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Vivian Lee: Alumna, Volunteer, Community Activist, Philanthropist

Vivian LeeFor more than 50 years, Vivian Lee has worked to make the University of Washington inclusive and accessible for all students through her volunteer work. Now she is leaving her mark in another way. A retired nurse and 1958 graduate of the UW School of Nursing, Vivian has decided to make a bequest to the UW toward scholarships that support two of her greatest passions: the UW Alumni Association’s Multicultural Alumni Partnership (MAP) board and the UW School of Nursing.

eNews Fall 2013Vivian’s commitment to the UW is rooted in her family and her devotion to higher education. She was fortunate that her parents were able to pay for her UW education, and she strives to make it possible for students from all underrepresented backgrounds to have the same opportunity she did. Through her bequest, Vivian wants students to know there is a community supporting them in their pursuit of higher education.

This passion for higher education is something Vivian has supported through organizations such as MAP, which she helped found nearly 20 years ago. She encourages others who are considering making a planned gift to do their research: attend events, understand the kind of work that is happening around campus and within the department, and get involved by volunteering. This will allow you to understand the resources that are and are not currently available, and then make an informed decision about giving back in a powerful way.

Vivian considers the UW her family, and for her, it is important to give to causes that reflect her values. As she says, “You leave your resources where your heart is.”

If you are interested in learning more about planned giving, or would like to make a gift to support OMA&D programs, visit

By Priya Frank, Courtesy Viewpoint Magazine