JUNE 2006: Home arrow Briefings arrow Latest arrow Remembering Their Intellectual 'Home,' Couple Donates Their House to UW
Remembering Their Intellectual 'Home,' Couple Donates Their House to UW Print

As soon as Phyllis Dorset, ’48, ’50, stepped inside Parrington Hall on the University of Washington’s Seattle campus, with its sturdy brick exterior, warm wood interior and professors who encouraged her to push the limits of her critical thinking, she knew she had found her home on campus. Dorset spent six years taking classes in the building, attaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in English.

Inside Parrington, now home to the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, Dorset cemented her love for the written word, and flourished under the tutelage of professors such as novelist Sophus Winther and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke, with whom she took four classes.

“There was always an air of expectancy about the Advanced Study of Poetry class,” Dorset wrote in an article titled “Roethke Remembered” in the summer 2005 issue of the Sewanee Review. “Each hour was a tournament, in which we were pulled out of ourselves and faced head-on this Socratean giant who … insisted we defend whatever insights we had.”

After graduation, Dorset was a technical writer for Stanford Research Institute for many years and authored several books and articles on topics ranging from Colorado history to historic ships.

Phyllis Dorset and her husband, Donald, recently established an agreement with the UW to donate their Menlo Park, Calif., home to the University. They have already given the deed for the property to the UW. They received an immediate income-tax deduction for their gift of a retained life estate, and may live in the house for the rest of their lives. Upon receiving the house, the UW will sell it and use the proceeds to establish graduate fellowships in the English department, where Phyllis Dorset found her home, and the College of Engineering, in honor of Donald Dorset’s engineering background.

“It is very rewarding,” Phyllis Dorset says, “to be remembered for making a difference in the lives of others.”