Over the past several years, Scott and Linda Carson have helped to transform the educational experience for students and faculty in the College of Business at Washington State University. This week, we mark their generosity and investment by officially celebrating the naming of the college in their honor.
There is no doubt that the Carsons’ contributions – financial and otherwise – have changed lives. There is no doubt that the graduates of the Carson College of Business will be better prepared and more effective in the global economy as a result of Scott and Linda.
As many know, Scott graduated from WSU in 1972 in business administration and immediately joined The Boeing Company. He retired as executive vice president of Boeing and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes – a $28 billion enterprise at the time. He reached the top of his field and made a difference in the aviation industry, in his state, and in the world.
He also has made a huge difference in his community and for his alma mater. In addition to all he has done for the College of Business, he is in his second term as a WSU regent and serves as chair of the $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University.
The common threads that run throughout Scott and Linda’s involvement with Washington State University are really quite simple:
• Use your life experience and professional knowledge base to identify the true need of any situation
• Work collaboratively with those around you to develop the best way to address that need
• Step up. Step up with financial resources or time and expertise or passion and advocacy, but do not just stand by the wayside.
In the time I have had the honor to get to know and work with Scott, I have seen this way of engaging emerge time and time again.
When the Board of Regents was considering whether to proceed with seeking a separately accredited medical school in Spokane, it was Scott who immediately focused on the need for more doctors in the state and the need for more opportunity for talented Washingtonians to attend medical school. He said, “The easy path for us to take would be to support the status quo. We have never shirked away from our responsibility as the land-grant institution, so the easy path doesn’t work for us. The data tells us there’s a need, and we should move forward to fill that need.”
That no-nonsense willingness to step up and make a difference characterizes the way Scott – and Linda – operates personally and professionally, and WSU is a better institution as a result. I thank them for their unwavering support and look forward to celebrating the new Carson College of Business.