Office of the President

March 7, 2017

Remembering Helen Sommers, UW alumna and advocate for higher education

Ana Mari Cauce

Helen Sommers was a true champion of public higher education and her advocacy for our state’s students and universities changed the lives of countless Washingtonians. She was an advocate for ensuring our universities remained accessible, including through the creation of the branch campuses, and a strong supporter of everything from advanced technology research to her beloved Burke Museum. It is impossible to overestimate the benefits Helen’s life and leadership had on the state of Washington.

When Helen retired from the legislature, she was presented with the first – and so far only – UW Regents Medal as a reflection of our deep appreciation for her vision, leadership and support for the success of students and communities across Washington. We’re proud to call her a UW alumna twice over and join her many friends, legislative colleagues and family in mourning her passing.