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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

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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 burkemuseum.org or call 206-543-7907.

Henry Suzzallo Reception 2019

photo of Brian Harvey

UW Assistant Professor
Brian Harvey

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 and what impact it might have on society. 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.

Henry Suzzallo Society Newsletter Edition: 2019

Donors who include the University of Washington in their estate plans become members of the Henry Suzzallo Society. We are excited to celebrate our donors with our first annual newsletter, showcasing UW news and events and spotlighting some extraordinary members of our society and the impact they are making.

Membership in the Henry Suzzallo Society is a way for the University to thank and recognize future donors now for their commitment to make a future gift.

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

Henry Suzzallo Reception 2018

photo of HERB

HERB, the Home Exploring Robot Butler, developed by UW’s Siddhartha Srinivasa

The annual Henry Suzzallo Society Reception gives members an intimate look at the innovative, extraordinary work being done at our University.

The 2018 reception, at the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering, featured Professor Siddhartha Srinivasa and HERB, the Home Exploring Robot Butler. Together, Srinivasa and HERB test technologies and methods that enable robots to perform complex and delicate home-care tasks for those in need.

More than 175 people attended the 2018 Henry Suzzallo Society Reception, and we’re excited to welcome all Society members to this year’s event. Donor support makes it possible for UW faculty and students to pursue their academic passions, help others and change the world.

 

Donor Spotlights

Honoring a professor’s impact

photo of Robert Wilson

Bob and Judy Wilson joined fellow donors at the 2018 Henry Suzzallo Society Reception

Bob Wilson’s educational path to the University of Washington came about by chance, but his decision to honor the professor who changed his life will be made possible through a well thought out planned gift.

Wilson was in his first year studying engineering at the University of Michigan and found himself unhappy with the course work. A bright student from Detroit, he had already learned most of what he was being taught while in high school, Cass Technical.

His high school girlfriend’s family had moved out to Washington State and, on a whim, he went to visit. Wilson loved the weather in Washington, although he admits he was here during the summer and might have reconsidered his opinion if he had visited in January.

He looked into and ultimately transferred to the University of Washington but, much to his frustration, engineering still didn’t seem to be the right fit for him.
To explore other options, Wilson decided to take an accounting course over the summer and immediately felt a kinship with the material. Fit or no fit however, Wilson fretted that he would lose credits if he transferred his major which would delay his graduation, a big issue for a man paying his own way through school.

After receiving an “A” in the accounting course taught by Professor Julius Roller, Wilson approached him for advice on how to move forward. Being the first in his family to go to college, Wilson did not have someone close to provide guidance. He went to office hours and hoped Professor Roller would be able to steer him in the right direction.

“He basically saved me” Wilson recalls, adding that with Professor Roller’s guidance and “creative accounting” work on his existing credits, they were able to devise a plan for Wilson to switch majors and graduate on time.

“If you go to register and they give you any guff, you have them call me” Wilson recalls Professor Roller telling him.

Professor Roller’s interest in his education was the cornerstone of Wilson’s path into the world of accounting. He graduated on time as promised and was commissioned as an Officer in the Air Force, putting his degree to good use as an auditor.

After leaving the military, Wilson landed a job with Arthur Anderson, a CPA firm in the consulting division that led him to several states and a 4-year assignment abroad in Sweden. During the last five years of Wilson’s career he worked exclusively with General Motors Corp. He helped GM make improvements in how their parts plants operate by implementing the Toyota Production System. Over the more than 30 years he stayed with the company and became a partner, Wilson remembered the professor who helped him achieve his distinguished career.

“Accounting has been very good to me. I feel a lot of my success is due to a solid foundation in accounting at UW”.

To honor Professor Roller, Wilson has made a bequest to benefit to the Julius A. Roller Professor of Accounting endowed faculty position. To help the next generation of students, an additional directive in Wilson’s bequest, supported by his wife Judy, will establish an endowed undergraduate scholarship for students studying accounting.

Keeping family history alive

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Dr. Robert Wallace at the 2018 Henry Suzzallo Society Reception

Growing up in Miami, Robert Wallace thought his parents spoke their own secret language.

“I didn’t even know what my heritage was until I was in my teens” Wallace describes. “I didn’t know the culture, I didn’t speak the language.”

