Fairhaven alums fortunate enough to have taken classes with long-time faculty member Dan Larner will likely remember him for his passionate commitment to his students, and his unswerving dedication to social justice. They may even recall that Dan lives his commitment both in the classroom and out, as a tireless volunteer for organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, and Mount Baker Theatre. But what most alums—and indeed, even fellow faculty and staff members—may not know is that Dan has quietly been putting his money to work in support of those things about which he cares most.
Since 1982, Dan has made continuous annual gifts in support of Fairhaven College. With his contributions cumulatively totaling more than $130,000, Dan is one of a rare handful of folks who have been giving to Western Washington University so consistently, for so long. “I’ve always understood that without private support, worthy institutions in our community can’t continue to exist,” Dan says. “We can’t sustain what makes Fairhaven special on the rapidly diminishing support we get from the State.”
Dan credits his extraordinary community-centered ethic to his father, a civic-minded business owner who spent his time volunteering with national and local organizations, and helped found the Indiana Civil Liberties Union. “My father gave away every dollar he earned except what we needed to live,” Dan says. “I challenge all of us to live more modestly, and give generously to organizations that are making a difference.”
And if you’d care to give to Fairhaven, that would be just fine with Dan. “I envision a future in which a student’s inability to pay for college is no barrier to attending. Our ability to attract a diverse and exciting faculty, and energetic, creative, curious students who bring a wealth of experiences from different racial and cultural backgrounds is key to preserving everything we treasure at Fairhaven. It makes for a more vigorous classroom.”
by Thea Kleiber, Development Director, Fairhaven College