Former NFL quarterback receives WSU alumni award

Washington State Portland State _ during the first half of the Cougars 24-17 loss to the Vikings on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015 at Martin Stadium in Pullman.

PULLMAN, Wash. – Philanthropist and former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien was honored Saturday with the Washington State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) Alumni Achievement Award for his accomplishments in athletics and community service.

He founded the Rypien Foundation to assist local families struggling with childhood cancers.

He was selected by the Washington Redskins in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL draft. He led the Redskins to the NFL Championship in 1991 and won Super Bowl MVP honors in 1992. He earned two trips to the Pro Bowl.

Mark Rypien, left, receives the WSU Alumni Award award from Larry Arcia, past president of the WSU Alumni Association
Mark Rypien, left, receives the WSU Alumni Award award from Larry Arcia, past president of the WSU Alumni Association.

In 1998, Rypien lost his son Andrew to childhood cancer. He established the Rypien Foundation in 2004 to provide hope and help for families fighting childhood cancers. Funds from the foundation go directly to improving care and quality of life for families battling cancer in the Inland Northwest.

Rypien has served WSU as a member of the WSU Board of Trustees and the Athletics Steering Committee and as a WSU Foundation Benefactor. He is a member of the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame and the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.

While at WSU, he led the Cougars in total offense. At the end of his WSU career, he had earned the number-two record in passing yards, total offense and touchdowns. A four-year football letterman, he was named the top Pac-10 quarterback in 1985 and earned All-American honors in 1984 and 1985.

The WSUAA Alumni Achievement Award was created in 1970 by the WSUAA Board of Directors to recognize alumni who have given outstanding service to WSU and made contributions to their professions and communities. The award is the highest honor bestowed by the Alumni Association. Of an estimated 250,000 students who have attended WSU, Rypien is the 518th Alumni Achievement Award recipient.


Christina Rulffes Parrish, WSU Alumni Engagement, 509-335-6907,