Gates Volunteer Service Award (GVSA) past recipients

2012–Dan and Nancy Evans

GarveyThrough their distinguished record of service, leadership and generosity, Dan, ’48, ’49, and Nancy Evans have inspired countless others to follow in their footsteps, sometimes quite literally.

With a history of accomplishments on a grand scale, it’s easy to overlook the smaller gestures that Dan and Nancy often make, like the time Dan, at age 81, speed-walked a half-marathon to raise more than $100,000 for student scholarships. Or when both Dan and Nancy laced up their walking shoes to kick off a 50th anniversary run/walk for the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, attended by more than 300 people last October.

“They lead by example, the example of integrity, honesty and vision,” said Sandra Archibald, dean of the Evans School, renamed in 1999 to honor the former three-term governor and U.S. senator. The Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Evans School honors Nancy’s civic contributions. “I have witnessed first-hand how they inspire students, faculty and alumni to be better people, better public servants and better leaders.”

Dan and Nancy have left an indelible mark on the UW and beyond. At the University, they have provided philanthropic support for more than four decades and have held more than a dozen leadership roles. Dan has served two terms on the Board of Regents and as UW Foundation chair. Nancy served on the School of Public Health’s inaugural visiting committee and as honorary chair of the Evans School’s 50th Anniversary Gala. Their thoughtful and collaborative leadership is credited with making big things happen, including the renovation of Husky Stadium and construction of Benaroya Hall. “If they take on an issue, they will follow through until the task is done,” says Judy Runstad ’74, a 2009 recipient of the GVSA with her husband, Jon Runstad ’65. “Dan and Nancy personify this award and what it’s all about, service.” And, in Dan and Nancy’s case, always going the extra mile.

2011–Mike and Lynn Garvey

GarveyAt the University of Washington’s Tenth Annual Recognition Gala on September 9, local business and community leaders Mike and Lynn Garvey were named the recipients of the 2011 Gates Volunteer Service Award in recognition of their commitment of sharing their time, expertise and support.

From the Foster School of Business to the Burke Museum, UW Medicine to Law, Arts & Sciences to Athletics, the Garveys have made the UW’s learning and research efforts stronger. They’ve also served in leadership positions on numerous UW boards and committees.

After earning math and law degrees at the UW, Mike taught courses at the business school in the 1970s while getting his own law firm started. Since then, Mike has mentored and taught undergraduate, MBA and doctoral students at the Foster School and the law school. Lynn, who also attended the UW, has spent decades volunteering for the Arboretum and cheering on her beloved Huskies. Inspired to support research aimed at curing and preventing diseases after losing her sister to cancer, Lynn extended their generosity further by funding the Garvey Cell Imaging Lab and medical research. They also honored the memory of friend and business partner Bob McMillen by making a lead gift that created a professorship in his name.

Whether it’s students, faculty or community members, few can help but be inspired — including other University friends. “Mike and Lynn’s selfless approach to giving back and working with others is highly compelling and in fact, highly contagious,” said colleague and fellow Foster School volunteer Michael Mondello, president and CEO of SeaBear.

2010–Bob and Sally Behnke and John F. Behnke

Bob (‘43) and Sally (‘44) Behnke and John F. (‘50) Behnke have dedicated countless hours serving the University of Washington and strengthening the relationships and connections between the University and its many supporters. Bob and Sally’s long-standing support has impacted numerous areas of the UW, including: the Henry Art Gallery, UW Medicine, Husky Athletics, the Presidents Fund, the Graduate School, Student Life, UW Alumni Association and more. In 1990, Bob and Sally were awarded the first UWAA Distinguished Service Award in recognition of their true Husky Commitment.

John Behnke, Bob’s brother and a longtime community leader, shared the Behnke family devotion to the UW and carved his own legacy of support. Not only was he an ardent supporter of Husky football, John volunteered across the University and was himself a recipient of the UW Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 2005 for 30 years of service to the University, including chairing its first annual fund drive in the late 1960s. John also was instrumental in implementing non-discrimination policies in all alumni activities.

2009–H. Jon and Judith M. Runstad

Building on a multi-generational affiliation with the University, former UW Regent Jon Runstad (’65) and his wife, Judy (’74), have championed the advancement of real estate education in the College of Built Environments, generously supported the School of Law and provided undying support to the rowing program at the University. Additionally, they’ve dedicated countless hours to serving on or leading several UW committees and boards, making important connections among those who support the UW.

UW Crew Coach Bob Ernst best sums up the Runstads’ partnership with the UW and its people. “They’re the definition of our community: understated, get the job done and do it first class.”

2007–Artie Buerk

Artie Buerk, ’58, graduated from the University of Washington nearly five decades ago, but he never really left; he has dedicated countless hours to serving on or leading UW committees and boards and making important connections among those who support the UW.

Buerk is the advisory board chairman of the Michael G. Foster School of Business and an advisory board member of the Information School. He is past president of the UW Alumni Association and a former director of the UW Foundation.

