All alums have a unique Husky story. I want to share mine.
I am a third-generation Husky. My maternal grandparents graduated in the 1920s and ’30s. My dad, Jim, was in school and on the football team when I was born and later coached here for 30 years, so I literally grew up around Husky Stadium. My connection to Husky Athletics became even stronger when I became a proud piccolo-playing member of the Husky Marching Band. I joined an amazing group of dedicated musicians and rabid Husky fans, many of whom remain my closest friends. Adding to the family fun, my brother Eric also attended the UW and played football.
But I want to highlight the less-well-known role that my mom, Beryl Simpson, played in my story. My mom is both my mentor and role model. She is a “double Dawg,” with both accounting and law degrees. When I was trying to decide on my major, she talked to me about the great foundation a business/accounting degree would provide. And, of course, she was right! I’ve been fortunate to have an impactful career in nonprofit and social-service executive leadership. It was also inspiring to have her attending law school while my brother and I were on campus.
I now add a new chapter to my Husky story with the honor to serve as president of the UW Alumni Association Board of Trustees. For more than 130 years, the UWAA has mobilized UW graduates and friends to make a profound difference in the life of the UW.
The UWAA has extraordinary volunteers and professional staff who share a deep commitment to building inclusion and belonging within our diverse community. I plan to continue the UWAA’s strong focus in broadening our community engagement and supporting UW’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
In the year ahead, we will be expanding our community-centered engagement initiatives to reach out to broader audiences and strengthen authentic relationships, focusing on historically underrepresented alums who may not have felt a sense of belonging in the past.
I’m also pleased to share an exciting new strategic alliance between the UWAA and University Book Store, one of our community’s oldest, independent bookstores. In the year ahead, the UWAA and the Book Store will explore new and meaningful ways to reach and serve the UW community, its alumni and the broader public at large.
I want to thank the thousands of UWAA members who have supported our University for generations and encourage all alumni to consider joining the UWAA in its support of the UW.
Keep an eye out for events and opportunities to engage with the UWAA in these new ways (be sure to check our website). As I continue to add to my Husky story, I invite you all to join me: Dive in and be active!