Alumni Day of Advocacy
Alums from all six universities rally for increased state support for public higher education
IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT you find a Husky, Viking, Wildcat, Coug, Eagle and Geoduck all in the same room. Yet that’s just what more than a dozen lawmakers experienced in their Olympia offices on February 18.
Three alums from each of Washington’s six public institutions (18 in total) banded together to convey an important message: A continued reinvestment is critical for the future of public higher education in Washington.
Years of drastic cuts and tuition hikes have taken their toll on students and families. An initial state reinvestment in the 2013-15 budget led to a much-needed tuition freeze, but Washington’s institutions would like to see another respite for residents.
A day of meetings in Olympia demonstrated a united front, and valuable lessons in civic engagement for a diverse group of alums.
“It was one of those special lifetime experiences for me, especially being a part of that higher ed team of six [institutions],” said Patti Brandt, a UW retired professor emerita in family and child nursing.
The alumni community is a critical source of advocacy for our future institutions. It is important for lawmakers to hear how higher education propelled the lives and businesses of alumni around the state. These stories reinforce the value of public higher education, and help spur public investment, and increase access to our institutions.