Mercer Island Alums Honor
Stanley Ann Dunham
At the time of the 50th anniversary of the Mercer Island (WA) High School approached, members of the first classes began thinking of class reunions. Some remembered at least one member of the class of 1960 who could not attend, Stanley Ann Dunham. An interesting woman and the late mother of President Barack Obama, she is known simply as Ann to many. During her early years she was Stanley, so that is how she is remembered here.
One alumnus suggested a fine way to honor her memory and her subsequent humanitarian work would be to establish a scholarship in her name, honoring young women graduates of Mercer Island High who hoped to follow in her footsteps, planning humanitarian careers. Other schoolmates and then other enthusiastic community members joined in. The result is the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund.
Board of Directors
- Dayna Cole, Chair
Dayna Cole grew up on Mercer Island, graduated from MIHS (’66) and Mills College (’70), and studied educational theater at NYU and the University of Washington. She has been a student adviser and producer of marketing, educational and documentary videos for many years. Since her internship in the Peace Corps as a college student, Dayna has been passionate about intercultural and educational exchanges and currently manages an international scholarship exchange program at the UW. “I enjoy being involved with the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship and honoring Stanley Ann Dunham, inspired MIHS young women, and our shared history.”
- Lowell Ericsson, Vice Chair
- Curt Peterson, Treasurer
- Amara Fanucci
Amara Fanucci is a sophomore at Willamette University. She joined the board of directors a year ago and has been enjoying volunteering her time ever since. Though she lives in Salem, Oregon, she is able to Skype into board meetings during the school year. Next summer, Amara will be interning at a non-profit organization as part of the Kemper Scholars Program, and hopes to go into marketing after graduation in 2014.
- Harry Leavitt
Harry Leavitt was raised and schooled on Mercer Island (Pre-K thru MIHS’65), graduated from the University of Washington (BA’s in History and Zoology ’69 and Teaching Certificate’71), and taught in Mercer Island School District’s Alternative Middle School Programs (’71-’77). He assists in raising three grown children and three growing grandchildren. His personal and professional pursuits involve local, community- based projects in shared housing, energy conservation/alternatives and waste reduction/recycling. Harry loves the opportunity to join ‘kindred spirits’ on this board and to share the fire that was lit on October 26, 2006 when he handed the future President of the United States a scroll containing his mother’s Mercer Island High School Annual entries.
- Tony Nugent
Tony Nugent grew up on Mercer Island and graduated from MIHS (’58), Yale (’62), San Francisco Theol. Seminary (M. D., ’67), and Syracuse (Ph. D., ’93). He is retired from 25 years of work for non-profit community organizations and 15 years teaching religion courses to undergraduates at Seattle University. He and his wife Nancy live in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, and they have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. Tony has enjoyed assembling an album about Stanley Ann Dunham’s years in the Seattle area and being a founding board member of the scholarship in her name.
- Iona Stenhouse
Iona Stenhouse grew up on Mercer Island graduating from MIHS with Stanley Ann Dunham in 1960. Undergraduate degree from UofW, was followed by Peace Corps in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Obtained MA in International Politics (UofDenver) and taught political science for 7 years, 5 at BCC. Family and life moved her into work as legal assistant, human resources manager and benefits director. Iona is retired, married to David Otto and has one son and two grandchildren. Iona and David are currently working with a non-profit that has developed an improved cook stove for Africa. As a founding member of the scholarship fund, Iona remembers Stanley Ann’s passion for exploration and opening her horizons and feels that the SADF is a vehicle for young women to share Stanley’s passion.