Virtual Roundtable: Graduation Funders

Virtual Roundtable: Graduation Funders


Our "virtual roundtable" interviews feature a group of leaders from across our network who work on a common issue area, illuminating the diversity of place-based approaches to the shared topic. We kicked this series off in February with the CEOs of five healthcare conversion foundations, then continued in March with the Pacific Northwest's seven statewide nonprofit associations, April with four arts funders, May with five rural funders, June with four philanthropic banks, and July with CEOs of five foundations supporting our Momentum Fellowship, a leadership program designed to expand our sector's diversity, equity and inclusion.

For August, we interviewed leaders from five foundations working to improve high school and college graduation rates: Ben B. Cheney Foundation, The CIRI Foundation, College Spark Washington, Pride Foundation and Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation.

Susan Anderson

The CIRI Foundation
Susan was one of TCF's first scholarship recipients when it was established in 1982 to encourage education and career development of Alaska Native enrollees and their descendants. MORE>>

Brad Cheney

Ben B. Cheney Foundation
Founded by Brad's father, the Ben B. Cheney Foundation aims to improve the quality of life in Pierce County, Washington and parts of Oregon and California where the Cheney Lumber Company was active, by making grants to a wide range of community activities — including high school education programs.  MORE>>

Christine McCabe

College Spark Washington
Christine's relationship with College Spark goes back to its beginning, when its predecessor Washington Guaranteed Student Loan Association helped put her through college. Since 2005, College Spark has committeed more than $45 million to help low-income students across Washington state become college-ready and earn their degrees.  MORE>>

Mike Halligan

Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation
Born, raised and college-educated in Montana, Mike leads the Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation in supporting public policy and the Graduation Matters Montana initiative's efforts to boost high school completion rates across the state.  MORE>>

Gunner Scott

Pride Foundation
Gunner oversees Pride Foundation's scholarship program, which has helped more than 1,400 Northwest LGBTQ students and allies since 1993. The scholarships may be used for any post-secondary education, including nontraditional degrees, trade or technical programs, community colleges, four-year public and private universities and accredited certificate programs.  MORE>>


We will continue exploring this topic and the previous Virtual Roundtable discussions at our conference next month, Under One Sky in Missoula, Montana.

To suggest a theme for our next Virtual Roundtable, email Nicole Neroulias Gupte, senior communications manager.