OROVILLE – Change is never easy.
But a group of Oroville High School graduates are making the metamorphosis from Hornet to Husky a little less scary.
Ray Wilson and John Zosel both left Oroville after graduating in 1964 for the promise of a University of Washington education. Wilson is now a (mostly) retired MD living in Bellevue and Zosel lives in Oroville.
But neither one of them has forgotten their roots.
Beginning this fall quarter, Oroville High School graduates enrolling at UW will have another source for college funding.
An endowment has been set up to benefit Oroville students continuing on at UW.
“I can’t think of a better way to invest my money then helping young people get an education,” Wilson said recently while in town for a mini-class reunion.
Wilson graduated from UW in pharmacy sciences in 1969. He is an active alumnus at both the university and the college of pharmacy, which raised $50,000 in a night for a pharmacy scholarship.
At a high school class reunion the next year, Wilson decided to try to repeat that success.
“I looked around and thought, there are some really successful people from Oroville. Why don’t we do something like that?”
He proposed the idea to Zosel and soon the ball was rolling.
“We contacted all the OHS and UW graduates we could find,” Wilson said.
The university has computer records of students dating back to 1984, but for anything before then, Wilson and Zosel relied on word-of-mouth and networking to conduct their search.