Two of the University’s “quiet leaders”—Anne Gittinger, ’55, and Wayne Gittinger,’55, ’57—took an unaccustomed moment in the spotlight Sept. 9 when they were honored with the 2005 Gates Volunteer Service Award.
The award, presented by the UW Foundation Board to recognize outstanding volunteer leadership at the UW, was announced at the UW Recognition Gala held in Suzzallo Library. Attendees, including the couple’s grandchildren, joined presenter Sally Behnke, ’44, in viewing a video highlighting Anne and Wayne Gittinger’s long history of support for the University. In the video, President Mark Emmert, ’75, said of the couple, “They’re selfless; they’re caring; they do the right thing.”
Avid Husky sports fans, the Gittingers are regularly spotted at UW athletic events. For more than three decades they have generously supported scholarships, facilities improvements and other initiatives benefiting Husky athletics. Their volunteer leadership and early contributions to the Campaign for the Student Athlete were integral to the completion of new and renovated sports facilities and the creation of scholarship support for Husky student athletes. Today, they continue to serve as members of the Campaign UW ICA Committee.
“These people are the epitome of volunteer service,” says friend Ron Crocket, ’62, who won the UW Recognition Award, the precursor to the Gates Volunteer Service Award, in 1997. It’s a sentiment reinforced by Connie Kravas, the UW’s vice president for development and alumni relations. “Having people like Anne and Wayne behind you is like having the strongest wind in your sails,” she says.
In addition to their support for athletics and a broad range of UW programs, the Gittingers also have been longtime supporters of the School of Law, where Wayne earned his juris doctor. Their leadership contributed greatly to the success of the Campaign for William H. Gates Hall, and Wayne serves on the school’s Visiting Committee and Dean’s Advisory Board, among other volunteer activities.
“If you hold up as exemplars the kinds of people that represent the caring, giving, dedicated folks that you would want to have as your partners at a great university, you’d just show them Wayne and Anne,” says President Emmert. “They don’t get any better than that.”