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The impact of a new life-changing scholarship

A new scholarship fund has been graciously donated by the late C. Hughbanks, continuing his legacy in the community
Headshot of Dick Lee, the current executive director of the BHSF and a close friend of David C. Hughbanks.
Callum Martinson
Headshot of Dick Lee, the current executive director of the BHSF and a close friend of David C. Hughbanks.

College-oriented Ballard seniors are presented with an opportunity of a lifetime. Scholarship funds graciously given by the late C. David Hughbanks, continue his legacy through generous contributions to the Ballard community.

Hughbanks, a Ballard and UW alumni passed away on July 18, 2023, leaving behind his estate in the hands of the Ballard High School Foundation (BHSF). Located in Sunset Hill, the estate is valued at around $2 million, all of which will be awarded between Ballard High School and the Seattle Public Schools Scholarship Trust, all in the form of scholarships. 

“This could be a significant game changer for a student depending on what their post secondary considerations are,” Principal Abby Hunt said. Working closely with the foundation and family members of Hughbanks, she provides valuable insight.

Graduating BHS seniors will have access to $150 thousand yearly for the next 10 years with around 15 scholarships available per graduating class. This is in addition to the $40 thousand raised yearly from the Golden Beaver Scholarships. The exact number going to each student has yet to be determined.

“All of this is happening fairly quickly when you consider this much money,” Hunt said. 

Hunt  only found out about Hughbanks donation in late October. Due to the legal process of accepting such a large sum, she and the foundation are still figuring out the logistics.

“This is only year one and all the information is coming from the Foundation,” Principal Hunt said.

Though all are welcome to apply, students in need of financial support are prioritized. Along with this, scholarships will only be allocated to seniors going onto secondary schooling within Washington State.

“He [Hughbanks]  thought that there were so many opportunities and resources close to home that he wanted folks to stay and continue to contribute to the Ballard community,” Hunt said.

Hughbanks was one of the co-founders of the Ballard High School Foundation, along with Dick Lee, his close friend and current executive director of the Foundation, and former BHS principal Chuck Chinn.

“[Hughbanks] wanted to make sure that it would go to young people who were needing some support,” Lee said.

Lee shares yet another impactful goal for the scholarship money.

“One thing we’re going to try and do with these scholarships is to not just have one time grants, but to be able to follow someone through their college experience,” Lee said.

Since so many scholarships only cover first year’s costs, this is a great advantage for seniors and their college expenses further down the road. 

“We want the ability to give 10 scholarships if possible for young people that want to go onto more vocational or tech ed career paths,” Lee said.

Hughbanks especially admired less sought after career paths and aimed to cultivate their growth. 

When asked about his personal reaction towards his friend’s significant donation, Lee reports being overwhelmed but not quite surprised. The Hughbanks Scholarships impact will be felt and life changing for the recipients.

As someone who went to BHS himself, Lee expresses his appreciation and encouragement of giving back to the community.

The Hughbanks Scholarship will no doubt achieve its goal of positively motivating Ballard High School seniors’ continuation of post-secondary schooling. 

The loss of C. David Hughbanks will be felt within the Seattle community but his memory lives on with his lasting influence on the lives of many.

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