MARCH 2006: Home arrow Briefings arrow Latest arrow Lauridsen Gift Makes It Easier for Students to Stay in School
Lauridsen Gift Makes It Easier for Students to Stay in School Print

Morten J. Lauridsen, ’39, entered the University of Washington in 1928, just prior to the onset of the Great Depression. “The Depression years were difficult for most people,” says the Portland, Ore., resident, who took long breaks from school to earn a living with seasonal work for the U.S. Forest Service. “I was able to pay my tuition and periodically go to school, but it took me seemingly forever,” says Lauridsen, who graduated with a forestry degree.

With a planned gift to the college, Lauridsen, 95, hopes to make the path toward graduation easier for future students. Proceeds from a trust he established will provide scholarships to students of forest management.

“Mort Lauridsen’s legacy will be that students can stay in school and go on to become future leaders in the field,” says Forest Resources Dean Bruce Bare.

Lauridsen credits the Boy Scouts with introducing him to forestry, and his sister Helen Bucey, ’33, ’40, with introducing him to philanthropy. “She was a prominent civic leader in the Seattle area,” Lauridsen says. After Helen’s husband died, she established the Boyd K. Bucey Memorial Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology at the UW.

Lauridsen, a World War II Navy veteran who spent most of his career as a timber valuation engineer for the Internal Revenue Service, has made several significant contributions to the UW, and was named a Laureate in 2003. His estate planning includes a trust that will support the chair started by his sister and a trust that will assist the dean of the College of Forest Resources with pressing needs for the college—in addition to a trust for student scholarships.

“I remember the difficult time I had in finishing school and there could be students facing the same problem, who could use assistance through scholarships,” Lauridsen says.