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CWU Donor Stories

Donors like you make a difference in the lives of Central students everyday. Thank you for all you do for CWU. Continue reading to hear other donors' stories and their impact.

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Read more stories below

  • Spencer Hatton

    In 2013, Counting Crows: Stories of Love, Laughter and Loss, by Spencer Hatton was selected as a finalist in the nonfiction category for the National Indie Excellence Book Awards in May, and in June was awarded first place in the Beach Book Festival Wild Card category.

    Hatton, a newspaper columnist, reporter, and editor for the Yakima Herald Republic for nearly 40 years, earned numerous state, regional, and national awards. Counting Crows, published in 2012, recounts Hatton’s uproarious interactions with numerous celebrities—from basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain to England’s Queen Mother, and from actor Al Pacino to blues great B.B. King—with whom he crossed paths during his career.

    Some of the stories are deeply personal, such as the ones recounting the loss of his wife, Bronwen, and, later, the tragic death of his 18-year-old son, Jed. In honor of his wife, Hatton created the Bronwen Hatton Scholarship to benefit special education teachers. The scholarship is permanently endowed through the Central Washington University Foundation.

  • John Shoudy

    Many folks in Washington may know the story of how Ellensburg was named for the wife of the town founder John Shoudy, Mrs. Mary Ellen Shoudy. Today the legacy of the Shoudy family has a new connection to Washington citizens, the John A. Shoudy Distinguished Professorship and Scholarship in Nutrition Science. This fund was created by a bequest from Carolyn Koepke who grew up in the Kittitas Valley. When Ms. Koepke was in her 90s, she established a charitable remainder trust in order to provide funds to the Central Washington University nutrition science program. She died at the age of 104 and left a wonderful gift in her grandfather’s name, the John A. Shoudy Trust. Mr. Shoudy was a pioneer in the City of Ellensburg’s history. His legacy will live on in perpetuity to support and enhance the nutrition program through scholarships, faculty teaching, and research.

  • May Jankowski ('39)

    May Jankowski graduated from Central Washington College of Education in 1939. In her first assignment, May taught in a one-room schoolhouse in the upper Nanum in Kittitas County. Her education led to a 30-year career as a teacher, until she retired in 1982. May benefited from her training at Central and decided to give back to the institution that had given so much to her. In 1997, she and her husband, Frank, chose a Charitable Remainder Trust for their giving option. It allowed them to use their assets to help expand education, while at the same time providing tax incentives and a source of income. Their Charitable Remainder Trust gave them the financial and philanthropic security they were seeking, because it met their investment needs and provided a benefit to the university. Upon May’s death in 2012, the CWU Foundation established the N. May Spurling Jankowski Memorial Education Scholarship with the remaining portion of the trust. Her generous gift created a lasting legacy, and students will receive funding in perpetuity due to this gift.

  • Emily Leslie ('66)

    A descendant of Hood River, Oregon pioneers, Emily Leslie has forged her own individual path as an educator. A vibrant 91-year-old, Leslie still shines with joy talking about her experiences helping students overcome disabilities. Arriving in Ellensburg in 1938, Leslie became a resident of Kamola Hall at Central Washington State Normal School. With teaching certificate in hand after three years at Central, she began her career 1941 with a position teaching elementary school in Burlington, Washington. Leslie returned to Central in 1957 to complete her four-year degree and again in 1966 to complete her Masters in Education. She retired in 1986 from the Walla Walla Schools where she had taught for twenty-two years.

    Ever a promoter of education and a lifelong learner, she is now making it possible for others to continue their education by creating a gift to benefit student scholarships. This spring, Leslie established a charitable gift annuity with the CWU Foundation benefiting scholarships in the College of Education and Professional Studies. Honoring her parents, her fund will benefit the Charles F. and LuDell (Bertschi) Markgraf Scholarships for students in the CWU teacher education program.

    A charitable gift annuity (CGA) allows a donor to make a gift to a charitable organization, like CWU, and receive a fixed rate of return for that gift for the rest of the donor's life. CGA's usually pay a higher interest rate to the donor than what he or she could get from another secured investment like a savings account. It also relieves the donor from worrying about market fluctuations. A CGA is a good charitable giving vehicle for those who want to leave a legacy and need the income during their retirement but do not necessarily want to keep the asset. The CGA, however, means much more than an income stream to Leslie. In the future, it will mean scholarship support for CWU students and future teachers, a cause that resonates with Leslie.

  • Dennis Haldane (’77)

    After earning a B.A. in Music Education at CWU, Dennis Haldane has gone on to energize Washington State with his musical talent. Born in Southeast Alaska, Dennis, a member of the Tsimshian tribe, grew up in a fishing family. Whether in Seattle or Alaska, fishing was his life for 18 years.

    Evan at a young age, Haldane was a talented trumpet player. “Dennis could hit those high notes. You either have it or you don’t,” said Norman Wallen, CWU music professor and friend of Haldane.

    Nathan Hale High School’s music teacher, John Moawad, who would later come to teach at CWU, inducted Haldane into the school’s Jazz Band. Under Moawad’s leadership, Dennis later used his gifts to join the Drum and Bugle Corps, “a marching band on steroids,” as Wallen coined it. Not surprisingly, Haldane went on to attend college at CWU, where he drew inspiration from professors Robert “Beep” Panerio and John Moawad. For Haldane, education and music were orchestrated as one.

    Dedicated and diligent, Dennis plays trumpet–mostly lead–with many music groups throughout the Seattle area. Although jazz is his specialty, he also performs with Latin, blues and opera groups, demonstrating his chops as a well-versed musician. Music and education have had a profound impact on Haldane’s life.

    “Not a day goes by that I don’t use my education that I received from Central. I owe a lot to CWU and its faculty,” says Haldane.

    To share his passion for education and music, Dennis has made provisions in his will for a bequest to support the John Moawad Scholarship and the Robert M. Panerio, Sr. Trumpet Scholarship at CWU.

  • Mary Deaton (’72)

    I gave a scholarship in honor of my beloved mother, Vera Franklin Deaton, who passed away at age 94. She was the first person in the family to attend college and went to Central Washington State Normal School. She was, and always will be, my role model, and she helped make it possible for me to attend college at CWU as well. My scholarship fund honors her by helping current students remain in school to pursue their educational goals.