Changes in Webb Alumni Fund (WAF) Leadership
By John Malone '71 & Stefan Wolczko ‘09
I’m pleased to tell you about some significant changes to the Webb Alumni Fund (WAF) leadership that were planned and executed over the summer months. Stefan Wolczko ’09 has been appointed Co-Chair of the Webb Alumni Fund (WAF), and will share responsibility for WAF operations with me, so I can focus more attention on the Major Donor and Planned Giving components of Webb’s development and fundraising program. Gailmarie Sujecki, who has supported the WAF in various capacities over more years than she would like to remember, will take on an increased role in the WAF as the principal point of contact at Webb for communication and correspondence with alumni, Class Agents, and Group Leaders. And our new team of Group Leaders, initiated in the Spring, will provide an improved and more personal level of support to Class Agents. Our Group Leaders are Tom Manuel ’54 (for ’48–’57), Roger Compton ’61 (for ’58–’64), Eric Runnerstrom ’69 (for ’65–’71), Tony Urbanelli ’75 (for ’72–’79), Jen Panosky ’85 (for ’80–’88), Jake Neuman ’93 (for ’89–’97), Jason Updegraph ’01 (for ’98–’05), and Stefan Wolczko ’09 (for ’06–’13).
And how does Stefan feel about his new role as WAF Co-Chair? Let’s ask him …
I’m very excited about this opportunity to give back to the school that has given me so much. A little background about myself: I grew up around and aboard boats in the Seattle, Washington area on an island called Vashon. My family spent time cruising offshore on the Pacific Ocean during my early high school years, and while we were sailing, I decided I would like to become a naval architect. Upon returning home, I was informed about Webb by a family friend who is a ship’s pilot, and I set my sights to attend. My time at Webb was certainly challenging, but it was also very rewarding in many ways. In addition to the lifelong friends I made, the prestige of my degree, and the type of engineer I became as a result of my education, I started my career with a very small fraction of the debt that many of my peers did. Instead, I have the opportunity to pay the cost of my education forward in support of the Webb students who succeed me, and this is a system I much prefer to the typical brand of education finance we see in the United States.
Since my graduation in 2009, I have taken a strong interest in the financial strength of the school and in ensuring that Webb continues to thrive in these challenging times. I am very much looking forward to getting to know more of the Webb community and working to further enhance the financial sustainability of Webb.