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Henry Suzzallo Society Newsletter 2020

Henry Suzzallo Society Newsletter Edition: 2020

Donors who include the University of Washington in their estate plans become members of the Henry Suzzallo Society. In this annual newsletter we celebrate our donors, showcase UW news and events, and spotlight the impact of extraordinary members of our society. Membership in the Henry Suzzallo Society is a way for the University to thank and recognize donors now for their commitment to make a future gift.

Scroll down to read each article, or view the entire newsletter(PDF).


Donor Spotlights

Lee Daneker: Public service on the air

photo of Lee Daneker

Lee Daneker, Henry Suzzallo Society member since 2017

He discovered public radio while living in Washington, D.C. — and Lee Daneker brought his enthusiasm with him when he settled in Seattle in the mid-1980s, becoming an active listener and avid fan of KUOW.

“I used to write letters to the station with my opinions about programming,” he recalls. His favorite programs in his early days of KUOW listening included “A Prairie Home Companion,” “Car Talk” and “The Swing Years and Beyond.”

“I loved those entertainment programs,” he says. “But the thing that really drew me to public radio was its news and information programming — it’s the best!”

With a career steeped in public service, Daneker served on the KUOW board during the time when the radio station was becoming independent from the University.

Throughout the eight years he served, Daneker promoted setting metrics for measuring the station’s performance and served a term as chair of the Governance Committee.

“It was a wonderful, interesting experience where I learned about what made the station tick and had the chance to meet and serve with outstanding individuals who were supporters of public radio.”

After other priorities took him away from the board, Daneker decided to include KUOW in his will, to ensure that the station will stay on the air for the next generation of listeners.

Daneker’s commitment to philanthropy is further emphasized by his continued leadership in a nonprofit and an NGO in Mexico, where he lives for part of the year. But when he’s in Seattle, his radio is tuned to KUOW.

“It’s the most reliable and trustworthy reporting.”

Antoinette Wills: A lifelong love for learning

photo of Robert Wallace

Antoinette Wills, Henry Suzzallo Society member since 1997, as pictured on her Husky ID card while attending the UW

If you ask Antoinette Wills, the path from her childhood in Philadelphia to the University of Washington came down to a simple idea: She was lucky.

As a first-generation college student, Wills had a love for learning that took her to Vassar College for an undergraduate degree in history, then to the University of Chicago for a master’s degree. Both degrees were funded by scholarships.

She decided to attend the UW for graduate study in history without knowing much about the University, other than good things she’d heard about Seattle. As it turned out, the decision would shape the rest of her life.

“I feel so lucky that I ended up here,” she says. “When I arrived at the UW, I found out how good it was.”

The quality of faculty impressed her while she completed her Ph.D. program, and her dissertation was soon published as a book: “Crime and Punishment in Revolutionary Paris.” But it didn’t lead to the teaching position she’d hoped for.

After completing her degree and working a few unfulfilling jobs, Wills realized she wanted to do something that mattered. At the core of an ideal job would be “writing and editing for a nonprofit organization whose cause I believed in.”

Her luck held when she was soon hired as a writer for the University of Washington’s fundraising team. After a dozen years in that role, Wills moved to the College of Arts & Sciences in 2000, continuing to work in fundraising there until her retirement in 2012.

“Fundraising is a joyous profession, because you’re always talking to people who love the same things you love,” she explains. There was also an unexpected benefit. “The things I learned from donors, and the money that I made while working, allowed me to make my own gifts.”

Throughout her life, Wills has never forgotten the generosity that she benefited from while earning her degrees. “My education is a joy and treasure to me,” she says. “I want to make that kind of opportunity available to people I will never meet.”

The decision to drive across the country and attend the University of Washington led to continuing involvement with the University. Wills is a lifetime member of the UW Alumni Association, takes classes as an Access student, and has published a pictorial history of the UW at the request of the University Book Store.

In her commitment to furthering educational access for students, Wills created an endowment to support graduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences. She took advantage of the IRA Charitable Rollover to fund that endowment. The UW is also a beneficiary of her will.

When asked what she hopes will come of her bequest, her biggest wish for the legacy she’ll create is “supporting people who love learning, just as I have.”

Tom Friberg: Giving for the present and future

photo of Tom Friberg

Drs. Tom Friberg and Shannon Johnson, Henry Suzzallo Society members since 1999

Tom Friberg always had to try harder to get through schoolwork, especially when it came to numbers.

