By the time Ryan Evans graduated from WSU with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2012, he was well on his way to a successful, international career thanks to the help of generous donors. Aside from his studies, Ryan participated in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers WSU RC Baja Club, which he eventually led as president. Through his club activities, Ryan had access to hands-on, practical experiences not otherwise available in the classroom. He learned valuable life skills such cooperation, communication, and budgeting, and had the opportunity to flex his creativity and showcase his work. The experiences enabled Ryan to leapfrog into his career. “The club was a large contributor to where I am in my career currently. The funding allowed me to do things above and beyond the typical Mechanical Engineering curriculum. The opportunities that it created were so far beyond anything I ever expected. The club prepared me for the role that I hold today,” he says.
Ryan and fellow members of the RC Baja Club had sweated and toiled while making their high-performance, remote-controlled vehicle ready for competition. However, they had a problem. How would they—college students barely able to afford rent—find the funds to travel to showcase their work? They were in need of funding. This is where Bill and Joy Goodenough, along with others who support the Mechanical and Material Engineering Excellence Fund, entered the picture.
Without help from the Mechanical and Materials Engineering Excellence Fund, the project and the travels of RC Baja Club would either have not been possible or would have been greatly diminished. The money allowed the club to build a vehicle, send the club’s seniors to the competition, and include other club members to ensure that the RC Baja legacy will continue for years to come. Valuable support from the Goodenoughs and others ensure the stability of the club so that many more students will have the same experiences as Ryan.
The Goodenoughs are part of a large family of proud, loyal Cougar alumni and friends. Joy’s parents attended Washington State College in the early 1930s, and Bill and Joy attended in the early 1950s. Both their son and daughter are graduates of WSU and altogether there are 13 Cougs in their extended family. After Bill graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1956, he and Joy settled in the Seattle area, where Joy volunteered for those in need and Bill served in the Air Force and then moved on to a 45-year successful career in engineering. Throughout his years at The Boeing Company, Bill worked in several divisions, including aero-space and commercial.
Today, Bill is retired and Joy continues her volunteer work. It was Bill’s successful career, the success of their son’s and daughter’s careers, and many happy memories of Pullman, which inspired them to give back to WSU. Their support of the MME Excellence Fund is their way of paying it forward for the next generation of WSU graduates. What was a modest annual gift at first to the MME Excellence Fund was then doubled with a match by Bill’s employer. Over the years, little by little, the Goodenoughs and Boeing have helped many students like Ryan through gifts to the MME Excellence Fund. Today they stand proud of their legacy among the ranks of Golden Graduate President’s Associates committed to making a difference.