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Thank you! 2023 Celebration Event Recap

With help from OMA&D supporters, we raised over $370,000 for OMA&D and EOP scholarships!

On Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program Board of Trustees hosted 550 people in the University of Washington Husky Union Ballroom for a wonderful evening of music, dancing, dining and celebrating together in community.

OMA&D thanks our 2023 Corporate Presenting Partner, HashiCorp, and all of our outstanding corporate and community partners for their dedicated investment in the future education of American Indian and Alaskan Native, underrepresented minority, low-income, first-generation students, and students formerly in foster care. We also thank you – our community – for your unwavering support, both financially through your gifts and also by consistently showing up for our students to ensure their success.

Guests entered the reception greeted by the tunes of Seattle-based band, Chapter 5 as they enjoyed cocktails, appetizers, and posed for photos by the Celebration backdrop. The program began with welcoming words of inspiration from long-time Celebration emcee, EOP alumna, and radio personality Angela King, as well as from University of Washington President Dr. Ana Mari Cauce, and Vice President for OMA&D and University Diversity Officer Rickey Hall.

The program continued with scholarship awards presented to an incredible cohort of exceptional students followed by a hope-filled speech from the 2023 Celebration Student Speaker, Sarai Mayer (Washoe).

Next we heard from EOP Director Luz Iñiguez about the importance of sustaining the EOP scholarship fund and the impact scholarships have on the EOP student Husky experience. Following these compelling stories, professional fundraising auctioneer Laura Michalek, excited the audience over the chance to purchase one of six highly sought-after items up for auction. In total, between the live auction and the “raise the paddle” portion of the evening, our guests contributed almost another $57,000 between the live auction and the paddle raise donations to help support future American Indian and Alaskan Native, underrepresented minority, low-income, first-generation students, and students formerly in foster care.

The evening finished strong when FEOP Board of Trustees President Barbara Lord MacLean and OMA&D VP Rickey Hall honored Dr. Norma Zalava, and presented her with the 2023 Charles E. Odegaard Award. Dr. Zavala moved the audience with her sincere and heart-felt stories of the moments in her past that motivated her exemplary career and advocacy for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the education system. Dr. Zavala left us with a Mayan quote to inspire us to deeper inclusion and to see how connected each person is to one another. She said, “’Tu eres mi otro yo.’” It translates to ‘You are my other me.’ When we acknowledge, value, and include the diverse experiences of all with whom we share space, we will fully hear their voices and see their humanity. Then we can move forward together and build a community where everyone will thrive.”


For those of you who have already submitted your gift from the auction or from raising your paddle, THANK YOU!

To complete your gift, please click the link below.

If you were unable to attend, you do not have to miss out on being part of this amazing event. Simply add your support to OMA&D and EOP scholarships by making your gift today!

Watch the Video

Celebration 2023 is available to watch on the OMA&D YouTube channel. You can watch the complete program by clicking “WATCH’ below!



Photo credit to Tara Brown Photography. For use of photos outside of OMA&D and Celebration purposes, please contact Tara Brown at for photo permissions.



Student Awards

Student Speaker

Odegaard Award

Chapter 5