Rebecca Chawgo fills VP office left vacant after mural scandal

Rebecca Chawgo stepped up to the position of Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement, where she will now direct all fundraising, marketing and communications outreach for the college. The position has been empty for more than a month now, after former Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dr.Gayle Colston Barge left the college on Mar. 2. Dr. Barge left the college after ordering the defacement of the “Never Again is Now” mural at the college, as previously reported by The Watchdog.

Chawgo is also the Executive Director of the Bellevue College foundation, which raises funds for scholarships and programs at the college. The email announcing her new role made no mention if this changes her position at the Bellevue College Foundation, but she is still listed as the Executive Director at the Foundation’s website. Chawgo was also endorsed by Dr. Barge for her position as Executive Director of the Bellevue College Foundation when she acquired it in 2015, when Dr. Barge described her as “eminently qualified.” The two then worked closely together over the next five years.

Chawgo has a long history of experience in fundraising in the local area: she worked for both the Seattle Opera and the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and is the former chair of the Snohomish County Arts Foundation.

In her email announcing Chawgo’s new position, Acting Vice President Kirsten Jones wrote, “I’m delighted that Rebecca chose to apply for the position as she provides the continuity and consistency that is needed in this time of uncertainty. Rebecca’s passion for serving students, her knowledge, and the strong relationships she brings to the interim position will benefit Institutional Advancement and the college.” The email did not mention the incident that caused the position’s vacancy or describe how or when a permanent successor for the Vice President of Institutional Advancement will be chosen.