August 15, 2017 – Everett, Wash. – WSU Everett students studying STEM fields just received a financial boost from The Boeing Company. At the WSU Everett open house on Aug. 15, Boeing Vice President Bill McSherry announced the establishment of the Ray Stephanson Scholarship for STEM Leadership. A scholarship will be awarded annually to a student in technical field who has demonstrated leadership skills.
“Ray Stephanson has dedicated his career to improving the lives of people in his city and state, and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to building the higher education capacity in Snohomish County,” said Kevin McAllister, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing and our tens of thousands of employees in the state – thousands of whom are WSU graduates – are pleased to be able to create a lasting scholarship in his name that will help prepare local students for exciting STEM careers.”
Stephanson has served as mayor of the City of Everett since 2003. During his time in office, he was a vocal supporter of Boeing and a champion of strengthening and diversifying the economy of the city and region. Stephanson was also a tireless advocate for the community’s efforts to bring a four-year research institution to Everett. He and the late WSU President Elson S. Floyd were the driving forces behind the establishment of WSU Everett.
“Ray Stephanson’s leadership for the last four decades in Everett, on the Everett City Council, as president of Puget Sound Regional Council and as mayor, has resulted in unprecedented success for citizens and industry in this region,” said WSU Everett Chancellor Paul Pitre. “The scholarships that stem from this endowment will help students, families and industry.”
Boeing has supported WSU Everett students in several ways. A $250,000 gift from Boeing means WSU Everett’s new campus will be equipped with state-of-the art technology. In recognition of the generous gift and Boeing’s long-standing support for the university, WSU President Kirk Schulz designated an engineering lab on the first floor of the new 95,000-square-foot building in Everett as the Boeing Innovation Studio.
Each year, several teams of four WSU Everett students (one communication, one hospitality business management and two engineering) are selected as Boeing Scholars. These students participate in a multidisciplinary design course in which they address a Boeing-sponsored project with engineering and business components. At the end of the year the project concludes in a formal presentation to a team of Boeing mentors. Those mentors volunteer their time and expertise to help guide the teams through the real-world issues they would face on their product.