Donor Spotlight

The School of Music is especially grateful for the valuable support we receive from our amazing alumni and friends! We deeply appreciate your gifts, including those made through the #CougsGive 2023 challenge.

Here we highlight the generosity of two WSU alumni, Katey Koehn and Mark Hansen, whose philanthropic support inspired dozens of others to give to the School of Music. When our alumni and friends step up in this big way for our student programs, it enables us to continue providing not only the highest level of education possible but additional opportunities to explore, grow, and succeed.


Donor: Mark T. Hansen of Gig Harbor, Washington
Degree: Bachelor of Music with Teaching Certificate, 2004
Career: Acura Financial
Awards & recognition: Member of the School of Music’s Crimson Company, Concert Choir, Opera Workshop, and VoJazz
Area of support: Music Education Instrument Fund

Gift impact: Mark Hansen’s #CougsGive 2023 challenge gift to the Music Education Instrument Fund matched donations from others up to $1,000, in effect doubling smaller gifts, and his generosity helped inspire dozens of other people to give. Their combined support will enable purchase of new instruments for the School of Music’s elementary music education course, specifically a class set of ukeleles and two sets of Boomwackers—tuned percussion tubes which are standard instruments in modern music education classrooms. All WSU music education students will benefit from the opportunity to practice teaching these instruments, and their future students will benefit from learning from teachers who have up-to-date knowledge and experience with the instruments.

In his own words:
 Why I support WSU and the School of Music: “Attending WSU in the School of Music really shaped the person I am today. The school was a second home to me, and I will always cherish the people I met and will always be lifelong friends with them. Although my ultimate career was not focused in music, I think the School of Music gave me the fundamentals I needed to become a well-rounded and passionate person for everything that I do in my life. I am hoping that, by giving back to the School of Music, I will be able to help other students achieve similar experiences. Even 20 years later, I still speak to some of my professors, and I am ever grateful for all the lessons that they’ve taught me.”

Mark Hanson.

Donor: Katey Koehn of Port Orchard, Washington
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, 2014
Career: Currently director of Program Management at Walmart Global Tech; formerly director and program manager at Yahoo, senior manager of Operations Logistics at Ebay
Awards & recognition: Inducted to the WSU Global Campus Society of Distinguished Alumni, Nov. 2022
Area of support: Cougar Marching Band

Gift impact: Katey Koehn’s $2,500 #CougsGive 2023 challenge gift was matched by other generous contributors for a total of $5,000 to support the Cougar Marching Band. “This support will allow the Cougar Marching Band to continue to be The Best in the West!” said Keri McCarthy, director of the School of Music. The funds will be used to purchase much-needed color guard performance uniforms featuring the Cougar head logo.

In her own words:
 Why I support WSU and the School of Music: “I’ve been an enthusiastic supporter of the Coug Family over the years and began volunteering with the WSU Alumni Association while I was a student. I am currently serving as president-elect of the association’s board of directors and until recently served as president of the Northern California Chapter.

My husband, John, and I recently relocated from the Bay Area to Port Orchard, and while there are a lot of new things to get used to, we’ve loved the transition to becoming Washingtonians. It’s also great to be so much closer to Pullman!

Though I knew nothing of WSU before enrolling in 2010, I jumped in with both feet and learned as much as I could about the history and spirit of this really amazing Cougar Family. I’ve been fortunate to have the financial means to give back. Over the years, I have chosen a handful of WSU departments to support financially. All are areas that have contributed to my love of being a Coug: the WSUAA, Cougar Athletics—including the Power of IX Fund—Global Campus, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Cougar Marching Band.

I’m someone who truly appreciates what the band brings to our engagement with WSU. Beyond the gameday experience, you’ll find the band at non-sports-related University events, announcements, and celebrations. The energy the CMB bring to every single one of those gatherings is something that elevates that experience.

I’ve heard over the years that the Marching Band doesn’t get the funding they need for uniforms, instruments, and other expenses, so when I was presented with the opportunity to help maximize donations during CougsGive, I jumped at the chance to make an impact for the amazing students who give so much of their time and share their talent with us, the students, alumni, and fans of Washington State University. The gift-matching program gave me a wonderful opportunity to maximize my support and encourage others to give—whether people are able to give $5 or $500, together we can make a bigger impact.”

Katey Koehn.

If you would like to donate to the School of Music Excellence Fund, Music Education Instrument Campaign, or Cougar Marching Band, please visit WSU School of Music.

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