Vicke Selk credits synergy with bringing her to the Griffith Observatory Foundation board. She and her husband John had just become interested in amateur astronomy and with the purchase of a telescope were beginning to become acquainted with the night sky, when she was asked to meet with Griffith Observatory personnel to discuss the upcoming Observatory renovation and expansion project that was in the early stages of development. Selk, then vice president and treasurer of Pitzer College in Claremont, California, had acquired considerable experience with construction financing and project management as chief financial officer at the College.
Selk’s early tenure on the board grew out of a keen interest in the Observatory as an important architectural symbol for the City. She was anxious to have a role in fostering the preservation of the Observatory’s historical architectural heritage. However, with the increased familiarity with the Observatory and its mission, her interest evolved. “I grew to understand and enthusiastically support Griffith Observatory’s role in promoting public astronomy and science education as well, as its function as an important architectural and cultural icon,” she says.
A native of Oklahoma, Selk joined the Pitzer administration in 1971. She holds a master’s degree from the Drucker Management Program at Claremont Graduate University. She and her husband, John, are both private pilots and music lovers with wide-ranging interests from opera to blues. Retired in 2008 after 37 years of higher education administration, Selk is currently enrolled as a student at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, Colorado. She is pursuing a second career as a design bookbinder and letterpress printer.