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Mike Tulee | At-Large Trustee

Class of 1993, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science
Class of 2015, Doctor of Philosophy, Forestry

Portrait: Mike Tulee Why I Serve

The backdrop of my childhood was living on three different Indian reservations across the state of Washington. There were 10 kids in my family so living the life of extravagance was not in the cards. There were few luxuries, but one summer we road tripped to Seattle. Inspired, I declared that I would one day live in the city. After watching Husky football games with my brother, the dream expanded to envision myself as a UW student.

After high school, I served in the U.S. Air Force before finding my way to UW. I was fascinated by people and cultures, which inspired me to study human geography. My wife and I were extremely poor as students. We literally lived on beans and rice, but those years were some of the happiest of our lives. Having grown up with so little, I fully appreciated the opportunity to learn, study, walk across the quad, watch frisbees flying and listen to football fans cheering. It was a wholesome time.

In addition to teaching at the university level, I’ve taught elementary, middle and high school. I encourage young people to consider how they can improve the world. Everyone wants to succeed, but think about success in terms of bettering both yourself and others. A lot of goodness comes from the UW campus and I want to continue being a part of that tradition.