Young alums fund scholarships they would have loved to receive

Grant Shaver (’08, Accounting) hopes funding a scholarship will give a student more time for leadership opportunities.

When Deborah Dull (’07, Business Administration – Operations Management), a sup-ply chain program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, funded a Western scholarship, she wanted to give students a more challenging experience than a typical essay application. 
So the Available to Promise Scholarship, named for a supply chain management term for inventory that is immediately available, asks applicants to solve a real-world prob-lem. 
“It might be something like, ‘You’re working at a distribution center and it’s not per-forming well. Create a recovery plan.’ Or ‘You have a major time constraint and cus-tomer orders are coming in. What’s your recommendation to your leadership team?’” says Dull, who spent six years with Microsoft. “Those are pretty vague questions, but that’s what they’re going to be confronted with when they get out in the workplace.”
Justin Gruba (’07, Accounting), now a manager at KPMG in Seattle, enjoyed his stu-dent days performing during basketball games as Western’s mascot, Victor E. Viking. It gave Gruba a great view of the court and a solid appreciation for extracurricular activities. 
So he funds the Western Spirit Scholarship to give other students the chance to get involved on campus. “If this scholarship helps others take advantage of courses they otherwise might not be able to take, or gives them extra free time to join a club, that’s what I hope to accomplish,” Gruba says, “for them to enjoy life at Western, to enjoy being a part of it.”
After Gruba told KPMG coworker Grant Shaver (’08, Accounting) about the scholar-ship, Shaver was inspired to fund his own. His scholarship is for a College of Business and Economics student involved in clubs, community service or other opportunities “that you won’t realize how valuable they are until you get out in the real world and it’s much harder. If you get comfortable with that when you’re in school, you’ll be in a position to help facilitate those same interactions once you graduate. And people,” he adds, “will look to you as a leader.” 

Justin Gruba