Written by Mike Thee
March 13, 2014
It's a go. The Seattle University license plate will soon be making an appearance on the highways and byways of our state and beyond. Governor Jay Inslee (pictured here with the SU license plate) gave a green light to the SU plates when he signed House Bill No. 2100 into law yesterday afternoon.
"I've been a fan of SU since way back," the governor said in signing the bill. "It's a great university. Go Redhawks!"
The signing culminated a two-year effort to get SU plates on the road. Work began on the initiative in fall 2012 when 4,300 signatures, more than what's required, were collected for the petition, but the bill never made it out of the House Transportation Committee.
There was no gridlock this time around. And much of the credit goes to Alumni Board of Governors President Governor Chris Canlas ('01, Economics), who worked tirelessly to advance the bill. He and Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations Susan Vosper logged countless hours, driving between Seattle and Olympia to advance the cause. They were joined in the effort by other SU staff who were significantly involved-including Corinne Pann, Kaily Serralta and Caitlin Joyce of Alumni Relations and Solynn McCurdy of Marketing Communications-as well as the many faculty and staff who signed the petition and sent e-mails and postcards of support to their legislators.
The special plates will be available Jan. 1, 2015 at a cost $40 for the first year and $12 to renew each year after that. More than 70 percent of the sales price will be returned to Seattle U to support scholarships for SU students.
"Our alumni want to play an active role in furthering the mission of the university," said Vosper. "The Seattle U license plate provides a way for alumni to show their Seattle U pride and participate in a much-needed way to raise money for scholarships."
Vosper praised Canlas, the Alumni Board of Governors, Sen. Jamie Pedersen and others for bringing the effort to a successful completion.
"So many people helped to make this license plate possible," Canlas wrote in an e-mail to The Commons just after the signing. "The alumni board and office invested countless hours building up the case for our plate that will raise funds for the general scholarship fund. I was so happy to see the widespread support for Seattle University scholarships!"
Canlas, too, singled out Pedersen as well as Rep. Norm Johnson, the other legislative co-sponsor. "Without (their) help," Canlas wrote, "our bill would not have progressed through the legislative system."
It was Pedersen who introduced the bill in the House of Representatives before he was chosen to replace Sen. Ed Murray in the state's 43rd district after Murray was elected Mayor of Seattle. Speaking on the senate floor before a vote was taken on the bill last week, Pedersen said, "(The 43rd district is) very proud to be the home of Seattle University." He expressed how moved he was by the testimony of a recipient of SU's Fostering Scholars program and called the SU plate "a great thing for Seattle U and a great thing for the state."
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