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Elaine Kraft | At-Large Trustee

Class of 1973, Bachelor of Arts, Communication

Headshot: Elaine Kraft

Why I Serve

My father took me to UW Homecoming games when I was very young. I was around four years old and he would buy me my very own Husky corsage — a yellow mum with a purple pipe cleaner. I loved the pageantry of the celebration. I remember attending the football games and all I ever wanted was to be part of that UW student cheering section.

It was a politically-active time when I was a student and more so for a journalism and political science student. We marched from the Husky Union Building onto the freeway and all the way downtown to protest the Kent State shootings in 1970. It was a powerful college moment I will never forget. It taught me to be engaged.

I wrote for The Daily, the University’s student newspaper, and covered events as I lived them. It was an era of typewriters clicking and when cut-and-paste meant using actual scissors. I always wanted to be Lois Lane and that was my introduction to the newspaper business, which was the start of my professional career.

UW is home to so many different people and ideas. My parents attended and my children attended. I hope my grandchildren get the opportunity to do so, too. Everyone in this region should view UW as a place to continue learning, growing and contributing to the future. When I retire, I plan to return to UW and take some of the English literature classes I missed as an undergraduate. My papers will be even more amazing this time!


Elaine Kraft, ’73, is a native Washingtonian, hailing from a long family line of UW alumni. She began her career as a reporter for the Eastside Journal and has since worked in multiple communications, policy and advocacy roles for the Washington State Legislature, Weyerhaeuser, Coors Brewing Company, the University of Washington and as communications director for former King County Executive Ron Sims. Since 2008, she has worked with the Cascade Water Alliance overseeing external relations. She lives in Bellevue with her husband and is the proud mother of two UW alumni and grandmother to three hopefully future students.