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Wattersons donate forest to Centralia College Foundation
Posted: 6/24/2013 The Centralia College Foundation is getting bigger, one forest at a time. For the second time in the past three years the foundation accepted a gift of a forested tract of land.

Long-time Centralia College Foundation supporter and Alaska contractor Bill Watterson (class of ’61) and his wife Helga donated 17.5 acres, including standing timber, to the foundation.

The foundation has formed a committee to determine the best use of the property. Central to use of the land will be that proceeds from the sale of land or timber be used to establish an endowment for scholarships to support deserving students at Centralia College.

“We are very pleased to accept this property. The Watterson family has been very important to the foundation and to the college and the generosity of this family is greatly appreciated,” Julie Johnson, the foundation’s director of Donor and Alumni Relations, said.

In 2010, Robert O’Neill transferred ownership of 20 forested acres to the foundation. The college’s science faculty uses the land as one of its natural learning labs for students.

Watterson played basketball for Centralia College beginning in 1959 and was the Mr. Hustle and Mr. Inspirational awards recipient. He continued his basketball career at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. He remained in Alaska and eventually formed his construction firm. He is one of Centralia College’s first Sports Hall of Fame inductees, voted into membership in 1987.

The Wattersons continue to keep their connection with the college and have expressed their appreciation of the college’s growth.

“I am very enthusiastic about the new bachelor’s degree program and the impact this will have on the community,” Watterson said. He has a graduate degree in civil engineering from Stanford University.

For information on making your donation of property or other resources to help deserving students at Centralia College, see Giving to the Foundation or contact Julie Johnson at the foundation, 360.736.9391, ext. 290, or jjohnson@centralia.edu.

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