Liberal Arts Champs: Vi Boyer and Humanities Washington

On May 4, 2016, the Washington Consortium of the Liberal Arts (WaCLA) announced the winners of the inaugural Champion of the Liberal Arts in Washington State (or CLAWS) award.

The award was designed to honor individuals and institutions in Washington State advocating for the value of the liberal arts, particularly those demonstrating a commitment to working with diverse student and community populations.

Boyer_webThe individual selected as our 2016 CLAWS recipient is Vi Boyer. As the president and CEO of Independent Colleges of Washington (ICW) since 1998, Violet (Vi) Boyer guides a collaboration between ten private, nonprofit liberal arts colleges to coordinate advocacy for the liberal arts, along with scholarship programs for its member institutions’ students.

Boyer is frequently called on to speak on behalf of independent colleges specifically and the liberal arts more generally before state and federal lawmakers. Like counterpart organizations representing Washington’s public baccalaureate colleges and community colleges, ICW represents the significant collective impact the 10 represented institutions have for the 40,000 students that attend and, ultimately, join the state’s employment base upon graduation.  Under Boyer’s direction, over $1,000,000 in financial assistance is provided to students at member institutions, providing access to students who reflect the diversity of the State.

The institution selected as the 2016 CLAWS recipient is Humanities Washington.  Since 1984 Humanities Washington has served communities across and throughout the State from Aberdeen to Zillah. Humanities Washington values active and thoughtful examination of the past, present, and future of the world and our place in it. The organization welcomes ideas and experiences that challenge Washington residents partnering with organizations throughout the state to promote the liberal arts.  From its traveling speaker’s bureau to its “Bed Time Stories” designed for children and their families Humanities Washington has worked hard to reach all Washingtonians in their communities.

Humanities Washington collaborates with scholars and local community leaders to share and celebrate a variety of perspectives. This sharing is done across the state using scholarship and research and their role in humanistic inquiry. Hundreds of collaborations and partnerships have been forged over the years including outreach to diverse communities providing broad access to educational and cultural opportunities across the state.  The organization has collaborated to engage communities in every corner of the State partnering with 293 organizations to bring low-cost, high-quality cultural programs that promote the liberal arts to every region of Washington.

The CLAWS subcommittee, led by David Schulz, included Eugene McAvoy, Bruce Burgett, Debra Sequeira, Andrew Reece, Paul Francis, David Powers, Jennifer Hine, and Michael Zimmerman.

Congratulations to Vi Boyer and Humanities Washington!