By Liz Gillespie
Toward the end of his life, Gordon Green wanted to give back to his community — the one place he always considered home, even when he didn’t live here. He wanted to give back to Bothell.
Gordon’s niece, Jan Hunter, felt the same way when she and her husband pledged a $1 million legacy gift to UW Bothell.
“Jan and Dick truly understand the importance of philanthropy and what it means for a university to be in a campaign,” said UW Bothell Chancellor Wolf Yeigh. “Jan announced their gift around the same time she agreed to become the UW Bothell Advisory Board chair.
“Her timing and her leadership,” he added, “inspired many other campus and volunteer leaders to make their own campaign commitments, which helped propel us past our $35 million Campaign for UW Bothell goal.”
A look back — and forward
Jan and Dick Hunter have given the University full discretion on how to spend their gift — a rarity with bequests.
“We would really like it to go to the greatest need, and there’s no way for us to know at this point what that will be,” said Hunter, who assumed her role as chair in July.
“I support UW Bothell because I believe in investing in the future. And I particularly believe in UW Bothell because I know there’s a good percentage of students here who are the first in their families to go to college, and that’s important to me,” she said.
Hunter’s ties to UW Bothell date back more than a decade, when she and her brothers helped their Uncle Gordon Green map out his vision of leaving a legacy that honored his family’s deep Bothell roots.
The Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory is a testament to that vision. The greenhouse, classroom and gardens on the edge of campus wetlands memorializes Green’s mother (Jan Hunter’s grandmother) and her lifelong devotion to gardening.
Investing in her community
Every year since facilitating her uncle’s gift, Hunter has deepened her involvement with UW Bothell, both as a donor and a volunteer. A member of the Advisory Board since 2015, Hunter gives to the University in numerous ways.
She is also a passionate supporter of an endowed study-abroad scholarship fund named after Anna Bui, a UW Bothell student from Mukilteo who died by gun violence in 2016. As a resident of Mukilteo herself, she was moved by the community’s efforts to support Anna’s family and honor her memory.
Hunter hasn’t lived in Bothell since she left for college, attending Whitman College then graduating from the University of Maryland, yet still and always will consider Bothell home.
“Having such an excellent University right here in my hometown — it’s a gift,” Hunter said.