The University of Washington alumni community was saddened to learn of the passing of State Senator Scott White, who died Friday, October 21, of cardiac arrest brought on by an undiagnosed enlarged heart. White, who graduated from the Evans School of Public Affairs in 2001, also taught courses in legislative relations there until the end of 2009.
Senator White was an ardent supporter of higher education, and was also a friend of public transit. Both of these passions were on display earlier this year when he worked to restore funding to King County Metro and lobbied to maintain bus routes that affected the University. As a result, students were not affected by threatened route changes and cutbacks, and were able to enjoy strong transit access to campus.
UW Alumni Association Executive Director Paul Rucker was a classmate of White’s at the Evans School, and remembers him as a strong ally of higher education. “Scott understood well the value and impact of the UW and of higher education in the state of Washington,” Rucker said. “He understood the power higher education has to transform lives and the far-reaching effects it has in the community and across the globe. He was passionately committed to improving access and to making college affordable. He was a forceful advocate for the UW in Olympia, and his presence will be sorely missed.”
Jake Faleschini got to know Scott White while president of the UW’s Graduate and Professional Student Senate, and remembers him as always ready to lend a hand. “When I was first elected to represent the graduate students at the University of Washington I didn’t know one elected official in Washington State, and I was in over my head when I was charged with organizing an event where graduate students could meet their legislators. Scott heard about the event through a colleague and reached out to me and asked if there was anything he could do to help. He offered to speak on a panel. he corralled his fellow legislators to attend. And the event was an incredible success.”
Faleschini continued, “Scott was a flag bearer for the idea that everyone has something to contribute to our community, if they are only given the opportunity to succeed.”
A public memorial service for Senator Scott White will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 6, 2011 in the Meany Hall on the University of Washington Campus in Seattle. Meany Hall is located near the intersection of 15th Ave. NE and NE 40th St. Free parking is available in the Central Plaza Underground Garage, but attendees are encouraged to carpool to minimize congestion and parking issues..
Scott White is survived by his wife Alison and two children, aged 5 and 3.
Donations can be made to the Wedgwood Elementary PTSA, EarthCorps, or to the Scott White Memorial Fund, an education fund for his two children, which has been established at Wells Fargo:
Scott White Memorial Fund
PO Box 95675
Seattle, WA 98145-2675
Account Number: 1559550528
Routing Number: 125008547