The Washington State University Foundation presented its highest honor—the Weldon B. “Hoot” Gibson Distinguished Volunteer Award—to retired Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO Scott Carson during the 38th Annual Recognition Gala in Pullman, Sept. 28.

The WSU Foundation presents the Gibson Award each year to recognize individuals whose service on behalf of WSU and the WSU Foundation is measured by the highest levels of achievement.

Scott Carson ’72

“For Scott, it’s about students,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “He has a real passion for creating meaningful opportunities for WSU students to hone their skills, expand their horizons, and prepare to be leaders in their chosen field and in life.”

“Every interaction Scott has with WSU comes down to improving the student experience today to prepare our graduates to be even more competitive and successful tomorrow,” Schulz added.

During the late 1990s, Scott served as The Boeing Company’s executive focal for WSU. Under his leadership, the Boeing Scholars Program was created thanks to a collaboration between Scott (’72 business administration) and fellow WSU alumnus and Boeing executive, Lloyd Osborn (’59 sciences). The program, which provides hands-on learning experiences for dozens of WSU students majoring in STEM, business, and communication each year, has also enabled faculty to take a closer look at how STEM schools function, and to launch a multi-year study to track the impact and influence of a STEM-focused education in high school.

Scott and Linda Carson at the WSU Foundation's 38th Annual Recognition Gala in Pullman, Sept. 28, 2017.
Scott and Linda Carson at the WSU Foundation’s 38th Annual Recognition Gala in Pullman, Sept. 28, 2017.

Scott served as chair for WSU’s $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University: Because the World Needs Big Ideas from 2006-2015. His leadership, motivation, and participation helped guide more than 206,000 donors to give more than $1.065 billion in support of more than 3,350 WSU programs statewide and beyond.

Scott has been a member of WSU’s Board of Regents since 2007, serving as chair from 2012-2013. He also serves in numerous other volunteer capacities across WSU, including the Carson College of Business National Board of Advisors, the Carson College Advisory Committee, WSU Foundation Board of Directors, WSU Foundation Trustees, the Corporate and Foundation Relations Advisory Committee, and the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture Executive Leadership Board. He also served as WSU’s commencement speaker in 2001 and 2010.

As donors, Scott and Linda Carson have made an indelible mark on the future of WSU through their generous investments over the years, particularly in the Carson College of Business. In 2005, they created the Carson Center for Professional Development, later named the Carson Center for Student Success. The center provides business majors with tailored services including quality academic advising and tutoring, professional development, international and leadership experiences, and scholarship assistance to help them succeed inside and outside of the classroom.

The Boeing Scott and Linda Carson Chair in Marketing in the Carson College was established in 2005 by a gift from The Boeing Company to honor Scott and Linda Carson’s leadership and dedication to higher education, and by an additional gift from the Carson family.

The Carsons have also supported numerous scholarships and other excellence funds across several WSU colleges and campuses over the years.

In recognition for all of their contributions as volunteers, advocates and investors in the college’s faculty, students, and facilities, the college was renamed the Carson College of Business in 2014.

Scott received the WSU Foundation’s Outstanding Service Award in 2002; the Carson College’s Business Distinguished Leadership Award in 2005; and the WSU Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2006.