John and Mary Wilson Scholarship
After moving to Seattle from New York in 1907, John Wilson started a small shipyard. Eventually, he and other partners founded the AMES Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, which became one of the largest shipyards on the West Coast. He expanded his business into steel fabrication and electric heating equipment, served as president of the National Steel Construction Co., and took an interest in the University of Washington, particularly in crew. Mr. Wilson had a philanthropic bent, a trait he shared with his wife, Mary. He died in 1949 at age 69.
Mrs. Wilson was born in Michigan and lived in Seattle as a child. She graduated from the University of Washington in botany. A member of the Women’s University Club, Mary Wilson regarded the University highly, lived simply, and was interested in the medical profession’s affect on human welfare. She died of a heart attack at the age of 69, 10 years after her husband’s death.
Upon Mrs. Wilson’s death, the John and Mary Wilson Foundation was established. Mrs. Wilson’s will stipulated that a major portion of the foundation’s income be used to fund scholarships to third- and fourth- year students at the UW School of Medicine. Later, the University expanded the scholarship awards to include first- and second-year students. The foundation’s assets are held in trust and administered by Wells Fargo.