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Meet Our Donors

Meet Our Donors: John (’68) and Claudia Swenson

Scholarships and part-time jobs made John (’68 Pharm.) and Claudia Swenson’s WSU experience possible. Until his third year, John was a student-athlete, but then worked as a housekeeper while he completed his studies in pharmacy. And although Claudia held a President’s Scholarship, her teaching assistant position helped with her expenses as a student in the Honors Program.

Having experienced the working student life, they empathize with today’s students who face higher educational costs than ever before and want to help those who may turn away from professional degree programs due to finances. » More …

Meet Our Donors: Craig Jackson (’63)

Be approachable and accessible, share your passion for teaching and learning, and enjoy the opportunity to give back. These are the lessons that Craig Jackson learned from the mentors throughout his life and the blueprint that he follows in his interactions with the young medical students that he now teaches and mentors.

An accomplished scientist, administrator, and most recently a consulting retiree, Craig  (’63 Zool.) is especially grateful to WSU professors who were instrumental in recognizing his abilities and providing valuable advice to help him forge his path in life. Their stimulating and challenging lectures, guidance that helped him succeed in the graduate-level courses he took … » More …

Meet Our Donors: Dominique Mesick (’11)

A WSU education was Dominique Mesick’s destiny.

“I bleed Crimson,” she declares, adding that she always intended to follow in the footsteps of her mother, father, and sister—all Cougars. It was receiving a Crimson Opportunity Scholarship that helped to ease the financial burden of pursuing her studies at WSU and gave her an extra boost of confidence. “This scholarship showed me that not only do I want to be at WSU, but WSU wanted me to be there as well. It was nice knowing they wanted me to succeed.”

Strengthened by the skills she developed during her time as a student, Dominique (’11 Lib. … » More …

Meet Our Donors: Sandy Saffell (’67)

Her crimson heart brimming with Cougar Pride, Sandy Saffell (’67) is helping today’s students follow her lead to a successful and satisfying future with a degree from Washington State University.

Sandy’s journey is still unfolding; the word retirement is missing from her vocabulary. As she continues to make the most of her WSU education, she is changing the lives of today’s students through her support as a President’s Associate and her volunteer service to WSU. » More …

Meet Our Donors: Jim (’70) and Cathy (’71) Oliver


“You need to give back to what gave to you.” This is the attitude that Jim Oliver (’70 Comm.) has lived by and together, with his wife, Cathy (Hartoon) is sharing with WSU through their 36 years of giving.

Grateful for their rewarding and life-changing experiences at WSU—including meeting in the marching band 45 years ago—Jim and Cathy (’71 Ed.) are making sure that the University will continue to provide quality education and life-enriching experiences for students in today’s tough economy. » More …

Meet Our Donors: Ron Fowler (’69)


You’re probably familiar with the new high-resolution scanner (the Zeutschel Omniscan 14000 AO) that is helping The Libraries at WSU to preserve historical documents. But do you know the story about how The Libraries were able to purchase such an advanced piece of equipment? » More …

Meet Our Donors: Ed Little (’76)

In Vancouver, Washington there’s a high school principal’s office heavily adorned in crimson and gray flags, photos, pom-pons, and other WSU novelties. It is the office of Ed Little. Ed’s spirited décor undoubtedly shows that he loves the Cougs. But what the walls cannot fully convey is his deeply personal connection to WSU.

“I’ve never forgotten how WSU supported me at a time when I had no money and didn’t know where to turn,” he says. “They stepped in and I got a wonderful education.”

Ed’s story began in 1974 along the sidelines in Eugene’s Autzen Stadium as he cheered with his fellow Cougar Yell … » More …

Meet Our Donors: Necia Bennett Huntley (’35)


For more than 50 years, Necia Bennett Huntley’s commitment to WSU has been steadfast. When asked what drives her philanthropic motivations, she says simply and emphatically, “It’s something that I want to do.”

To honor her late husband, Elmer “Bud” Huntley, Necia (’35 Hist.) established two undergraduate scholarships at WSU: The Elmer C. and Necia B. Huntley Endowed Scholarship and The Elmer C. and Necia B. Huntley Endowed Athletic Scholarship. Each honors Bud’s distinguished legacy in public service, their shared interest in the well-being of students, and their intense loyalty to Cougar Athletics. » More …

Meet Our Donors: Joey (’05) and Erika (’03, ’09) Addington

Simple acts of kindness and a generous dose of Cougar Spirit are what inspired Recent Graduate President’s Associates, Joey and Erika (Bower) Addington, to complete their circle of gratitude. As academic and need-based scholarship recipients themselves, Joey (’05 Land. Arch.) and Erika (’03, ’09 Elem. & Sec. Ed.) were grateful for the generosity of WSU donors.

“Knowing people had so much confidence in us that they decided to support our schooling really raised the bar as far as personal expectations go,” they say. Scholarships made it possible for them to enjoy the “complete experience” at WSU.  Although academics were always their chief priority, Joey and … » More …

Meet Our Donors: Lesa Burton-Cornell (’82)

Blind luck brought Lesa Burton-Cornell (’82 Comm.) to Washington State University, the place where students find enriching life experiences along with a quality education.

Something drew her to Pullman sight-unseen, recalls Lesa, who grew up in San Diego. Her brother attended a local college, her dad Cornell, and her mom UC-Berkeley. She now considers it a blessing to have followed her heart to the rolling hills of the Palouse. » More …

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