In Donor Spotlight

hen University of Washington student Ruth Ross was assigned to an internship at the Olympic College library, she immediately found her calling.

“In those four weeks, I discovered the perfect match for me,” she recalled.

She was hired as a member of the OC library faculty three months later and stayed for 37 years, going out with a blast July 4, 2014, as dean of the library. Along the way, she became a passionate supporter of the college and the Olympic College Foundation.

“My planned gift will change lives for the better, forever.”

“Community colleges have a high percentage of people who are there by choice or by need or by virtue of the notion that they have figured out what they want and they’re ready to go get it. Those people are the ones who are invigorating to work with because they have found their focus, they’re full of love and drive for the new paths they have embarked on and they’re willing to dedicate themselves to rewriting their own lives,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be part of. You feel like you’ve made a difference. Seeing these people going out and getting their lives together and finding their way is the best possible return on your day.”

Ross, who has served on the OC Foundation board since 2014, was also a member of the foundation’s first board at a critical time for the college. Just three years after the foundation was created, much of the old library was destroyed when the roof collapsed during a 1996 winter storm.

The state would pay to replace the existing structure, but it took foundation fundraising to build a state-of-the-art library that would meet students’ needs into the 21stcentury.

As a witness to the life-changing impact of both OC and the OC foundation, Ross said it was an easy decision to include a gift to the foundation in her estate plan.

“It’s just an opportunity to assert again where my values are and to remember that there will be people who come after me who will need help,” she said.

“My planned gift will change lives for the better, forever.”

Do you know an OC supporter who would make a great profile?

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