Why I Give: A Lifetime of Cougar Pride

Philanthropy plays a crucial role in supporting educational institutions like Washington State University, fostering a culture of giving back and investing in the future of students.

WSU alumna Sarah English turns her love and memories of WSU and Pullman into giving back to her school. English attended WSU from 1991-1996, graduating with an undergraduate degree in communication and elementary education, as well as a master of elementary education. She also received a master of library science from University of Iowa in 2003. 

“Both my parents are teachers, and my dad worked at WSU. I think it’s cool that I share the same interests as them and work at the same company my dad did,” she said. 

Growing up in a small town, English said she wanted a university that was eye-catching and had school spirit. “Pullman was so green compared to my hometown. I was so excited when I got my student ID card because I could get into all the sports games with it,” she said. 

“Volleyball was my favorite because I used to play when I was younger,” she added. “When WSU got to play UCLA, I was so excited because most of the girls on UCLA would go to the Olympics.” 

English also loved being a teacher for a small community. “When I worked as a teacher, I had a student come to school and tell me there was a giant mud puddle in front of my house and to be very careful. I thought it was such a sweet thing for him to be looking out for me,” she said.

English first got a taste for philanthropy when she worked as a leadership assistant in Rogers Hall.

“One day, a co-worker brought in some bears she was taking care of,” she said. “We got to take pictures with them and then when #CougsGive started, we used those pictures to drive donations. I got to be in charge of where the donation went, and I chose the libraries.” 

English sitting next to a display of Butch’s skin in 1992.

Now, English works at Northwest Public Broadcasting as a mid-level gifts officer, so she understands the power that donations have. 

English herself donates to Terrell and Holland Libraries because “every student, regardless of their major, uses the libraries,” she said. 

“I love so many things about WSU, and I want to support them all. The libraries are an easy way to do that because it reaches everybody,” she said. 

English’s journey of giving to the WSU Libraries exemplifies the spirit of generosity and commitment to education that define the WSU community.