Husky Giving Day is an annual fundraising campaign for the University of Washington where alumni and friends have the opportunity to give to the causes and programs that they care about most at UW. The 2021 Husky Giving Day took place on April 8th. Overall, the University of Washington raised over $2M from almost 6,000 donors. The Department of History received gifts from 53 donors totaling $18,495! History received the most support out of all the other departments in the UW College of Arts & Sciences.
We are so thankful to everyone who participated in this year's Husky Giving Day and showed their support for the Department of History! We are especially thankful to Advisory Board Chair Debbie Galuska, who made a $5,000 challenge gift to help inspire her fellow alumni to give! With private support we are able to better support our students and faculty so that they have the resources they need to perform research, travel, invite guest speakers to campus, engage in public history work, and keep courses innovative and engaging. Private support was especially critical this past year to support our students through the COVID-19 pandemic and help faculty adapt their courses for online teaching.
While Husky Giving Day supporters were able to choose the History funds that they preferred, we focused on raising support for the Larry Lee Sleizer Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is awarded to 15 to 20 students annually on the basis of academic excellence and commitment to the study of history to help them pay for books, tuition fees, and living costs. Past Sleizer scholarship winners have gone on to receive recognition on campus for their outstanding scholarship and leadership.
One of our 2020 Sleizer scholarship recipients, Ryan Mealiffe, said "receiving the Sleizer scholarship helped relieve some of the financial uncertainty at the start of the pandemic, and more importantly, reinforced my academic direction." Similarly, 2019 Sleizer recipient Calvin Paulson, pictured left, wrote, "the Sleizer scholarship was immensely helpful for me during my final year at UW, since it made it possible for me to worry less about tuition and fully apply myself to my studies." Calvin produced a fantastic thesis for the History Honors Program titled “Thought Readers, Day Dreamers, and Children: British Intelligence Networks During the South African War, 1899-1902.” Calvin is now pursuing a graduate degree in history at the University of California, Berkeley!
Meredith Weinstock, pictured right next to the Vltava River in Prague on her study abroad trip, received the Sleizer scholarship from 2018 to 2020, which helped alleviate the financial stress of paying out-of-state undergraduate tuition. With this added support spread over several years Meredith was "able to accomplish the History Honors series and complete minors in Germanics and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, all while having amazing experiences like studying abroad in the Czech Republic!"
Henry Zing received the scholarship in 2020 and also completed the History Honors program like Meredith and Calvin. Henry remarked, "the Sleizer scholarship provided me the freedom to explore my interests both on campus and in the mountains, culminating in my undergraduate thesis for the History Honors program: 'Desolation Dirtbags', a historical study of rock climbing in the Cascade Range." Henry is pictured here over 8,000 feet high as he nears the summit of Mount Formidable in the North Cascades.
Paula Araque, who received the Sleizer scholarship in 2019, completed her History Honors thesis on Colombian history, titled "The Mobilization of Campesinos into Colombia’s 21st Century Neoliberal National Project." That paper ended up winning the 2020 Power Prize for Outstanding Research Paper. Paula was also named the History Department's Outstanding Graduating Senior in 2020 for her truly exceptional scholarship and leadership. Since graduation she has "been working as an Upper Division Teaching Assistant at the Evergreen School, where [she has] not only supported middle schoolers in their history classes, but also [has] had the pleasure of helping develop curricula that brings Latin American history into their classrooms."
By giving to the Sleizer Scholarship Fund and the Department of History in general, donors are able to support students like these, who perform outstanding research under the direction of our distinguished faculty while in school, and then take what they've learned to continue making an impact in our community after graduation. Thank you to our fantastic history community for making the 2021 Husky Giving Day a success!