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The Phillip and June Lighty Student Leadership Program

“I went to Washington State University from Sacramento, California, and had to pay out-of-state fees. I created the scholarship to provide an incentive for other out-of-state students to attend WSU without the kinds of financial difficulties I had.”

- Phillip Lighty


The Phillip and June Lighty Student Leadership Program Fund was established in recognition of more than 50 years of extraordinary dedication and generosity to Washington State University by Phillip and June Lighty of California. For Phillip, a 1940 WSU alum, and June, a Stanford University graduate who was named an honorary alumna of WSU in 1980, the gift that creates this fund represents the latest in a long list of ways the Lightys have helped support students at WSU.

The award was established in 1980 and continues to be one of Washington State University’s largest endowed scholarships. The scholarship is intended primarily to provide tuition assistance for out-of-state students, with preference given to applicants from Northern California, and is administered through the Washington State University Alumni Association. It is an annual scholarship with the possibility of renewal. Through letters, campus visits, and their annual on-campus scholarship luncheon, the Lightys foster personal relationships between the scholarship recipients, the WSUAA, and themselves. These friendships, perhaps the Lightys’ greatest contribution, enrich the students’ lives and exemplify Phillip and June’s lifelong commitment to numerous youth and community services.

(June, Phillip, and Family at the Lighty Library dedication, Lewis Alumni Centre, August 1991)

Phillip Lighty was a charter member of the WSU Foundation, and the Lightys hold the distinction of becoming the first members of the WSU Foundation's President Associates recognition level. Phillip has received the WSUAA Alumni Achievement Award, in part for his “tireless dedication to the character development of young people and outstanding service to his community.” In 1991, Phillip received the WSU Foundation’s highest honor, the Weldon B. Gibson Distinguished Volunteer Award.

In 2004, Phillip and June Lighty asked their granddaughter, Jennifer Lighty, to help manage the scholarship in partnership with the WSUAA.

Phillip & June Lighty Leadership Award

Criteria and Method of Selection

The Phillip and June Lighty Leadership Award provides full out-of-state tuition for an incoming freshman who has distinguished themselves through outstanding leadership qualities and academic excellence. A portion of the scholarship is renewable if criteria are met through the student's senior year.

Basis of Award

The primary focus of this award is leadership, which may be demonstrated through traditional school activities, work responsibilities, community involvement, church-related activities, and family commitments. The award recognizes the accomplishments of youth leaders and seeks to encourage and support potential leaders.

Who is Eligible?

Seniors in an accredited non-Washington high school with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher are eligible for the award.

How to Apply:

APPLICATIONS HAVE CLOSED FOR THE 2014-15 SCHOOL YEAR.