Local estate awards $10 million to local colleges

Seventeen technical and community colleges will use the funds for scholarships, grants

A large gift of $10 million will be split among multiple technical and community colleges in King and Pierce County thanks to a generous family estate.

The gift comes from the estate of Eva Gordon, who passed away in 2018.

Gordon was a hard-working woman who was ahead of her time, according to a press release from Western Washington Community Colleges.

“Having lived a long and happy life she had few regrets, save one: not having a formal education herself,” the press release stated.

“If I had a scholarship when I got out of high school, I could have done so much more,” Gordon said in a 2013 profile by South Seattle College.

Because of the gifted monies, students at 17 Washington community and technical colleges will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. The gift is one of the largest to community and technical colleges in Washington State, with each college foundation receiving approximately $550,000, according to the press release.

Gordon, who died at the age of 101, grew up on an orchard in Eugene, Oregon and graduated at the top of her high school class. Little by little she invested money from meager paychecks to build a fortune and give back to others. During this time, Gordon loved seeing college students work hard and improve their lives, wishing she could have been a student herself if money hadn’t been so tight in her younger years.

“A lot of people didn’t know the wealth she had. If there was a coupon for two-for-one at Applebee’s, she was all about that,” stated John Jacobs, her godson and estate representative in the press release. “She liked seeing students working, earning and doing things. Her goal was to provide an opportunity for those folks who could ill-afford it, whether vocational training or academic skill.”

  • Bates Technical College
  • Cascadia College
  • Clover Park Technical College
  • Edmonds Community College
  • Everett Community College
  • Grays Harbor College
  • Green River College
  • Highline Community College
  • Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • North Seattle College
  • Pierce College Foundation
  • Renton Technical College
  • Seattle Central College
  • Shoreline Community College
  • Skagit Valley College
  • South Puget Sound Community College
  • Tacoma Community College

“Students succeed at Renton Technical College through their own determination and hard work,” Kevin McCarthy, President, Renton Technical College, stated in the press release. “But many encounter obstacles, and sometimes a scholarship or emergency grant makes the difference that allows them to stay in school. This amazing gift will provide support to reduce barriers for more students so they can stay on their educational paths.”

“We are very grateful for the gift made by the estate of Eva Gordon,” Dr. Suzanne M. Johnson, President of Green River College stated in the release. “Across Western Washington access to a college education will increase significantly as a result of Eva’s thoughtful philanthropy. At Green River College this gift will provide countless students with access to education and all the benefits that provide across their lifetimes. We can’t wait to put this gift to work opening the doors of opportunity to more students.”

With jobs, family responsibilities and a median age of 26, Washington’s community and technical college students are often one step away from having to quit college to pay the bills, the press release stated. The recipient college foundations will be able to help students pay for books, fees, supplies, technology needs, housing, transportation, food, child care and unexpected financial emergencies that could otherwise stand in the way of their success. Each college foundation will work with its board and school administrators to decide how funds are allocated to maximize opportunities for students.

More in News

A proposal by Senate Democrats would require concealed pistol license applicants in Washington state to complete a safety course. File photo
Democrats seek firearm training requirement for concealed carriers

Republican senator calls proposal ‘unconstitutional.’

Snohomish County man is first U.S. case of new coronavirus

A man in his 30s was hospitalized in Everett after contracting the virus during a trip to China.

Alexander, who attended the event with his family that are currently housed at Mary’s Place, shows off his new shoes, compared to the pair he’s had the last two years. The shoes were just one of the resources his family accessed at the United Way Family Resource Exchange on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20 at Lindbergh High School.
MLK’s humanity reflected in resource fair

United Way host Family Resource Exchange event

Photo courtesy of Carol Kaelson. Christel Tucker, a Renton resident and flight attendant, stands at the wheel at Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs Monday, Jan. 20.
Rentonite spins the wheel of her dreams

Local finds herself winning thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17 at the state Capitol in Olympia. Marshall condemned Republican leadership in the House of Representatives, which expelled Rep. Matt Shea from the Republican Caucus. Marshall announced his candidacy for the 2nd District seat held by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. Photo by Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service
Gun rights advocates rally at Capitol

Criticism levied at Matt Shea investigation, Republican leadership.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (center) announced a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in a press conference Jan. 2. Debbie Warfield of Everett (left) lost her son to a heroin overdose in 2012. Skagit County Commissioner Lisa Janicki (right) lost her son to an overdose of OxyContin in 2017. They are joined by Rep. Lauren Davis of Shoreline (second from right), founder of the Washington Recovery Alliance. (TVW screenshot)
AG Bob Ferguson talks lawsuits, gun control

Washington state Attorney General stopped by Sound Publishing’s Kirkland office.

Sen. Mona Das, D-Kent, the primary sponsor of SB 5323, speaking on the bill. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Sabio-Howell)
Proposed law adds a fee to plastic bags at checkout

Senate passes bill to ban single-use plastic bags, place 8-cent fee on reusable plastic bags.

In November 2019, Washington voters approved Initiative 976, which calls for $30 car tabs. Sound Publishing file photo
Republicans try to guarantee $30 car tabs amid court hangup

Lawmakers sponsor companion bills in the House and Senate.

King County Metro’s battery-electric bus. Photo courtesy of kingcounty.gov
King County could bump up Metro electrification deadlines

Transportation generates nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

Most Read