaching, learning and students, it’s no surprise Doris didn’t retire until she was 70. And retirement only lasted three years. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2013 and has served with dedication these last 10 years. 

Beyond all that she’s done on paper, she is a dear friend and colleague. 

She has changed so many lives and been the voice for many. She’s never been afraid to speak up, step up and give a hand up. Many in attendance Wednesday will be sharing their stories of how Doris has impacted their lives. I’m honored to have shared time professionally and personally with Doris and I look forward to her continuing impact on Centralia College. 


Bob Mohrbacher is the president of Centralia College.