March 3, 1999
Seattle - Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges announced today the establishment of the Jon Runstad Endowed Scholarship for Men's Rowing. The scholarship is the first of its kind for the Husky men's rowing program and is a part of the University's current Campaign for the Student-Athlete fundraising effort. The scholarship is funded by Runstad's initial gift of $262,000 and will provide support for up to four rowers each year.
John Lorton, who signed the first men's rowing national letter of intent, will be the inaugural recipient of the Runstad Scholarship. A junior national team sculler, Lorton placed fifth at the 1998 Junior World Championships in Ottensheim, Austria. The 6-foot-6 Lorton is a senior at Seattles University Prep High School and was the top-ranked rowing recruit in the country this year. He carries a 3.3 grade point average and was also recruited by Ivy League schools Harvard, Penn and Princeton as well as the Naval Academy and the University of California.
"John Runstad has taken the first step in creating scholarship endowments for our men's rowing program, for that, we will always be indebted," said Washington athletic director Barbara Hedges. "Washington's rowing program has a long and proud tradition and being able to provide this type of financial assistance to future Husky rowers ensures that success will continue."
A member of the Husky rowing team as an undergraduate, Runstad graduated from the University in 1965 with degrees in economics and building construction.
From 1987 to 1998 he was a member of the University of Washington Board of Regents. He served as president of the board during 1992-93. After receiving his MBA from Harvard (1968), he worked on public and private building developments in London and in Boston before settling in Seattle. He is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Wright Runstad & Company. The company is a developer, owner, and manager of large-scale, high-quality urban and suburban office projects in the Western United States.
Runstad's current and past volunteer activities include service as president of the UW Alumni Association; as a trustee and past president of the Downtown Seattle Association; as a director or the Seattle Symphony; as a trustee of the Henry Art Gallery; and as a member of the UW Board of Rowing Stewards.