Recast | Evergreen graduates fund the future

From: “Walker, Amanda” <>
Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at 11:19 AM

Dear colleagues, 

Despite the many headwinds we face, I am ever inspired by the generosity of our graduates—and today, even more so.  

It is with great joy and gratitude that I share incredible news (below) of two historic gifts recently made to Evergreen by our alumni.  

The generosity of these graduates is a testament to the lifelong impact of their Evergreen educations, shaped by the courageous faculty who built our college in the first years after we opened fifty years ago. Moreover, these gifts demonstrate faith in our current efforts to build a bright future in which our college flourishes for another fifty years.  

Every gift, no matter the size, is secured, received, processed, and used effectively thanks to the efforts of many, many people, working in partnership, often for years. It involves building connection, conveying a vision for the future over a sustained period of time, and nurturing engagement. Please join me in thanking the many staff, faculty, and leaders past and present who have played key roles. 

With appreciation, 


A huge, heartfelt thanks to: 


  • Especially Paul Rudnick, Abby Kelso, John McLain, Correan Barker, and Erin Moore 
  • Additionally, every currently serving advancement team member collaborates to secure and to steward gifts like this including Pat Barte, Helle Burlingame, Jim Burlingame, Yahui Chi, Haley Diggs, Bree Grim, Ray Janssen-Timmen, Kelly Matson, James McPherson, Jaileen Merced, Bianca Milevoj, Ann Rogers-Williams, Katherine Sackmann, and Jess Thrift 
  • Former advancement staff especially involved include Sophie Bustetter, Dan Evans, Debbie Garrington, Susan Muir, Katsu Park, and Javier Womeldorff 

Student and Academic Life 

  • Especially David McAvity and faculty who led the development of a new vision for climate action and sustainability through New Academic Directions: Kristina Ackley, Krishna Chowdary, Rachel Hastings, Shangrila Joshi, and Prita Lal  

Finance & Operations 

  • Especially John Carmichael, David Kohler, and Bentse Bianbaciren 
  • Additionally, Sandy Mullin, Michelle Andis, and Katie Sample 

And from across campus and beyond 

  • Admissions and financial aid: Eric Pedersen, Jazmyne Kozak, Colby Morelli 
  • Other members of the senior team not listed above: George Bridges, Susan Harris, Tina Kuckkahn-Miller, Jeremy Mohn, Sandy Kaiser, Therese Saliba, and Jeannette Smith  

Evergreen graduates fund the future
The Evergreen State College Foundation received two historic donations from generous graduates of the college. The two $1 million commitments will launch new programs as the college celebrates its fiftieth year of teaching and learning and embarks on a new vision for its future.Establishing a center to prepare new generations of climate and sustainability leaders
Graduates Christy Holz and Tim Ball have donated $1 million to fuel Evergreen’s work on climate action and sustainability. Evergreen has recently embarked on a bold rethinking of how to renew and deepen its commitment to environmental education in the context of developing New Academic Directions, a college-wide initiative to reimagine and retool Evergreen’s unique educational model for the needs of today’s students. Holz and Ball’s gift will transform opportunities for Evergreen students, the college, and the state of Washington to address the urgent crisis of climate change. With this support, the college will launch the Evergreen Center for Climate Action and Sustainability, a synergistic campus hub to transform how students gain the knowledge and abilities they need to be climate leaders during the next, critical 50 years. Evergreen will launch a search for a center director this year. The donation provides for hands-on learning opportunities for students, such as internships, undergraduate research, and more, to enable applied learning while studying at Evergreen and beyond.Part of a vanguard of environmental leaders that have graduated from Evergreen since it opened, Holz and Ball have been business founders, partners, and board members in solar energy companies since the early 1980s. From startup, through mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings, they helped grow the solar energy industry by creating several top solar companies nationwide. In their first 20 years, they developed solar electric systems and training around the world. During the last 17 years they focused on the U.S. market.Reflecting on the intent behind this gift, Holz said: “Climate action is the greatest opportunity for entrepreneurship, leadership, and purposeful endeavor of our time. Transformative change requires transformative education to understand and ultimately solve the challenges ahead. Now is the time to act. Evergreen is uniquely prepared to educate tomorrow’s leaders who can tackle this very real crisis. —Christy Holz
Ensuring an exceptional Evergreen education for future students 

Graduate John Hennessey has also pledged $1 million to make a lasting impact on future generations of Evergreen students. Hennessey’s gift combines a legacy commitment through his estate and direct support for a new program launching this year. The program will enable other graduates and friends of the college to leave legacies, too. Thanks to Hennessey’s gift, Evergreen MPA graduate Helle Burlingame has been hired as a dedicated planned giving officer. Burlingame will work with donors interested in leaving a bequest or other gift through their estates in support of Evergreen.
After working for the Carter White House, Hennessey served as a management consultant at several national firms, including Arthur D. Little and Arthur Young & Co. (now Ernst & Young). At Bankers Trust, he designed a financial risk management system. At Fidelity Investments, he designed a customer-based online brokerage system. Hennessey served as Director of the Systems Integration Bureau for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has lived in the Boston area for over 30 years and is currently an investor with Boston Harbor Angels, a group of business leaders who help entrepreneurs grow their startup businesses.In announcing this gift and its critical importance for Evergreen’s future, Hennessey said: “I came to Evergreen in the 1970s because it offered optimists like me an education to help make the world a better place. Evergreen has held on to those values, and the kind of opportunities it provides students are needed more than ever. I am honored not only to be a part of Evergreen’s history, but to help ensure its vibrant future by inspiring others to join me. —John Hennessey
Hennessey, Holz, and Ball studied at Evergreen at the same time. In fact, Hennessey and Holz both lived on the tenth floor of Building A in the 1970s. Launching Evergreen’s next 50 years
Holz and Hennessey both serve on Evergreen’s Foundation Board of Governors. They give generously of their time and talents to steward the foundation and encourage support for Evergreen’s mission, students, and strategic initiatives.
Foundation Board Chair and Evergreen graduate Chris Meserve said: “Thank you, Christy, Tim, and John, for your generosity and leadership. Your gifts bring much needed support for students today, and at the same time anchor Evergreen’s growth and sustainability as we embark on our next 50 years of making a difference. I am especially pleased that these remarkable gifts came from Evergreen graduates in support of future generations of Greeners. —Chris Meserve

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