Columbia Bank Recognized with 2018 Corporate Gold Star Award

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UW Tacoma recognized Columbia Bank's years of philanthropic support with its Corporate Gold Star Award, at the 2018 Corporate Community Circle Breakfast.

Columbia Bank is the recipient of the 2018 Corporate Gold Star Award, presented by the University of Washington Tacoma at the third annual Corporate Community Circle Breakfast.

The breakfast, held on Feb. 8, brought together representatives from more than 60 Puget Sound-area organizations who support UW Tacoma philanthropically. The Gold Star Award recognizes one organization whose support of the campus during the year and over time has had a significant impact on the institution and its students.

Since the opening of the permanent campus in 1997, Columbia Bank has supported UW Tacoma, contributing to excellence funds, scholarships and to the construction of William W. Philip Hall, a major gathering spot for campus and community. Columbia Bank was a founding donor to the Institute of Technology and is an ongoing supporter of the Milgard School of Business.

Columbia Bank executives have been engaged with UW Tacoma for more than 20 years. Currently, bank executives serve on four UW Tacoma advisory boards. Columbia founder Bill Philip serves as honorary chair of UW Tacoma’s current fundraising campaign. Executive Vice President Andy McDonald serves on the Chancellor’s Advisory Board and co-chairs the campaign’s corporate committee.

UW Tacoma is the recipient of the largest philanthropic investment Columbia Bank has ever made. The gift will help support the launch of the new Dressel Scholars Program, honoring Columbia’s widely respected late president and CEO, Melanie Jan LaPlant Dressel.

Previous recipients of the Gold Star Award include MultiCare Health System and KeyBank.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / February 8, 2018
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or