Campbell stresses compassion, passion, service to WSU grads

PULLMAN, Wash. — Phyllis Campbell, president and chief executive officer of the Seattle Foundation, urged Washington State University graduates Saturday to make choices guided by compassion, passion and service as a way to lead a fulfilling life.

“The world, whether it is the world of business, politics or the professions, needs you to make these intentional and crucial choices,” said Campbell, who said such choices would lead to “a good return on investment, a better community and a better world.”

About 640 graduates took part in the morning fall commencement ceremony at Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

Campbell is a WSU graduate and former member of the WSU Board of Regents. She was formerly the president of US Bank of Washington.

She said when she left her position at the bank, she was surprised that employees who wrote her notes invariably talked about the impact she made through individual personal acts rather than major business decisions.

“So much for the ‘big stuff.’ It really is the small acts of compassion and caring that people remember,” Campbell said.

Her own life choices took on an added immediacy when, while working in her first job out of college, she was diagnosed with, and treated successfully for, cancer. “The silver lining out of that year was that I got a second chance and I vowed to seize every day thereafter as an opportunity – to live life to the fullest,” Campbell said.

She pointed to her current work as head of the Seattle Foundation as a job she both felt passionate about and one that gives her the chance to serve the community.

“My job taps my passions and allows me to learn, grow and create that which I care about. I get to work with philanthropists from all walks of life who are also passionate about building a better world. This quality of passion is what leads to greatness,” Campbell said.

WSU President V. Lane Rawlins presided at the ceremony. ASWSU President Isaac Wells also addressed the gathering.

Next Story

Recent News

Reflecting on spring semester

In a letter to the WSU community, President Kirk Schulz emphasizes the university’s commitment to free speech and the importance of recognizing our shared humanity.

WSU offers expanded equine reproductive care and advanced techniques

The expanded service, which will take advantage of a newly repurposed facility and pasture on Terre View Drive, will be dedicated to clients seeking equine reproductive care and will nearly double onboarding space for mares, foals, and stallions at the hospital.