Regents honor alumni donors by naming two colleges

By Trevor Durham, WSU Foundation

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University’s Board of Regents today approved renaming two of the university’s most prominent colleges.

The College of Business will become the Carson College of Business, and the College of Engineering and Architecture will become the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. The names honor lifetime contributions that Scott and Linda Carson and Gene and Linda Voiland have made to the colleges, to the university and to their respective industries.

“Scott Carson and Gene Voiland and their families have been remarkable supporters of WSU over the years. Their contributions are significant and go well beyond their cumulative donations,” said WSU President Elson S. Floyd. “As advocates, volunteer leaders and donors, their engagement with WSU has influenced countless others to also lend their support to their colleges and the university.”

“Many WSU alumni have gone on to achieve so much in their respective careers after earning their degrees here,” Floyd said. “Scott Carson and Gene Voiland are each wonderful examples of where a Coug’s aspirations might lead—and where one might go—with a WSU education.”

About the Carsons

Scott Carson—a 1972 graduate in business administration—enjoyed a long and successful career with The Boeing Company. He retired as executive vice president of Boeing and president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, where he had responsibility for the company’s commercial airplanes programs and related services; these areas in 2008 generated revenues of more than $28.2 billion.

He is in his second term as a regent of WSU and serves as chair of the $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University. He serves on the WSU Foundation’s Board of Governors, is past chair of the WSU College of Business National Board of Advisors and served on the advisory board for the College of Engineering and Architecture.

He and his wife, Linda, have made several significant gifts to benefit WSU. Most contributions are in support of programs in the College of Business, such as the Carson Center for Student Success, the Carson International Business Scholars Fund, and the Boeing/Scott and Linda Carson Endowed Chair in Marketing.

“Scott and Linda Carson are living examples of the College of Business mission to advance knowledge, be globally competitive and create value through engagement,” said David Whidbee, interim dean of the college. “Among their many contributions, their unparalleled vision and passion for students enabled the development and growth of the Carson Center for Student Success, a flagship undergraduate student services facility.

“In addition,” he said, “their unwavering commitment to study abroad has helped countless students develop a global perspective. As the Carson College of Business, we will be able to further benefit students locally and globally.”

“Our hopes for the college are that it continues to prepare young people for the very challenging and dynamic world of the future,” said Scott Carson. “An important part of that will remain, we believe, having a global perspective and appreciation for the world and cultures around us.

“We are flattered and humbled at the thought of having our name attached to WSU’s College of Business,” he said, “and we would like to express our gratitude to President Floyd for this recognition and honor.”

About the Voilands

Gene Voiland received a B.S. in chemical engineering from WSU in 1969. He worked for Shell Oil Company for nearly 30 years in a variety of positions. There, he met his wife, Linda, a graduate of the University of Houston. He later became president and CEO of CalResources LLC and Aera Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. He retired in 2008.

He serves as principal of Voiland Enterprises, LLC, is chair of the board of Valley Republic Bank in Bakersfield, Calif., and continues to be a sought-after consultant to the oil industry.

The Voilands have been active supporters of WSU for many years. Gene led the Investment Committee for the WSU Foundation and is a member of the foundation’s board of governors. He serves on advisory boards for both the College of Engineering and Architecture and the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering.

He received the Chemical Engineering Alumni Achievement Award in 1991, the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in 1999 and the WSU Foundation Outstanding Service Award in 2000. In 2008, Gene and Linda made a $17.5 million commitment to transform the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering into one of the nation’s best programs and to attract top faculty.

“The College of Engineering and Architecture has benefited for many years from Gene and Linda’s wisdom, incomparable philanthropy, candor and passion for Washington State University,” said Candis Claiborn, dean of the college. “Their support for the Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering has resulted in a dramatic increase in reputation, research and enrollment.

“We greatly appreciate the Voilands’ belief in our ability to achieve excellence college-wide and look forward to carrying forward with the tremendous responsibility that this honor brings,” she said. “On behalf of the faculty and staff in the college, I want to publicly thank Gene and Linda for the honor of naming the college.”

“Linda and I are honored beyond anything we could imagine by WSU naming the College of Engineering and Architecture for us,” said Gene Voiland. “WSU not only provided me with an excellent education, but the professors who taught and mentored me made a real difference in all parts of my life.

“We are grateful to support WSU and to be in a position to give something back in return for what we were given. We see this college—and WSU as a whole—only increasing their value and contributions to the students, industry, the state and beyond.”

The Carson College of Business and the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture join the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication as the three named colleges at WSU.
Kathy Barnard-La Pointe, WSU University Communications, 509-335-8055,
Trevor Durham, WSU Foundation, 509-335-2093,
Sarah Druffel, WSU College of Business, 509-335-4345,
Tina Hilding, WSU College of Engineering and Architecture, 509-335-5095,