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Philanthropy

Andrew Stephenson
Winter 2017

Andrew Stephenson

What started as a summer teaching job for Andrew Stephenson evolved into plans to build a kindergarten for underprivileged children in Saint-Louis, Senegal.

Stephenson, a senior studying civil engineering at Washington State University, says he fell in love with the area and its people after he taught English there in 2011 through a British volunteering organization called Projects Abroad.

 

“I’ve never seen people so excited to learn,” Stephenson says.

The kindergarten project, Foundations for Senegal, began when Stephenson reached out to Fina Senghor, a native of Senegal and a Projects Abroad deputy director, in 2016 to see how he could help Saint-Louis.

Senghor … » More …

Phyllis Campbell ’73. Photo Scott A. Harder
Spring 2016

Phyllis Campbell

Before she became a bank executive, philanthropist, and civic leader, Phyllis Campbell ’73 felt the powerful impact of a benevolent act.

 

Former WSU Regent Campbell was trying to raise money to attend Washington State University, when a check for $2,500 arrived from a WSU scholarship fund aimed at low-income students. “The thing that left the impression was this person who gave back, who paid it forward,” she recalls. “I know the power of a check, the power of somebody’s message, somebody paying attention,” she once told a reporter.

Now Campbell is receiving recognition for giving back to others with the Seattle-King County First Citizen … » More …

McCarty thumb
Winter 2015

Michael and Virginia Jessemey McCarty

Philanthropists, business leaders, and WSU supporters Michael and Virginia Jessemey McCarty received the WSU Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award in September. Virginia graduated in 1974 with a broadcasting degree, and Michael earned his degree in recreation in 1975. He recently retired as chief executive officer of the Association of Washington Cities. She is the owner of McCarty & Associates marketing firm, which she founded in 1986.

Michael has been manager of the Thurston Conservation District, administrator for the City of Shelton, past president of the Washington City Management Association, and board member for the National League of Cities. He was appointed by former Gov. Chris … » More …

Liz Siler
Spring 2015

Liz Siler ’78—Hungry to help

Around the back of the Pullman Safeway, a shopping cart emerges through an unmarked door. A man in a stocking cap pushes a precarious load of bakery items to the minivan waiting by the curb. Moments later, he returns with a second cart. Then a third.

Every Tuesday and Wednesday morning, Liz Siler ’78 and her cart-steering husband Pat ’61 load their van nearly to the roof with day-old loaves of generic and artisan bread, hot dog buns, cakes, muffins, bagels, croissants, and chocolate Cutie Pies.

Destined for Pullman’s Community Action Center Food Bank, the donations will replenish the shelves in the “bread room” for … » More …

Jaclyn Phillips
Fall 2014

Jaclyn Phillips ’10—Tripping the towers

Jaclyn Phillips ’10 spent her first two days in Nicaragua twenty feet in the air, atop a scaffolding she helped build.

In a remote village as part of a volunteer team, Phillips was helping build a 115-foot suspension footbridge across the El LimónRiver, which floods during the rainy season from June through November. “The village is very remote,” says Phillips. “The villagers have to cross two rivers to get to school, health care, and jobs. Farmers need to cross them to sell their crops.”

Whether high in the air stringing crossbeams or sleeping in a tent in a schoolyard, Phillips relished her two weeks there, … » More …

Jennifer Merschdorf
Fall 2013

Jennifer Merschdorf ’96—A young survivor

Fresh from an early morning TV appearance, Jennifer Merschdorf ’96 grabs a seat in the lobby of her Seattle hotel and pulls out a phone to check in with the office in New York. Next on her schedule is our interview, then lunch with her mother, and then time to meet up with a few old college friends. This day is a balance. Some work, some family, and some fun. It’s all at the threshold of an intense few days of the national conference for Young Survival Coalition, a not-for-profit organization for young women facing breast cancer.

Jennifer ... <a href=» More …

Spring 2013

Patrick Rothfuss ’02—World Builder

Fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss (’02 MA) enters the sleek atrium of the Chicago Hyatt with aplomb—passing through a lobby packed with weird characters. A human-sized rabbit taps away on a laptop, a steampunk Victorian-era archaeologist hunts for her friends, a green-haired space alien stands in line for a latte.

These are Rothfuss’s people. Or as he calls them, “Geeks of all creeds and nations.”

Rothfuss also looks weird. He hails from another time or place—maybe 1970s America, since Simon and Garfunkel peer out from his black t-shirt, or maybe the Middle Ages where his unruly beard would suit him in any village. Or maybe sometime … » More …

Sozo Friends blended wines
Summer 2012

Doing good through blending

About three years ago, Monte Regier returned to Seattle from a year working on the hospital ship Anastasis off the coast of Liberia. Suffering from culture shock, remembering friends who go to bed hungry every night, he sat with his friend Martin Barrett over a glass of wine and mused on what a dollar would buy.

And then came the Idea.

“You know, Monte,” said Barrett, “I think this glass of wine could feed a kid for a day.”

One can imagine Regier’s skeptical smile.

“Give me 90 days,” said Barrett.

So Barrett started researching this idea of selling wine to feed kids and convinced … » More …

Summer 2011

A plan for Washington

In 1972, as Scott Carson was preparing to graduate from Washington State University, a counselor told him he was still six credits shy of his degree. The Vietnam veteran was astonished. “He said I had to complete these physical education credits.”

Carson had already attended several semesters of community college, was married, had served his country, and had only budgeted for two years in Pullman to finish his business degree. That a handful of phys. ed. credits stood in the way of his degree seemed absurd.

But the counselor was unwavering. Carson took it to the department head, who insisted that it was a state … » More …