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GRADUATE WASHINGTON EVENT RAISES FUNDS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION CHAMPIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2012

Contact: McKinley Smith
mckinley@graduatewashington.org

GRADUATE WASHINGTON EVENT RAISES FUNDS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION CHAMPIONS

The Scrappy-Savvy Organization Started by a Handful of Recent College Graduates Brings Awareness to Washington State Higher Ed Policy 

SEATTLE, Wash. – Graduate Washington hosted its first major fundraising event at The Makers Space in downtown Seattle. With over 200 attendees, the event emphasized nonpartisan policy to improve the state higher education system. Reiterating the need for affordable, quality education were keynote speakers Dow Constantine, King County Executive; Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Microsoft Corporation; and Brittney Henry, Miss Washington 2011. The event raised over $4,000 toward support higher education champions in the state legislator and promising legislative candidates vying for seats in the upcoming election.

“To meet projected needs of Washington state employers, we will need an additional 28,000 college graduates every year between 2012 and 2019,” said Brad Smith, General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Microsoft Corporation. “For this reason, it is imperative that we make higher education a priority in order to provide skilled workers to fulfill employment needs and to grow our state’s economy.”

Launched in Fall 2011 by a group of past student government activists from University of Washington, Western Washington University, Washington State University and Eastern Washington University, Graduate Washington aims to maintain and expand access to higher education for all students in Washington state through nonpartisan higher education advocacy, policy advancement, and support for higher education champions in the legislature.

“Supporting higher education is not a political issue, it is an issue of our region’s economic future,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “I am honored to be here speaking in support of Graduate Washington and to recognize those champions across the state who diligently advocate for accessible, quality higher education.”

The organization will begin the endorsement process for the 2012 state legislative elections in the next few months. For more information about Graduate Washington, the endorsement process, or how to become a member, visit www.graduatewashington.org.

Founded in 2011, Graduate Washington aims to maintain and expand access to higher education for all students in Washington state through nonpartisan higher education advocacy, policy advancement, and support for higher education champions in the legislature. We believe in strong state support in funding our public institutions to keep them affordable, accessible and academically rigorous and support higher education governance structures that are transparent and reflective of all stakeholders’ priorities.

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