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Multicultural Group Honors Alumni Who Have Made a Difference

A public official who helped revitalize Seattle's International District, the founder of the Early Scholars Outreach Program, and a UW regent are among this year's alumni and friends who will receive awards at the Multicultural Alumni Partnership's “Bridging the Gap” Breakfast held Homecoming weekend on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Distinguished Alumnus Awards will be presented to: Letoy Eike, '74, '78; Millie Russell, '80, '86, '88; Bob Santos; Ramon Soliz; and the UW Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP). Regent Constance Proctor, '78, will receive the Dr. Samuel E. Kelly Award.

Now in its eighth year, the award program has honored many UW alumni who have made a difference in their communities, such as artist Alfredo Arreguin, '67, '69; philanthropist and UW Regent William H. Gates, '49, '50; former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, '72, '74; and Northwest Asian Weekly Publisher Assunta Ng, '74, '79.

The Multicultural Alumni Partnership supports recruitment and mentoring of students, faculty and staff of color while promoting diversity within the UW and the UW Alumni Association. The group also awards student scholarships.

Among this year's honorees, Eike is the lead counselor and coordinator for the UW's Office of Minority Affairs Counseling Center. Eike honors her heritage as an Oglala Sioux and has served as president of the Seattle Indian Services Commission for 12 years. She was also the representative of Washington State to the White House Conference on Indian Education.

Russell, a UW biology lecturer and assistant to the vice president for minority affairs, founded the Early Scholars Outreach Program in 1987. Designed to expose middle-school students to the advantages of pursuing higher education, the program served as the inspiration for the national GEAR UP campaign. Russell has received many awards for her contributions to the community, including the 2004 UW Outstanding Public Service Award and a lifetime service award from the Black Heritage Society of Washington State.

Santos grew up in Seattle's International District and is now head of the International District Improvement Association, where he plays an important part in developing affordable housing for low-income families. In 1994, the Clinton administration appointed Santos to administer the Northwest/Alaska office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. His history of public service dates as far back as 1960, when he served on the Seattle Human Rights Commission.

Soliz has been a longtime advocate of diversity and equal opportunity in his position as assistant director of Health Sciences Human Resources at UW. He is president of the board of directors of El Centro de la Raza, a Latino civil rights organization, and was honored by the organization in 2003 as its board member of the year. During the 1980s, Soliz was a vocal advocate of diversifying the admissions policies of the UW.

GO-MAP, represented by Professor Johnnella Butler, works to recruit and retain a diverse graduate student body at the UW by providing resources to both prospective and current minority graduate students. The group also promotes the hiring of a diverse faculty and hosts two annual receptions for faculty of color.

Proctor has served on the UW Board of Regents since 1997. She has supported educational opportunity programs through personal contributions and has created awareness of the programs through visits to Seattle public schools. She has also helped the UW recruit young people from diverse backgrounds through her involvement in groups that mentor youth such as the Greater Seattle Chapter of The Links and The Breakfast Club (both former MAP honorees). Proctor is an alumna of the UW School of Law and was the King County Bar Association's outstanding lawyer of the year in 1994.

Alumni and friends are invited to the MAP awards breakfast, held at 8 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 6, in the HUB Ballroom. For reservations, visit the Web site at UWalum.com or call 206-543-0540 or 1-800-AUW-ALUM.