PULLMAN — Rhoda L. Altom, real estate entrepreneur and community activist, was awarded the WSU Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award on Monday, Jan. 25 for her exemplary career in real estate and for her tireless work to improve pediatric health care, medical research and women’s issues in the Seattle area.
 
In 1980, Altom became the first woman to graduate from WSU’s construction management program. She joined the real estate development firm Wright Runstad & Company, where she was instrumental in the Seattle area’s first implosion demolition. After leaving Wright in 1989, she founded Milestone Properties Inc., a commercial real estate company specializing in shopping centers. Today, she is president of Milestone Properties and oversees its portfolio of properties across the country.
 
Altom has a special affinity for health care and women’s issues. After her daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor, Altom founded the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund (PBTRF), which supports research and treatment for pediatric brain tumors at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She serves on the PBTRF board and chairs the Children’s Hospital Finance Committee; she is also a nine-year member of the Children’s Hospital Circle of Care. She established the Pediatric Epilepsy Foundation at the University of Washington after her son was diagnosed with epilepsy.
 
She founded the YWCA Endowment Guild and is now an emeritus member and past president of the YWCA Board. Working with the YWCA of Seattle, Altom helped to found the Women’s Professional Lunch and Angeline’s Daycare, which provides childcare for working homeless women. She is a past co-chair of the capital campaign for Northwest Schools and a Board Trustee at Cornish College of the Arts and Health Team Northwest.
 
Altom and her husband, Cory Carlson, established the Altom+Carlson Foundation to support various organizations including PBTRF, Children’s Hospital, Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, Washington Women’s Foundation and YWCA.
 
The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the WSUAA. Since 1970, 481 recipients have received the Alumni Achievement Award.
 
For more information, contact Christina Parrish, assistant director of alumni engagement, at 509-335-6907 or parrishc@wsu.edu.