Legacy gift inspires goal-smashing generosity

Hunter family

Toward the end of his life, Gordon Green wanted to give back to his community — the one place he always considered home, even when he didn’t live here. He wanted to give back to Bothell.

Gordon’s beloved niece, Jan Hunter, felt the same way, when she and her husband pledged a $1 million legacy gift to UW Bothell.

“Jan and Dick truly understand the importance of philanthropy and what it means for a university to be in a campaign,” said UW Bothell Chancellor Wolf Yeigh.

“Jan announced their gift around the same time she agreed to become the Advisory Board Chair, and it created a surge of momentum. Her timing and her leadership inspired many other campus and volunteer leaders to make their own campaign commitments, which helped propel us past our $35 million Campaign for UW Bothell goal.”

Remarkable not only for their generosity, Jan and Dick Hunter have given the university full discretion on how to spend their gift — a rarity with bequests.

“We would really like it to go to the greatest need, and there’s no way for us to know at this point what that will be,” says Jan, who assumes her role as Advisory Board Chair in July.

The Hunters hope their gift will help UW Bothell maintain its high-caliber leadership and faculty, add more on-campus housing, and continue to open doors to students who face barriers to earning a college degree.

“I support UW Bothell because I believe in investing in the future,” Jan says. “And I particularly believe in UW Bothell because I know there’s a good percentage of students here who are the first in their families to go to college, and that’s important to me.”

Jan’s ties to UW Bothell date back more than a decade, when she and her brothers helped their Uncle Gordon — a fiercely frugal man who invested wisely — map out his vision of leaving a legacy that honored his family’s deep Bothell roots.

Dick and Jan Hunter

The Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory is a testament to that vision. The sprawling greenhouse, classroom, and gardens on the edge of the campus wetlands, memorializes Gordon’s mother (Jan’s grandmother) and her lifelong devotion to gardening.

Every year since facilitating her uncle’s gift, Jan Hunter has deepened her involvement with UW Bothell, both as a donor and a volunteer. A member of the UW Bothell Advisory Board since 2015, Jan gives to UW Bothell in numerous ways. She’s a devoted table captain at fundraising events, encouraging her guests to dig deep and give what they can.

Jan is also a passionate supporter of an endowed study-abroad scholarship fund named after Anna Bui, a UW Bothell student from Mukilteo who died by gun violence in 2016. As a resident of Mukilteo, herself, Jan was moved by the community’s efforts to support Anna’s family and honor her memory. Thanks in no small part to Jan’s generous support, the Anna Bui World of Hope Fund has raised nearly $100,000, giving 12 UW Bothell students the opportunity to study overseas.

Jan hasn’t lived in Bothell since she left for college, attending Whitman College then graduating from the University of Maryland, yet still and always will consider Bothell home.

“Having such an excellent university right here in my hometown — it’s a gift,” Jan says.

Jan is a true champion of UW Bothell, always eager to give and encourage others to do so as well.

“I really do think it’s important to give back,” Jan says. “We give back whenever we can. As much as we can.”