Nancy Nash

UWAA Distinguished Service Award

If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people who has attended a UW Alumni Association event, chances are you know the work of Nancy Nash.

She helped create several of the events. Do you belong to an academic club? She helped start some of those, too. Been on a UW Travels cruise? She has helped lead them as well.

For more than 20 years, Nash has played a valuable role in the UWAA, either as a staff member or a volunteer, service that made her the clear choice to receive the UWAA's 1996 Distinguished Service Award.

Fifteen years ago, Nash was one of about 10 employees at the UW Alumni Association. Though she held the title of assistant director, she was more like a jack-of-all-trades, signing up members, helping coordinate the travel program, staging events and working with clubs.

"We were pretty busy," she says. "We did everything."

It's a pretty apt description of Nash herself. Always active as a volunteer in the community, Nash, '51, started serving her alma mater early on, chairing her 25-year and 40-year class reunion committees. She later served on the UWAA Board of Trustees, then had to leave that--to become assistant director of the association in 1979.

Since retiring in 1989, she has barely slowed down, continuing to work behind the scenes for the association. Nash--who helped create such events as Oktoberfest, Dawg Dash and the Husky Hall of Fame banquet--also co-chaired a new event called Dawg Bite, now one of the UWAA's mainstays.

"It seems that one way or another, I have been involved with the alumni association," says Nash. And for good reason. "Alumni play a very important role with the University," she says. "Their support of the UW--financially, politically, legislatively--is what helps make this University so strong. Maintaining close ties is what the alumni association is all about, and it is a job you can never stop doing."

On June 6, Nash will experience something new--receiving an award from the UWAA. She used to be heavily involved in the award presentations the UWAA would make.

"Now I get to see the other side," she says. "And I couldn't be more honored. Serving the UW and the alumni association has meant a lot to me. And I will continue to keep my hand in it. It is too important to me."--Jon Marmor, Columns Magazine

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