Willamette University

Giving Back

Scholarship Connections: From Generosity Our Future Grows

The StewartsConnection: The Lindsay and Corinne Stewart Endowed Scholarship

Asked to reflect on their time at Willamette, Lindsay Stewart ’69, JD’73 and Corinne (Maxwell) Stewart ’71 remember forging lifelong friendships, meeting professors who imparted values and knowledge, and enjoying a grounded atmosphere in which to learn.

Life following Willamette has been full for the Stewarts. Corinne worked as a teacher before becoming a mother to their two children, while Lindsay pursued his law degree at Willamette’s College of Law. After he graduated, he worked as in-house counsel at Georgia Pacific. Later, he joined Nike, where he became the corporation’s vice president and chief administrative officer.

With their children grown and pursuing their own successful careers, the Stewarts began to consider how they might give back — including to the academic institutions that helped shape them. Firm believers in the power and importance of education, they chose to endow a scholarship at Willamette.

“Endowing a scholarship seemed the perfect gift as it ensures that others gain the opportunities we had. It has a perpetual nature and will hopefully provide opportunities to many, many students,” Lindsay says. “If society is to stay on the right path, more rather than fewer young people need to be provided the possibility of a higher education. Scholarships, grants and loans must be available to ensure this.”

The Stewarts hope that the recipients of their scholarship will embrace this opportunity to the fullest, become successful in their chosen fields and ultimately provide others with similar opportunities through their own philanthropy.

Erin Kahn ’14Erin Kahn ’14

“Whenever I think about it, I am just amazed that someone who doesn’t even know me would give me the opportunity to help me accomplish my goals,” says Erin Kahn ’14, the first recipient of the Lindsay and Corinne Stewart Endowed Scholarship. “It encourages me to work harder and do my best.”

Attending Willamette was a dream Kahn had her sights on ever since she was young. “Campus just felt so right. The classes at Willamette really appealed to me, and I liked the music program,” she says.

Now in her sophomore year, she is busy volunteering, playing in the wind ensemble and exploring a major in English. She hopes to pursue a career in writing or teaching.

“Without the support I received from scholarships like this one, I wouldn’t be able to attend Willamette. It made this whole experience possible and has meant so much to me,” she says.

Royal Nakano ’28Connection: Royal S. Nakano Scholarship

Royal Nakano ’28 always had a soft spot in his heart for Willamette. His daughter, Mira Histed, says he spoke fondly of his time at WU in the late 1920s — particularly his time playing for Willamette’s football team as the star quarterback in 1927.

After Willamette, Nakano and his wife, Rosa, had 12 children. He worked as a landscape gardener in Portland until the start of World War II, when everything changed.

Nakano lost his business, home and freedom in 1942 when he was incarcerated in a Japanese-American internment camp in Minidoka, Idaho.

Through the help of one of Nakano’s friends from Willamette, the family received financial and moral support; eventually, he became a farmer. Despite such a setback, Histed says her father accepted life’s circumstances with grace and forgiveness.

Mira Histed and her husband, GeorgeHe also inspired in his children a lifelong love of education. When Histed and her husband, George, were in the position to make a gift, they chose to honor Nakano through an endowed scholarship at Willamette.

“Too often students with the desire to learn and the ability to advance in college and beyond are prohibited from pursuing their dreams because of financial limitations,” Histed says. “George and I hope that the recipients of my father’s scholarship will have happy and successful lives and will one day assist other students.”

Ariel Osborne ’12Ariel Osborne ’12

Ariel Osborne ’12 was raised in Sonoma, Calif., which she describes as an interesting mix of old farming families, epicures migrating from busier places, and a proud Latino culture. When considering her college choices, Willamette stood out to her as a place that offered students ample opportunities to engage with their professors, learn through fieldwork, and serve the community.

Ariel has not been disappointed in her choice. “It’s been amazing to reflect on how the people I’m meeting and stories I am learning now are shaping where I will be going in the world. I have found lifelong friends, mentors, causes that inspire me, and, most scholarship donors like the Histeds has inspired me to think more about how I can educate the next generation.”

These are just two stories of hundreds that illustrate the important connections between scholarship donors and students. This year, donors provided $4.2 million in endowed scholarship support. We are grateful to the many generations of alumni and friends who have provided the invaluable gift of education to our students.

More at willamette.edu/support.