WSU to Honor Mother of Eight on Mom’s Weekend

PULLMAN, Wash–A gentle, soft-spoken woman with eight children has been selected as 1997 Mom of the Year at Washington State University. Ethiopia Beru of Seattle will be honored at the annual Mom’s Weekend brunch, Saturday, April 12, in the Compton Union Building ballroom.
Senait Habte, a WSU senior in biology, nominated her mother for the award. Two older brothers are WSU graduates. Yonas Habte received a degree in mechanical engineering in 1992 and Esayas Habte graduated in electrical engineering in 1993.
Two other sisters are currently enrolled at WSU, Asmeret, a junior, and Rahwa, a freshman. Another sister, Liya, is pursing a nursing degree at Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, while also working. Two younger sisters–Selamwit and Temesgen–still live at home.
“With consideration, quality and care, my mother built a foundation for everyone–friends, relatives, but especially her children,” Habte wrote on behalf of her mother. “Nature and human activity never excused her from disaster, but time and time again she remains standing, exemplifying the best of the human spirit.”
During the Eritrean Civil War in Africa in 1978, Beru and her four daughters spent three years in a refugee camp, where she created a community that provided stability, generosity and kindness needed for survival. Later they fled to Sudan where the family was reunited. In 1983, the family was relocated to Seattle.
Beru is a founding member of the Eritrean Community Center and the Eritrean Orthodox Church in Seattle. Her personal goal is to see each one of her children receive a college education.
WSU also honored Jin Huang as Senior of the Year and Victoria Salinas as Employee of the Year.
Huang will graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. At WSU, she has demonstrated a consistent record of leadership and professionalism. She served as treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers, as a senator of the Coalition for Women Students and is a peer mentor for Asian Pacific American students. She also is a representative for College Knowledge of the Mind. Her various awards include a four-year WSU Multicultural Scholarship.
Salinas, counselor for in the Chicano/Latino Student Center, is adviser for Mujeres Unidas, a Chicana/Latina student organization. In a letter of nomination, she was cited for “being able to incorporate new ideas and ways to enlighten students for the betterment of all communities.”