New scholarship named after former LWIT instructor

Ralph L. Jones - Contributed
Ralph L. Jones
— image credit: Contributed

This month the Lake Washington College Foundation established the Ralph L. Jones Memorial Endowment, creating two new annual $3,000 scholarships for students.  Made possible by a generous $150,000 donation from Redmond firm ABODA in the name of former Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) instructor Ralph L. Jones, the ongoing scholarships will be available to two LWIT students each year.

A former combat Vietnam veteran, Jones put himself through college after the war and eventually became an executive at the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. He brought his hospitality expertise to LWIT in the late 1980s, developing the college’s successful hotel management program. After more than 15 years of service at LWIT he took a position at ABODA, where he ran the corporation’s human resources department. Jones passed away in July 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer.

“The amount of people Ralph impacted during his life is staggering,” said Dave Caple, president and CEO of ABODA. “In his memory we wanted to continue his impact on others for years to come. ABODA started the fund and it’s our hope that the initial investment, paired with good investing, will allow us to continue to provide this scholarship in perpetuity. We also hope that others touched by Ralph’s life might consider contributing to the fund as it grows, allowing us to help even more students down the road.”

While the hotel management program was discontinued after Jones’ departure from the college, his memory lives on in the lives of the LWIT faculty, staff and students.

“Ralph was a self-made man, who overcame extreme adversities to make something of himself,” said Doug Emory, LWIT dean of instruction, academic core, hospitality and service. “He was an inspiration to many of us. The idea behind this scholarship is to help people like him, students who are working hard to put themselves through school and often aren’t eligible for grants, but still need that little extra help to reach their educational goals.”

Current students at LWIT are eligible to apply for the scholarship, which will pay out $1,000 a quarter for three quarters. For more information on applying for the scholarship or making additional contributions in Jones’ name, contact the College Foundation at 425-739-8134 and

Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWIT) is a broad-based public polytechnic college providing education in more than 38 areas of study and offering pathways to certificates, associate degrees and a baccalaureate degree designed to give students the latest cutting edge skills relevant to today’s workplace. Founded in 1949, LWIT offers hands-on, real-world training in manufacturing, transportation, energy, business, allied health, engineering, computer and information systems, food and hospitality, and health and fitness. For information and news about LWIT programs, please visit


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