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Ranchers Gift Says Thanks, Helps Build for Future

PULLMAN, Wash. — Major gifts to universities often come from alumni who want to thank their institutions for preparing them for success, and help another generation get off to a good start.

But when Dick and Betty Garvey, Colville ranchers, established a $410,000 Charitable Remainders Unitrust for Washington State University their motivation was a little different.

Neither Dick nor Betty, nor any of their four children or seven grandchildren, attended WSU. Their gift recognized how both their ranching and family lives have been tremendously influenced by WSU’s extension programs, including 4-H.

The Garveys credit WSU Cooperative Extension with providing answers to questions and access to agricultural and forestry information that helped them succeed in ranching. The Garveys already have expressed appreciation for that help by allowing College of Agriculture and Home Economics scientists and extension faculty to establish research and demonstration plots on their land.

They have been associated with extension since working with then Stevens County Chair Joe Maxwell in the mid-1950s. After Maxwell’s retirement in 1973 they have worked with Chair Wayne Madson and other Stevens County extension faculty.

They also credit extension’s 4-H program with helping their children and grandchildren and hundreds of other Stevens County youth develop important life skills.

The couple founded the “Hilltoppers” 4-H club more than 30 years ago. Today it remains one of the county’s largest and most active clubs.

Details of how WSU will use revenues from the trust are still being worked out, but Madson says the Garveys are strongly committed to distance education and its benefits for place-bound students.

“They feel that if the opportunity to attend WSU in Colville had been available over the years, maybe some of the Garvey family would be WSU alums.”

With development of WSU’s Extended Degree Program and Extended Learning Centers, it will be much easier for people in remote regions of the state to become WSU alums.

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