CWU News

Boeing Donates $1 Million to Central Washington University Foundation to Honor CWU Alumnus Ray Conner

The Central Washington University Foundation has received a $1 million donation from The Boeing Company to commemorate the career of CWU alumnus, Ray Conner, retired president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and former vice chairman of The Boeing Company.

The donation is one of the largest outright gifts ever received by the CWU Foundation. It honors Conner’s 35 years of service to Boeing and will support the university’s Ray and Katie Conner Endowed Scholarship, which benefits students from the Highline School district pursuing STEM degrees at Central.

“Boeing is honored to contribute to this scholarship at Central Washington University as a tribute to Ray and Katie Conner,” said Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg. “Ray’s remarkable career and lasting contributions to the aerospace industry are powerful reminders of the importance of a high-quality education. We’re confident that students who receive these scholarships will be inspired by his legacy and feel empowered to pursue their dreams.”

Conner, a 1979 CWU alumnus, had a highly successful career at Boeing, starting as a machinist nearly four decades ago, before working his way up to leading the company’s commercial airplane business unit. Throughout Conner’s life, he has also given back to his alma mater, through his time, talents, and philanthropy.

“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 CWU Distinguished Alumnus. “One of the best ways I can give back is to provide students with the same opportunity I had.”
Scott Wade, CWU vice president of University Advancement and executive director of the CWU Foundation, says Conner's impact will have a long-lasting effect on the lives of CWU students.

“On behalf of Central Washington University, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Boeing for their investment in the lives and success of our students,” Wade said. “This tremendous gift, in collaboration with Ray and Katie’s ongoing support, will impact generations of Central students for greater influence and impact in the professions they lead and the communities they serve.”

Media contact: Rick Paradis, Associate Vice President, University Advancement, 509-963-2703,