The GSBA Blog


A Legacy of Music: The Theodore & Rosemarie Ockels Scholarship

by GSBA Staff
| Apr 15, 2020
Creating a named scholarship is a way to honor a family member, to create a legacy and to preserve our stories for future generations. In 1997, the Richard Rolfs Scholarship became the first named scholarship at GSBA, and in 2020 that has blossomed into more than 25 scholarships awarded in memory of a loved one, to support a specific need, or to encourage a particular area of study.

In many cases, students who receive named scholarships are able to strengthen their network of support by connecting with the creators of the particular fund. For scholars who have scant support from family or local community, this is an added benefit that can help them persist to graduation. Sharing a bond over a mutual interest in politics, education, music, or art can help sow the seeds of a lifetime mentorship and friendship.

In 2016 , when Sandy Peterson along with her husband Glenn, her sister Carolyn andtouri and sandy Carolyn’s husband Steve, created the Theodore and Rosemarie Ockels Scholarship, they included a preference for a student who had a love of music. This did not mean they must be a music major; but that they should have a personal connection with music in their life, either through song or instrumental performance. Tragically, Sandy passed away in 2019; but not before she was able to connect with Tori Puoci, the first recipient of the Ockels Scholarship 2016-2019.

On Tuesday, April 14th the named-fund selection committee gathered to select those scholars who best matched the criteria to be named scholarship recipients in 2020. With Tori’s graduation, that meant selecting a new, as Sandy called it, “Ted and Rosie” Scholar.

IMG_5275We hope that Sandy would be proud to know that this year’s Theodore and Rosemarie Ockels Scholar is Nate Jo, an amazing leader with a love of music who is running for AS President at Western Washington University's Associated Students, the second-largest student government body in the country. Meet Nate Jo, the 2020 “Ted and Rosie” Scholar!

Nate Jo grew up in Richland, WA and now lives in Bellingham where they attend Western Washington University. Nate is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics and also hopes to minor in Queer Studies and Environmental Justice. Nate is passionate about creating change through leadership in student affairs for LGBTQ students and students of color. Nate also seeks to make a meaningful difference in the world by addressing homelessness, especially where it affects LGBTQ youth.