UW Tacoma celebrates Founders Day May 25

UW Tacoma will honor faculty, staff, students, alumni and one of the state’s most influential governors at the third-annual Founders Day ceremony May 25.

Former Washington Gov. Booth Gardner will be given the Community Founders Award for his support of the university. UW Tacoma will also honor Bill Richardson, the departing director of the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences program, and other outstanding faculty, staff, students and alumni for their service in the past year. The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. in Carwein Auditorium and is open to the public.

Gardner, who will not be able to attend the ceremony, served as the 19th governor of Washington from 1985-93 and signed the legislation establishing UW Tacoma. A special friend of the campus, Gardner is a 1958 graduate of the UW and former Pierce County executive and state senator.

The annual Founders Day celebration honors the contributions of faculty, staff, students and the community to UW Tacoma. Awards to be given at this year’s ceremony include:

1. Distinguished Teaching Award — Cheryl Greengrove

Associate Professor Cheryl Greengrove (IAS) has a lively personality and deep devotion to science that make her an exciting, informative teacher. As a physical oceanographer, Greengrove delights in sharing her love of the ocean with others. Nominators said her tireless energy and passion for her work inspires students to do their best.

2. Distinguished Researcher Award — Marcy Stein

Professor Marcy Stein (Education) has made a name for herself nationally as a researcher in the education of low-performing children. While her research spans many aspects of education, recently she has focused on developing a reliable method for evaluating commercial reading and math curricula, an invaluable tool for teachers who want to make the best choices for their students.

3. Distinguished Service Award — Bob Hardie

Assistant Manager Bob Hardie (Student Life) is known across campus for his enthusiasm, energy and hard work. Some students, grateful for Hardie’s dedication to students, call him “Mr. Fabulous.” Students and staff alike said Hardie emphasizes customer service, leads by example and always puts the needs of students first.

4. Distinguished Service Award — Laurie McKay

Program Assistant Laurie McKay (Nursing) is known as an invaluable asset to the Nursing Program team. Nominators noted her flawless handling of complex situations and ability to handle work smoothly. One nominator said
she is “unfailingly gracious and graceful” and performs her job with confidence, patience and organization. Considered by her co-workers to be a problem-solver, McKay works hard to support and inspire everyone she works with.

5. Distinguished Alumni Award — Allison Drago

One of the first graduates of UWT’s Educational Administration program, Allison Drago ’02 has demonstrated commitment and character as an educational administrator. Drago, principal of Sunset Elementary in University Place since 2002, has established herself as a highly effective educational leader and earned the affection and respect of her colleagues, supervisors and students for her deep knowledge of instruction and character-centered leadership.

6. Rod Hagenbuch Award — Catherine Crook

Environmental Science student Catherine Crook is a perfect example of how students can have a positive impact on UWT. President of the group Project Earth, she spearheaded a plan to improve UWT’s recycling program and won $17,000 from the Student Activities Fees Committee to have more recycling bins placed on the UWT campus.