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College of Education

The Power of Giving

Retired Professor Creates Scholarship Through Estate Plans

College of Education Professor Emeritus Nina Valerio recently established a scholarship for students in the MIT program through a planned gift in her will. Her thoughtful gift was prompted by a promise that she made to her mother before her mother passed away in 2009. It is the third scholarship created in her family’s tradition of giving in support of educational opportunities.

The Laureta L. Valerio & Family Teaching for Justice & Diversity Scholarship (named after Nina’s mother) will support students who are enrolled in the Masters in Teaching Program in pursuit of a K-12 teaching career. Recipients must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and be able to demonstrate financial need. In addition, qualified applicants must show a personal commitment and dedication to teaching profession and justice education. There will be a preference for students of Filipino heritage or underrepresented students of color.

Valerio’s scholarship will provide tuition, fees, books, and other educational expenses for students who would not otherwise be able to afford the MIT program. Her gift was one of three scholarships created in a multi-generational tradition of giving that began with her grandmother, Fermina Cruz de Leon. Her grandmother planted a family seed of philanthropy by establishing a scholarship for poor youth who could not afford a high school education in the Philippines. Later, her mother, Laureta L. Valerio, followed suit by creating a second scholarship at the same school in their town of Taytay, Rizal.

“Although my mother, a widow with six children, only completed a high school education, she strongly believed in the value of a college degree,” explained Valerio. “Before my mother passed away in 2009, I promised that I would carry on the tradition of giving that my grandmother had started.”


Morford Scholar Makes a Difference for Wenatchee Special Needs Students

A scholarship established in honor of John Morford, the founder of the Educational Leadership doctoral program, is making a difference for Wenatchee students with special needs. The link between the two is doctoral candidate Laurel White, a speech pathologist in special education in the Wenatchee School District. White recently received the Morford Scholarship, which is awarded to first-year students in the EDLR program. White shared the following letter of gratitude to College of Education donors for what the Morford Scholarship has helped her accomplish:

“It is my goal to work on a dissertation that analyzes post-secondary outcomes for English Language Learners with special needs in the state of Washington, a goal that would not have been realized without your generous support. The mentorship from the professors at Seattle University and doctoral candidates in the EDLR Program have made a positive change in my life that cannot be overstated.”

Donor Impact

Giving impacts the college by facilitating research, fueling community partnerships, and growing scholarships, among others. You can explore these initiatives in the college's donor impact magazine, Spark, available online. 


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