Washington State University announced today the plan to establish an endowed deanship in the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, and an endowed directorship in Cougar Athletics, thanks to a generous future gift intention from Bruce Amundson and Julie Parker.
When funded, the Bruce Amundson and Julie Parker Endowed Deanship for the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and the Bruce Amundson and Julie Parker Endowed Directorship for WSU Intercollegiate Athletics will ensure the leaders of these programs have access to discretionary resources to leverage emerging opportunities, maximize the impact on students, and boost the strategic direction for their programs. The endowments will also help WSU retain and attract top leadership talent who will ensure the vision and reputation for the Murrow College and Cougar Athletics will flourish.
“Bruce and Julie are wonderful friends to WSU, and their past and present support touches the lives of countless students and faculty each year,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz. “This commitment is a testament for how transformational opportunities can be realized for both academia and athletics through the power of philanthropic investment, which in turn raises the bar for excellence University-wide.”
“As the WSU community continues to navigate unprecedented challenges, it is reassuring to know that we have a close-knit community of alumni and friends—like Bruce and Julie—who are committed to securing the future of WSU in perpetuity,” Schulz added.
Amundson is a 1975 graduate of WSU, earning a degree in political science. While a student, Bruce served as a reporter and editor for the Daily Evergreen, the student newspaper for Washington State University. He is a member of the Murrow Professional Advisory Board and the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees.
“Many WSU experiences shaped my life, but the two that stand out were the countless hours I spent in Murrow Hall working at the Daily Evergreen and attending sporting events as a reporter and a fan,” Amundson said. “One led to a career, the other a passion for Cougar Athletics. Over the years these influences have been reflected in annual donations, season ticket purchases, and volunteer work as we’ve watched with pride the upward trajectory for Murrow and Cougar Athletics.”
Parker is a 1977 graduate of the University of Washington, with a degree in communications. She served as an editor at The Herald in Everett for nearly 10 years before earning a second degree in apparel design from Western Washington University. She is the author of four books about textile fibers and fabrics, which are used by leading university textile programs nationwide.
Bruce and Julie’s commitment reflects their desire to create future discretionary funding that will position WSU’s Murrow College and Cougar Athletics to nimbly make the strategic investments that will deliver the greatest impact for students. It also demonstrates their confidence in Schulz’s vision for the University, and honors the leadership of Bruce Pinkleton, Dean of the Murrow College of Communication; and Pat Chun, Director of Cougar Athletics.
“We are lucky to have leaders like Dean Pinkleton and AD Chun at WSU,” Amundson continued. “But as Julie and I learned more about these programs, we became aware of the challenges each faces and that future success is not guaranteed. Annual giving helps, but it didn’t seem to provide the stability to position these programs for long-term success. It’s our hope that through the estate planning process we’re helping address that concern and are positioning Murrow and Cougar Athletics for continued leadership as they shape future Cougs for important roles in the world.”
“I appreciate Bruce’s insightful engagement and leadership, and have benefited from his sage perspective and advice,” said Pinkleton. “He and Julie are dear friends who represent the very best of WSU and Edward R. Murrow’s brilliant legacy. Their investment will help secure the journalistic integrity and excellence in communication our society depends on now more than ever before, and which are lasting hallmarks of the Murrow College experience.”
“On behalf of Cougar Athletics, we say ‘thank you’ to Bruce and Julie for their thoughtful commitment to Washington State University,” Chun said. “Their philanthropic investments will impact countless student-athletes and students within the Department of Athletics and Murrow College of Communication for years to come.”
“Through their generous commitment, Bruce and Julie are investing in the excellence for both of these programs, and helping to secure the future in the process,” said Lisa Calvert, Vice President of Advancement and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “Endowed unrestricted support provides future leaders the ability to nimbly invest in strategic opportunities as they evolve, positioning their programs ahead of the curve.”
Calvert noted that generous investments from WSU’s alumni and friends are transformational to ensure stability and excellence at WSU system-wide long into the future. “In these challenging times, we are reminded that for 130 years, WSU has been there for its students and for the communities and industries who look to us for solutions. Through it all, thanks the generous and visionary support of people like Bruce and Julie, WSU perseveres and thrives.”