Ann Oehmke has a lifelong connection to Phoenix College and the Maricopa County Community College District. She graduated from Phoenix College in 1953 and found herself continually drawn to the college.
She returned to Phoenix College to serve as a faculty member and staff development coordinator. During her impressive career, Oehmke chaired and served on countless campus committees, coached numerous sports, and served as an advisor and department chair of Women’s Athletics and Physical Education. She also holds the distinction of developing the first fitness facility for women’s activities as well as the first Advisement Center in conjunction with the Counseling Department.
In addition, Oehmke developed and coordinated the Neighborhood College in conjunction with the City of Phoenix and produced many campus social and wellness activities. She was actively involved in helping to develop Phoenix College as a community of caring, concerned citizens focused on student issues. She eventually accepted a position at the Maricopa Community Colleges District office Think Tank program, where she developed and coordinated MARISERVE, made possible through a grant from the Ford Foundation.
Continued Dedication & Support
After retirement, she increased her involvement with educational issues at the local, state, and national levels by assisting in the development of Arizona Quest for Kids, which prepares students for success in higher education through mentoring, enrichment, and college guidance.
For the past several years, Oehmke has renewed her ties to Phoenix College through the Phoenix College Alumni Association and the Half-Century Club. She serves on numerous alumni committees, including serving as co-chair of the scholarship committee and has been a board member of the Half-Century Club nearly five years where she is currently the chair.
In addition, she helped organize and launch the outreach efforts to engage the involvement of retired faculty and staff of Phoenix College. The project resulted in much success with the formation of the “Phoenix College Golden Bears,” a retiree group formed in 2010.
Heart of the Bear
In 2018, Oehmke received the inaugural Phoenix College "Hear of the Bear" Award. This award is given to an alumnus/a, faculty, staff, educational partner, or donor who exemplifies the qualities of a Phoenix College Bear through his or her long-standing dedication to PC students.
Oehmke is also the current president of the Maricopa Community Colleges Retiree Association and the president of her homeowner’s association. She continues to find ways to enrich the college through her volunteerism and looks forward to collaborating on the 100-year celebration through her involvement in both the Centennial archives and Centennial events planning committees.