Local African American society endows scholarships for WSU Tri-Cities students

By Lacey Desserault

Two scholarships were endowed supporting Washington State University Tri-Cities students in honor of African American leaders. The African American Community Cultural and Educational Society (AACCES) donated funds that will assist local students in paying for college.

The AACCES Martin Luther King Junior scholarship and the William Owen Bush scholarship will provide $2,500 each to WSU Tri-Cities students in any field of study. The scholarships were named after prominent African American individuals that had significant impacts locally and nationally. The Martin Luther King Junior scholarship recognizes King’s legacy in the civil rights movement. The William Owen Bush scholarship honors the contributions Bush made as a legislator in Washington state. Bush helped pass legislation establishing a college for the study of agricultural science, which later became Washington State University in Pullman.

“The establishment of these scholarships was born out of AACCES’s long relationship with WSU Tri-Cities. Endowing these scholarships ensures they will live on in perpetuity,” said Vanessa Moore, co-founding member of AACCES and board treasurer.

Founded in 2003, AACCES began as an organization supporting the history and recognition of African Americans and has since expanded to support the Mid-Columbia community through educational activities and outreach programs for African American youth, as well as economic opportunities for residents.

AACCES has had a long-standing partnership with WSU Tri-Cities, which began as a sponsorship of the university’s multicultural club. AACCES has since teamed up with several WSU Tri-Cities academics on an oral history project dedicated to sharing the stories of African Americans who worked at the Hanford nuclear site during the Manhattan project. In 2022 Leonard Moore, AACCES history and recognition committee chair, collaborated with the Washington State Historical Society to place a monument honoring William Owen Bush on the WSU Tri-Cities campus.

“We are thankful for AACCES’s longstanding support of our students,” said Sandra Haynes, chancellor at WSU Tri-Cities. “These scholarships empower students, especially African American students, to pursue a degree and make it financially easier to do so.”

Learn more about scholarships at WSU Tri-Cities.