Shaping tomorrow's leaders

Dennis Long '72

Chief Executive Officer, Bank of the Pacific
Aberdeen, WA

I never expected to be chief executive officer of a bank. I grew up in the small town of Elma, Washington, and played high school basketball tournaments at the University of Puget Sound. I enrolled at the college because the business program had a strong reputation, and my family ran a small business.

My life changed dramatically when I was accepted into the internship program and placed at a local bank. The work was deeper and broader and more interesting that I had ever imagined, and offered me new experiences every day. I was hooked. And I can say with total certainty that I would not be sitting in this chair today were it not for my experience in the classroom and in the internship program at the University of Puget Sound.

Puget Sound used to use the tag line, ‘where tomorrow’s leaders are being made today.’ I believe this is still true. Puget Sound offers small class sizes and accessible professors—all things that are invaluable in education. The young people I see on campus today impress me; these are students who are going to make a difference.

I remember my time at Puget Sound very vividly, and recently got together with my Phi Delta Theta pledge brothers to reminisce. When I think about my life and the friends that I have, Puget Sound had a lot to do with shaping who I am. I can never give back enough to repay what I have received.