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Goodbye to a great alumnus and friend

Today, we mourn the passing of our alumnus and dedicated friend, Orin Smith `65. Orin was a visionary leader and passionate advocate in our community whose love for the University of Washington transformed so many lives. He will be remembered for his tremendous impact on this University as regent, campaign general chair, and member and chair of the UW Foundation Board, the UW Medicine Board and the Foster School Advisory Board.

With his wife, Janet, Orin seeded prosperity and opportunities for UW students across the University he loved. Together they established student fellowships and created a deanship in the Foster School and provided forward-looking support for stem cell research and facilities at UW Medicine and scholarships at the Evans School. Orin’s passion for education and our students will be felt for generations to come.

Orin’s commitment to serving others extended well beyond the University of Washington. He never forgot his roots in Chehalis, Washington, where he remained active in the community supporting projects like the Chehalis Foundation’s Student Achievement Initiative together with his brother Kevin. As Starbucks CEO, Orin advanced the notion that a company could – indeed should – champion and support values of equity, diversity and environmental stewardship. Through his extraordinary leadership Orin exemplified what it meant to be a graduate of this University.

Orin combined kindness and humility with a drive for changing the world. He inspired all those around him with his unyielding desire to do the most good. Our deepest sympathies are with Janet and the entire Smith family. Orin leaves the world a better, more educated, more sustainable and kinder place. He will be deeply missed, but his legacy at the UW and our community will be forever.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Kane Hall, Room 130 and you can read more about Orin’s extraordinary life and legacy here.