WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Robert Young ’55 has jumpstarted Whitman College’s new David Stevens Internship Endowment with an initial gift of $100,000 toward the college’s goal of $1 million.
Young, who was recognized at Whitman’s 2006 Commencement ceremonies with an honorary doctor of public service degree, is known for his philanthropy in the Tri-Cities and on the Whitman campus. An overseer emeritus, Young was a lead contributor to the construction of Whitman’s Reid Campus Center, where the Young Ballroom bears his family’s name, and an art gallery funded by Young is named for Stevens. In addition, he chaired his 50th reunion class’s fund-raising efforts, raising $4 million to endow one or more professorships at the college. This reunion gift, unprecedented in size, included a $3.6 million contribution from the Youngs, the single largest personal reunion gift to the college.
A business administration and economics major at Whitman, Young invested in property in the Tri-Cities after college. These investments formed the base of what is now the successful real estate development and management business Robert Young & Associates. From this base, Young has built his community and philanthropic efforts.
With this latest gift, Young honors his mentor David Stevens, who for nearly 50 years was a prominent faculty member, mentor and leader at Whitman. Stevens, an economics professor, was respected and loved by generations of students for his unwavering support of them, and this endowment will continue to support students by funding Whitman’s summer internship program in perpetuity.
Because paid summer internships have become more important and less available to undergraduate students, Whitman’s Career Center, with the help of the Parents Fund, established an internship fund to provide stipends to 20 to30 students each summer, so they can accept unpaid internships. Without these stipends, students would be unable to take advantage of these field experiences that future employers and graduate programs expect to see on resumes.
This year the Career Center was able to fund less than 70 percent of the applications submitted by students. Successful applicants received a stipend of $2,100. This vital program has received sufficient gifts and grants to fund it for the next two years after which the college plans to have raised enough money to permanently endow the program.
CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156