Plagued with fears of persecution and with strong desires to blend in, his parents were tightlipped about their family history, going as far as changing their family name from Walinchus to Wallace, a change that still brings about questions from some relatives.

“They didn’t want me to have any burdens,” Wallace explains “there was an embarrassment about growing up second generation Eastern European.”

One of the few personal insights to his culture was a family trip to Lithuania in spring of 1989 to participate in the Baltic Way movement, also known as the Hands Across the Baltic, where millions of people joined hands to form a human chain to represent support for independence.

Wallace’s experience with the proud and generous people of the Baltic region had a profound effect on his understanding of his Lithuanian heritage and the hardships his grandparents endured before immigrating to America.
His personal desire to keep the Lithuanian culture and language alive drove Wallace to seek out the University of Washington, one of only two universities in the United States that teaches all three Baltic languages – Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian.

In memory of his parents and to honor his own lineage, Wallace set up a bequest in his will to create two endowments, one to support the faculty that teach the language, history and culture of Baltic countries, and the other to provide programmatic support in Baltic studies to create exchange opportunities for faculty and students.

Both endowments will ensure the culture Wallace has strived to learn about will be embraced by students for years to come. When asked how he thinks his parents would feel about giving back to a University program in Baltic studies, Wallace said “I think they would be very proud.”

Part of the giving-back culture

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Nancy and Ben Remak in their Husky Room

Nancy and Ben Remak’s pride for the University of Washington is evident with just a quick glance around their home. Pictures of UW memories and milestones adorn every wall in the house, from the entry way all the way to what they refer to as “The Husky Room”.

From floor to ceiling, “The Husky Room” lives up to its name as a monument to all things Husky. Pictures of the Remak’s time at various UW events line one wall. Jackets, coats and sweaters have their own clothing rack right in the middle of the room.

There are UW mementos from friends, pendants and game balls, even newspaper clippings of University events dating back to the 1970’s. One visit with the Remak’s and one could never doubt their passion for UW.
It should be no surprise then that the Remak’s passion for the University has manifested itself in their giving as well.

Nancy’s first gift to the University of Washington was in 1978, and she has built upon that one time gift with her husband, Ben.
Both Nancy and Ben had parents who were generous in giving back to others.

“He insisted in doing it” Nancy recalls of her father, adding that he particularly liked helping children through the Boys and Girls Club and Easter Seals.

Ben’s dad did not want presents or a party for his 80th birthday. He told his son he wanted a scholarship set up, specifically to help those connected to South Africa, where he had fond memories of being helped himself.

“So that got everything started” Nancy says with a smile and indeed, that first scholarship set up for Ben’s father spurred them on in their path of giving, so much so that now the Remak’s have 5 different scholarships and fellowships and have included the University in their will.

While both express enthusiasm in seeing what their gifts are accomplishing, Nancy, especially, emphasizes that putting UW in their wills is paramount to their estate plans as well.

“We want to make sure when we are gone, it (giving back to the University) continues”.

“The UW has a giving back culture” Nancy explains, followed by Ben’s insistence “why wouldn’t you (give), it’s fun!”

Student Impact

Healthcare champion

photo of Celia Bore

Celia Bora: Lorraine Troop Endowed Scholarship in Nursing recipient

Celia Bora has a calling to help others, even as she works tirelessly to complete the University of Washington doctorate in nursing program.

Growing up in rural New York, Bora decided to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and study nursing at a university in Vermont. While in school, she worked providing care to those in the community who were homebound. “That’s when I really started seeing the social determinants of health,” she says.

Driven to “help those disenfranchised with health care,” Bora decided to further her education. She chose the UW’s program because it offered a geriatric focus not found in other university nursing programs. “Even on the East Coast,” Bora notes, “the UW has an excellent reputation.”

After arriving in Seattle, Bora found a nursing job to support herself while in school. Juggling her work schedule with the demands of the UW program, she felt she wasn’t always able to make education her main priority. Bora was awarded the Lorraine Troop Endowed Scholarship in Nursing for the 2018–19 academic year. The scholarship relieved financial pressure, Bora says, by allowing her to “take a step back and really focus on school.”

After graduation this spring, Bora doesn’t plan on slowing down. “I have two big goals: to open a rural geriatric practice and to influence [health-care] policy,” she says. “I want to provide care that the health-care system tends to leave behind.”