Camas woman leaves WSUV $1.3 million gift

Scholarships will target middle-class students

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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A lifelong Camas resident who couldn’t afford college has left a $1.3 million legacy that will help generations of students attend Washington State University Vancouver.

Before her death, Kathy Sinclair created a scholarship fund to assist middle-class students working their way through school.

Sinclair died Feb. 22 at the age of 89.

The Glen D. and Katherine Sinclair and Family Endowed Scholarship is the largest endowed scholarship fund in WSUV history, and the second-largest gift overall, said campus development official Jennifer Miltenberger.

Glen Sinclair, former Camas police chief, died in 1991.

“Education was an area she felt very passionate about,” Miltenberger said. “She and her family were not able to afford to send her to college. She wanted a fund to help community members have an opportunity to go to school.”

The fund is designed to help middle-class students from the community who are working their way through college, Miltenberger said.

Sinclair also indicated a preference for single parents, and students with dependents who are working their way though college.

Kathy Sinclair was born on Sept. 23, 1921, and graduated from Camas High School in 1938. Glen Sinclair was a Camas police officer and served as police chief from 1974-79.

The family lived modestly, Miltenberger said.

Four percent of the interest generated by the fund will go to scholarships; the rest will be reinvested to help the endowment grow.

When the first round of scholarships are awarded for fall semester, about $52,000 is expected to be available, Miltenberger said.

“It pays for tuition, which is a moving target,” Miltenberger said. “It’s about $10,000 a year right now.”

The largest overall gift is from the Tod and Maxine McClaskey Foundation, a $1.5 million gift to support the WSUV childhood development program.

The Washington State University system is participating in a $1 billion fundraising campaign. It is scheduled to conclude in 2015, coinciding with WSU’s 125th anniversary celebration and WSUV’s 25th anniversary.

“WSUV’s portion is $20 million,” Miltenberger said, and the Sinclair legacy “has put us at more than $11 million.”