What is the perfect gift for the president of the Seattle Times? Carolyn Kelly, the first female president of the Times, is finally stepping down after 33 years of working for the Blethen family.
Her friends Jane Nishita and Ruth Woo gave up the idea of organizing a community reception when they learned the Times was already having one on Dec. 14.
Kelly is white, but her involvement with the communities of color is immense. She knows more folks in the Asian community than many Asian Americans know. Her interaction with the Asian community goes beyond pronouncing names accurately. She knows each of their personal stories, and many of them are dear to her heart. The increased coverage of the Asian community in the Times is not accidental. Her presence and financial support of the Wing Luke Asian Museum, Interim, Japanese Community Center, and other Asian community agencies demonstrate the Times’ commitment to diversity.
As a community volunteer, Kelly has contributed money and time in education. She has mentored young people and sat on the board of trustees at Seattle University (SU).
It seemed important to have a gift for her, so her fans could participate, said Susan Duffy, partner at Davis Wright and Tremaine.
We thought about giving her a trip because Kelly love Asian culture but has never been to Asia. However, time was an obstacle.
Then the scholarship idea came up. How about a scholarship fund in Kelly’s name?
The original goal was $5,000. Kelly picked SU as the beneficiary. We planned for two $2,500 scholarships to be given to two women from Eastern Washington. Given her professional background, Kelly wanted to support journalism and business majors. The first day we began raising funds was Nov. 8. We had exactly five weeks to accomplish the task. ♦