At the Department of Economics, we strive to prepare the next generation of economists through extraordinary faculty, educational programming, and experiential learning. But we can’t preserve our standard of excellence without the committed philanthropic support of our alumni and friends. Student scholarship support is vital to ensuring equal access to opportunity as we prepare graduates to become leaders in their communities and their workplaces.
Alumnus Dennis Peterson, '54, and his wife Joan have made their commitment to undergraduate student education a philanthropic priority since Dennis' first gift to the department in 1974. That year, and in many ensuing years, the Petersons have supported the Henry T. Buechel Memorial Endowment, which provides an annual award to an outstanding instructor of undergraduates in the department. Established in 1972, the award honors the career of Professor Buechel, who joined the UW faculty in 1942 and was widely considered one of the most inspiring educators on campus.
Dennis and Joan stepped up their giving this year with a $10,000 gift to the Economics Student Aid Fund, a current use fund that provides scholarship support to economics undergraduates, taking into account both financial need and outstanding academic achievement. The fund, which has typically supported one student per year, will for 2014-2015 provide at least four $2500 student scholarships to students who might not otherwise have received assistance.
Asked about he and his wife's interest in undergraduate education, Peterson, a senior vice president with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Olympia, says, "The University's primary mission is still educating undergraduate students. This is often overlooked in the competition for scarce resources. It is our desire to set things straight as best we can."
Alumnus Tony Richardson, BA '94, and his wife Michelle have a similar passion for supporting undergraduate education, recently establishing the Tony and Michelle Richardson Endowment Fund to support a student athlete studying economics, business, or engineering, with priority going to an undergraduate in economics. Professing to "bleed purple and gold" in his love for all things Husky - especially football - Tony, founder and CTO of Xtreme Consulting Group in Kirkland, is a volunteer undergraduate mentor for the department and serves on the Economics Visiting Committee.
The Department of Economics is grateful for the support of all our friends and alumni. Private financial support affords all who benefit from UW services and programs even greater levels of access and opportunity through innovative new programs, funding for student scholarship awards, technology, equipment and improved facilities, and recruitment and retention of the faculty who continue to make this University one of the best in the world. If you are interested in supporting the faculty, students, and programs in the Department, visit support the department.