This year marked the first Lifetime of Giving Award and the recipients, Andee Jorgensen and Rich Wagner, truly represent a lifetime of giving and service to the community.
Foundation president, Stan Kawamoto shared the couple’s story and philanthropic journey during the Student Success Breakfast, February 15th. Here are the excerpts from his presentation.
Andee grew up in Renton and after meeting Rich at the University of Washington, they settled and raised their son in Renton – who then went on to be a WSU Cougar.
In the early 1990s, when RTC became a part of the community college system, then Gov. Booth Gardner invited her to be a Trustee. She served three terms as a Trustee from 1993 to 2004.
Andee has served on the board of the Renton Chamber of Commerce and been a Rotarian for over 25 years where she served as Rotary president. After volunteering as a teacher’s aide in ESL at Hazen High School, she became a substitute teacher and still teaches in the district.
Andee has served for many years on the City of Renton’s Sister City Committee and worked to make valuable connections with sister cities in Mexico and Japan.
Rich has offered his talents as an architect, serving on numerous planning commissions and working to establish Luther’s Table, a mission project of St. Matthews Church in downtown Renton. He is currently the Renton Community Foundation board president.
Both Rich and Andee have served as RTC Foundation board president – Andee twice and she is currently on the Foundation Scholarship Committee. They are foundation benefactors and have been generous donors for over 20 years.
When asked, “Why do you give so much,” Andee replied, “It’s the stories that inspire me. The work that RTC does is life changing to so many people. The college provides people an open door and gives them the tools and support they need to succeed in work and life.”