A managing director with the private equity firm Buerk Dale Victor LLC, Buerk has been a generous supporter of the University, most notably the Foster School of Business, where he created the Buerk Leadership Endowment. “He is a great leader and he leads in his own style,” says Jim Jiambalvo, dean of the school. “His style is based on his passion – and that’s networking.”

2006–Ellsworth C. “Buster” and Nancy D. Alvord

Moments after Buster and Nancy Alvord received the Gates Volunteer Service Award at the Fifth Annual Recognition Gala Sept. 8, the couple made a surprise announcement that they will help create a Center of Excellence for Neuro-oncology at the University by establishing six new endowed faculty chairs with their family.

This commitment continues the Alvords’ long legacy of dedication to the University of Washington, particularly to UW Medicine, where the Alvords serve as members of UW Medicine’s Campaign Cabinet. In addition, Buster serves on the Neurological Surgery Committee. Nancy was a founding director of the UW Foundation and has been a member of the UW Libraries Visiting Committee and the History Visiting Committee.

“Buster and Nancy have come to philanthropy and public service quite naturally,” said UW President Mark A. Emmert. “It’s an obvious outgrowth of what they were taught by their parents and they in turn have taught it to their children and grandchildren.” The Alvords and their family, which includes 13 UW Benefactors, have collaborated to create two endowed chairs in Neuropathology and the Harborview Mission of Caring Endowed Fund for Uncompensated Care. They have made many other generous contributions to the UW.

2005–Anne and Wayne Gittinger

Two of the University’s “quiet leaders,” Anne (’55) and Wayne (’55, ’57) Gittinger, took an unaccustomed moment in the spotlight recently when they were honored with the 2005 Gates Volunteer Service Award.

“These people are the epitome of volunteer service,” said friend Ron Crockett, a sentiment reinforced by Connie Kravas, the UW’s vice president for development and alumni relations. “Having people like Anne and Wayne behind you is like having the strongest wind in your sails,” she said.

In addition to their support for athletics and a broad range of UW programs, the Gittingers also have been longtime supporters of the School of Law, where Wayne earned his juris doctor. Their leadership contributed greatly to the success of the Campaign for William H. Gates Hall, and Wayne serves on the school’s Visiting Committee and Dean’s Advisory Board, among other volunteer activities.

2004–Donald E. Petersen

Don Petersen began volunteering at the UW in 1979. As National Chair of the Annual Giving Campaign, he created the President’s Fund for Excellence, a University-wide source of discretionary support, and oversaw the quadrupling of private support to the UW. In 1987, he co-chaired the Campaign for Washington with John Nordstrom and Gerald Grinstein. Petersen became a founding director and first chair of the UW Foundation when it was established in 1988 and continued supporting the UW Foundation throughout Campaign UW: Creating Futures and as a generous donor whose giving has supported faculty, students, various University programs, and the UW campus.

Petersen’s continuing service reflects his deep commitment to education. “He is a great believer in lifelong learning,” said Petersen’s niece Laura Peterson, vice president for international relations at The Boeing Company. “[He believes that] education is an opportunity to help shape lives, and he likes that he can help make a difference. ”

2003–Herman and Faye Sarkowsky

Herman (’49) and Faye (’55) Sarkowsky’s service to the UW spans three decades and a wide range of university programs, including medicine, athletics, business, architecture, arts and sciences, and the Henry Art Gallery. They have been active in the University’s fundraising efforts since the 1970s with their behind-the-scenes support for Husky athletics and were instrumental in the growth of the University’s development program. “They’re first rate examples of why our fundraising program has become so successful,” says Marilyn Batt Dunn, former vice president for development and alumni relations, “In at the ground floor, with us every step of the way, and still involved today.”

Herman served as a UW Regent from 1983 through 1985, and was the first chair of the School of Medicine’s fundraising campaign during the Campaign for Washington in the 1990s. He and Faye have hosted events on the University’s behalf and both have inspired many private contributions to UW programs. “As leaders, Herman and Faye recognized that others would follow if they led by example, which they have always done, and they led by the example of establishing the Sarkowsky Chair in Pediatric Neurology,” said UW Medicine Dean Paul Ramsey.

2002–Hunter and Dottie Simpson

Hunter (’49) and Dottie (’82) Simpson, through their outstanding contributions to the University of Washington over the past five decades, have demonstrated extraordinary willingness to volunteer time and assets for the betterment of the UW community.

Their financial gifts to athletics, nursing, medicine, and the new law school have enabled the University to maintain its tradition of excellence and provide students with the resources they need to achieve their highest potential.

Hunter’s leadership as a UW Regent, founding director of the UW Foundation Board, and past president of the UW Alumni Association, and Dottie’s service on the School of Drama Visiting Committee, the Tyee Board, and the local and national chapters of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) have had a tremendous impact on the UW.

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