Washington State University and The Boeing Company have enjoyed a decades-long partnership that has delivered far-reaching benefits—not only to the two organizations—but also to the greater Pacific Northwest. Boeing has invested in numerous WSU endowed professorships, fellowships, scholarships, learning centers, and programs. In turn, Boeing, and the state of Washington, have benefitted from thousands of highly skilled and well-prepared WSU graduates who have become Boeing employees and a key part of the company’s success. In October 2018, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister visited WSU Pullman to tour facilities, meet faculty and talk with students.
Boeing recruits heavily from WSU, particularly in the fields of engineering, finance and supply chain management. The company’s investment in WSU has included efforts such as Boeing e-Connections, a scholarship program that provides freshmen and sophomores with an introduction to entrepreneurship programming and a community of support. Additionally, the Boeing Scholars Program provides students with two-year scholarships as well as internship opportunities between their junior and senior years. During their senior year, students from engineering, science, and business participate in an interdisciplinary course, collaborating with Boeing scientists and engineers on a real-life aerospace industry project. The program brings disparate groups together, simulating the engineering work environment.Further support of students occurs through the Boeing Mentorship program which pairs a Boeing mentor with students from the Carson College of Business and Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture programs in Everett, Bremerton, and Vancouver. The students gain insights into the aerospace industry, learn about opportunities at Boeing, and receive general career guidance. In the five years since the program was founded, nearly 100 students have participated in the program.
Gathered at the dedication of the Boeing Innovation Studio at WSU Everett are (left to right) Bill McSherry, vice president of Government Operations, The Boeing Company; Kirk Schulz, president of Washington State University; former City of Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson; and Craig Bomben, vice president of flight operations, Boeing Test & Evaluation (BS, Mechanical Engineering, 1985). (Deborah Feldman photo) In recognition of a generous gift of $250,000 and The Boeing Company’s long-standing support for the University, a Fabrication Lab on the first floor of the new WSU Everett campus will be named The Boeing Innovation Studio.
Boeing has also been a strong supporter of WSU faculty-led research. Recently, Boeing invested in WSU and the Washington Stormwater Center located in Puyallup to develop stronger permeable pavement. Permeable pavement, made of recycled carbon fiber composite material being used by Boeing, could be one of the more important tools in addressing the number one source of pollution in Puget Sound, untreated stormwater.