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Student-Athlete Scholarship Funds – A Living Legacy

By Amy Anderson

 One of the most tangible ways to leave your legacy at Washington Rowing is by funding a scholarship for a student-athlete. Over the years, hundreds of Husky rowers have received the opportunity to row at Washington through the generous support of privately endowed scholarships. Many have built friendships and credit their Husky rowing experience to their generous scholarship donor. These relationships extend outside of school and the boathouse, and can sometimes be lifelong.

At Washington, we take time and careful thought to match each endowed scholarship; we want to be sure that we recognize these special gifts by pairing student-athletes who share and personify the values and dedication of the donor.  It is an added benefit to be able to tell parents that our community is so deeply committed to this sport… that they have funded their daughter or son’s scholarship in perpetuity. It underscores the uniqueness, and tradition, that defines the culture of Washington Rowing:  we do this together.

George Pocock said that the ultimate swing came when “eight hearts beat as one.”  And as he knew, that idea—at Washington—extends beyond the boat.  It reaches into our families, our alumni, and our community.  There is no better example of that than the bonds that are formed through our endowed scholarships.  To all of these donors, we thank you for your very personal commitment to every Washington athlete who has benefited – and benefits today – from your generosity.

Here we feature a few of the unique bonds that have been forged between donor and athlete.

Applegate Endowed Women’s Rowing Scholarship

Current recipient: Elise Bueke, ‘19

In 2018, Joanne Applegate Jaech established the Applegate Endowed Women’s Rowing Scholarship in honor of her late dad, Charles Applegate, ‘38, who rowed at the UW. Charles was best friends with Joe Rantz, and although he didn’t row in the shell that won the Olympics, he traveled to Germany with the “boys” in 1936, the year they won gold. The inaugural recipient of Joanne’s scholarship is junior Elise Bueke of Sequim. Joanne says she was pleasantly surprised to find out Elise had been selected to receive her scholarship because she had known about Elise, who rowed at the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association. She said it is a “happy coincidence” that Elise is from Sequim, which is where Joanne retired to be closer to her parents before their passing… and of course the other happy coincidence: Joe Rantz was also from Sequim.



Class of ‘76 Endowed Men’s Crew Scholarship

Current recipient: Philipp Nonnast, ‘19

Fred Fox, ‘76, says he enjoys a casual friendship with the current recipient of his scholarship, senior Philipp Nonnast. Fred and Philipp have breakfast once a month or so after Saturday practices—at one of two Seattle institutions, Burgermaster or Voulas Offshore Cafe—and keep in touch via text. Fox says his goal is to listen and be a sounding board to Philipp, who is from Germany and is contemplating life after UW. For Fred, deciding to establish the Class of ‘76 Endowed Men’s Crew Scholarship ten years ago came as kind of an epiphany. He realized that some of the success he was enjoying in life was a result of going through the rowing program at UW where he learned a strong work ethic and created lifelong friendships. He wanted to give back in a meaningful way that would allow other young men to have the Washington Rowing experience. “It’s fun to watch the kids grown and develop over the four years they are at Washington,” says Fred. “It’s an honor to be a small part of their lives.”



John H. and Luanne Isom Mills Endowed Crew Scholarship

Current recipient: Gert-Jan VanDoorn, ‘21

John Mills, ’61, describes his family as a “family of rowers.” He and his younger brother rowed at Washington; his son rowed at Harvard; and his wife, Luanne is a national erg champion. So deciding to endow a scholarship for men’s rowing at UW seemed like a natural way of giving back to a program and a sport that has given them so much, John says. Since the scholarship was started in 2012, three rowers have received it including A.J. Brooks,’13, Stuart Sim, ‘17 and Gert-Jan Van Doorn, ’21. “We always have them over for Thanksgiving,” John noted. “And we go to their races, including the IRAs when we can.” John also says he bumps into their scholarship recipients a couple of times a year on campus. John audits UW classes as part of the “Access Student” program for people over 60 who want to continue learning. John attends class every day (except in the summer) and says he has taken 114 classes through the program.