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Roseanna Wabel McDermott Endowed Fund for Study Abroad

Roseanna Wabel McDermott Endowed Fund for Study Abroad

The Roseanna Wabel McDermott Endowed Fund for Study Abroad was established by Katherine E. McDermott, granddaughter of Roseanna. The intent of the fund is to provide financial assistance to students to make study abroad opportunities more accessible. The fund will honor and remember Roseanna, while enabling students to grow personally and educationally through the life changing experiences of study abroad. The aim of the fund is to make study abroad experiences more accessible to students and its goals are aligned with the goals of the University's Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity and its Educational Opportunity Program: promoting academic success and graduation for under-represented ethnic minority, economically disadvantaged and first generation college students at the University of Washington. 

Roseanna Wabel McDermott (1909-2007), born in Streator, Illinois, was fundamentally someone who could make something out of nothing. She could re-wire lamps, rejuvenate Charlie Brown Christmas trees with a bit of careful grafting, and mend furniture of all kinds. She was a saver of string, rubber bands, and plastic twist ties. A bride of the Depression, there was nothing that didn't have another use (or two) before it went to the garbage.

Roseanna was an inventive cook well into her 80's (despite her husband's insistent pleas for "meat and potatoes"), a talented seamstress, and an amazing gardener. She loved to read and to play games of all kinds. She was also a crack gin-rummy player, despite her misgivings about the dangers of cards. Roseanna's greatest gift, however, was her unshakeable belief that there is always hope for a dying plant, a broken chair, or a difficult personality.

Roseanna believed strongly in the power of education to transform people's lives. In her 97 years, Roseanna never owned a passport, but she raised her children to believe that books are one's first passport to the world. Although she never went beyond high school herself, Roseanna created an atmosphere in which college was an expectation for all her children. With her love and support, all of Roseanna's children and grand-children went on to earn advanced degrees - and to see the four corners of the world. It is the goal of this endowment to share some of Roseanna's love of learning and discovery with students at the University of Washington.