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Surprise Gift for Washington State Community Colleges

January 2, 2020

The community colleges in Washington State received one of their largest gifts to date from a woman who saw the importance of education, despite not attending college herself.

Eva Gordon, who died in 2018 at the ripe age of 105, left behind $10 million to the state's 17 community colleges, according to The Seattle Times.

Each college will receive about $550,000, to be used for scholarships or other student supports.

Gordon grew up in Eugene, Ore., and reached adulthood during the Great Depression, hampering her ability to go to college, according to the Times. She moved to Seattle and worked as a trading assistant at an investment firm, buying partial shares in various industries and investing in companies like Nordstrom. She and her husband, Ed Gordon, made several donations to South Seattle College throughout the years.

The money will piggyback off several initiatives aimed at providing free or affordable higher education to Washington students. As of this past fall, all public high school graduates in Seattle can attend two years of community college tuition-free. A state law was also approved this year to let students from low- and middle-income families go to state colleges for free or a reduced price.

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Madeline St. Amour

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