Bob Knight honored as First Citizen

Bob Knight, Clark County's 2016 First Citizen, snags a photo holding his award next to presenters and friends Barbara Kerr and Bruce Davidson. Photo courtesy Anthony J. Scales Photography.

Robert “Bob” Knight, president of Clark College, was honored this month as Clark County’s 2016 First Citizen.

A volunteer committee of community leaders and past First Citizens selected Knight as the recipient for the county’s highest distinction of citizenship based on his service record.

Knight first came to Clark County through assignment from the U.S. Army as commander of the Vancouver Barracks, where his orders were to oversee operations of the base through its closure.

He then served as the vice president of administration at Clark College until 2006 when the college’s board asked him to take on the role of president. Since that time, Knight has overseen major achievements at the college, including construction of Clark College at Columbia Tech Center and the new Clark College STEM building.

Committed to giving back to the community, Knight has been involved with several organizations including the local chapter of the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington, Columbia River Economic Development Council, Fort Vancouver National Trust, Washington State University Vancouver and Workforce Southwest Washington.

Accepting the First Citizen award during a ceremony at Warehouse ’23 on November 2, Knight said it was hard for a retired soldier to be in the spotlight by himself after being trained to be a team player.

“I’ve thought long and hard about why I’m getting this award,” he said during the event. “My only response is that people have asked me to get involved and do things on occasion, and I was fortunate enough to say yes.”

Biggs Insurance and PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Foundation contributed to the November 2 event as supporting sponsors, which was hosted jointly by The Columbian and the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington.

A video of the event is available online at

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