“I’m dyslexic, to a degree. I had to work so hard at high school, so hard at college.”

The threat of hard work didn’t stop him from obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of Washington — but it did make him especially appreciative of the scholarships that allowed him to focus more of his time on academics.

“Without scholarships, I would not have had enough time, with my dyslexia, to go to school and work.”

Friberg was hired as a researcher at Weyerhaeuser and eventually became the V.P. of technology. A coworker who served on the dean’s visiting committee for the UW College of Forest Resources (now the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences) convinced him to get involved — so, years after graduating, Tom found himself back on campus as president of the college’s alumni association.

His enthusiasm and spirit provided the framework for a fellow College of Forest Resources graduate to create a three-day Arbor Day event, in which elementary school kids were invited to campus to learn about forestry and the role of wood products and paper in their world. Building on the energy of that first year, Tom fundraised to keep the annual event going for eight years, educating more than 21,000 students.

Grateful for the scholarships that he received as a student, Friberg was determined to help the college financially as well.

Friberg established estate plans that included the UW for the future — but he also felt the pressing desire to give back in the present. He found that giving could be meaningful and affordable and provide tax advantages. He was especially drawn to supporting deans’ funds and discretionary spending, because of the flexibility they gave the school.

“They bridge the gap between opportunistic times and budgets,” Friberg notes.

He established the Thomas Swen Friberg Endowed Fund for Student Support and will add to it through his estate. As a perpetual funding source for undergraduate scholarships and research fellowships, the endowment will help the School of Forest Resources recruit and educate the next generation of paper scientists and engineers, as well as develop cutting-edge science in
areas such as paper science, natural products, bioenergy and renewable fiber research.

Friberg credits the UW with setting his life on an extraordinary path that has given him many opportunities and a strong sense of community.

He says, “I have a high respect for higher education and a real debt to the University of Washington.”

Col. Marietta Budack: Making an impact

photo of Col. Marietta Budack

Col. Marietta Budack

Col. Marietta Budack earned numerous degrees while serving her country as a nurse in the U.S. Army. Her service took her all over the world, from Korea to Vietnam. Tragically, while her brother was serving as a lieutenant in the Medevac system in Korea, he was killed as a young soldier.

Stateside, while stationed at Fort Lewis, Budack’s educational aspirations led her to a Master of Science and Health Education degree at the University of Washington. She eventually retired from the Army and moved out of Washington state — but not before including the UW in her estate plans.

After Budack’s passing in 2016, the Martin E. Budack Endowment Fund, in honor of her late brother, was established through her will. The endowment, which benefits UW nursing students at our campuses in Seattle and Tacoma, is awarding scholarships to students pursuing nursing degrees in need of financial support and will do so in perpetuity.

The new Burke: From the inside out

photo of Burke Museum

In May 2016, the Burke Museum of natural history and culture — our state’s oldest public museum — broke ground literally and figuratively, starting construction on an innovative new home on the UW campus for its collections and programs. The new Burke Museum opened its doors to the public October 12, 2019. The construction itself took two years; the rest of the time was devoted to the painstakingly careful transfer of millions of artifacts from the old building to the new. The new building was funded by a collective of government and University sources and private donors and foundations. More than one-third of the funding came from individuals.

The building, 66% larger than the previous one, is designed to give visitors a direct view into its state-of- the-art labs and workrooms. More dedicated education space will allow the museum to double the number of Pre-K–12 students who can visit and learn there.

Three floors of gallery space offer exhibits on contemporary culture, biology, archeology and paleontology, alongside their respective glass-enclosed working rooms. A Northwest Native art gallery with an artists’ studio is prominently situated on the first floor.

The Burke’s new location, at the northwest corner of the UW campus in Seattle, will make it easy for visitors to use the new light-rail station currently under construction instead of driving. For more information about visiting, membership and accessibility, visit or call 206-543-7907.

Henry Suzzallo Reception 2019

photo of Brian Harvey

UW Assistant Professor
Brian Harvey presenting to members at the 2019 Henry Suzzallo Society Reception.

The 2019 Henry Suzzallo Society Reception, hosted at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, featured Dr. Brian Harvey speaking on understanding and managing forest resilience in a changing world. The Henry Suzzallo Society Reception is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the impact that UW faculty and researchers are having on our world and society’s biggest challenges.