Highline District students studying the sciences just got a financial boost from legendary Boeing CEO Ray Conner. Conner and his wife Katie recently established the Ray and Katie Conner Endowed Scholarship Fund with a gift of $305,769 at Central Washington University.
A 1979 CWU alumnus, Conner started at Boeing on the manufacturing floor, swinging a wrench. Through his own perseverance, talent, and exceptional ability, he climbed the corporate ladder, eventually becoming vice chairman of The Boeing Company and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“I attribute much of my success to hard work, preparation and leadership—all characteristics that I honed during my time at CWU,” said Conner, a 2010 Distinguished Alumnus. “One of the best ways I can give back is to provide students with the same opportunity as me.”
“Ray and Katie’s generosity will have an impact on students for years to come,” said Scott Wade, vice president of University Advancement and executive director for the CWU Foundation. “We are honored by their exceptional gift.”
The gift will fund two $10,000 scholarships annually, for students who are pursing a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math disciplines, or an education degree in one of the STEM fields. At CWU, Conner studied to become a high school teacher and earned his degree through the College of Education and Professional Studies.
Since Connor grew up in Burien, the scholarship stipulates that preference is given to applicants from the Highline School District. The award is also need-based, and students can be first-year or transfer students.
“I’m fortunate that the experience of learning, listening, and building relationships at CWU has lingered with me throughout my entire career,” Conner added. “This scholarship fund is planned for someone who is greatly respected by those around them, people-centered and possesses a strong desire to lead.”
Students may apply for the scholarship later this fall. For more information about scholarships at CWU, or to apply, go to www.cwu.edu/scholarships/.
Photo: Ray Conner receives the Distinguished Alumni Award from CWU President James Gaudino.
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