Columns: UWAA looks ahead, celebrates top alumni

For me, the honor of serving as your UW Alumni Association president this past year has been rewarding in so many ways. I have worked with scores of devoted alumni and University of Washington staff, and I have been inspired by the more than 50,000 UWAA members who passionately represent our UW community.

The thing I am most proud of is the establishment of UW Impact ( as a resource for mobilizing alumni to speak out on behalf of the University. Through UW Impact, we are engaging alumni and friends across the state on the issues important to public higher education. We are making a difference, and as we look to the future and the UW’s 150th anniversary in 2011, we are very fortunate to have Susan Williams, ’73, taking over as UWAA president on Aug. 1.

As the relationship between the state of Washington and its flagship university continues to evolve, budget cuts have received much of the attention, and rightfully so. Approximately half of our state funding has been eliminated in the past three years. But that should not overshadow the wonderful things continuing to happen in the UW community. There is much to celebrate.

Our schools and colleges remain among the highest ranked in the nation. Our star quarterback was picked No. 8 in the NFL Draft. And we have graduates like NOAA Director and Alumna of the Year Jane Lubchenco, ’71, and Distinguished Service Award recipient Trish Bostrom, ’72, who are honored on pages 30 and 39 of this issue, respectively.

This issue of Columns also introduces Michael K. Young as the next UW president.

A charismatic leader and renowned scholar, President Young brings renewed vigor to our institution and shares our commitment to a strong alumni community. Interim President Phyllis Wise served the University admirably throughout this transition, and I want to recognize her efforts and express my gratefulness for her inspirational leadership.

With your help, the UW Alumni Association will continue to be a strong advocate for the UW in the next 150 years. Join our growing member community at

Colleen Fukui-Sketchely
Colleen Fukui-Sketchley, ’94
President, UW Alumni Association