College Scholarships for the Wanapum People
The Vera Claussen Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to ensure that Wanapum Indian students have access to supplementary scholarship funds to assist them with defraying college tuition. It is intended to assist future generations of Wanapum so that they may have the same opportunities that their parents and grandparents had.
Vera Claussen served the people of Grant County in the State of Washington as PUD Commissioner for 24 years. She was recognized and respected for her commitment and dedication to the principles of public power and for her efforts on behalf of the people of the county.
Throughout her years of service she became a close and trusted friend of the Wanapum Indians whose ancestral home sits adjacent to the tailrace of Priest Rapids Dam, one of two dams operated by Grant PUD. The Wanapum recognized Vera for her deep and abiding understanding and appreciation of their culture. She participated in traditional events, shared meals, and spent time listening to Wanapum elders. She distinguished herself in her relationship with the Wanapum through her wise and compassionate views and support of their interests and needs.
Vera Claussen made it clear to those she was closest to that her concerns and regard for the Wanapum should continue beyond the time when she became unable to participate with them.
Vera Claussen was a Magnum Cum Laude graduate of Oregon’s LinfieldCollege. She went on to attend graduate school at the University of Washington. She recognized the opportunities afforded by higher education. Many of the children of the four signers of the 1957 Grant PUD/Wanapum agreement attended college.
In recognition of the abiding faith Vera had in the Wanapum, her family has established a scholarship fund on their behalf, in memory of her. It is with great hope that this Fund is offered to the Wanapum so that they may embrace opportunities afforded by higher education as they continue to discover ways they can make a difference in the world.
Your contribution to the Fund will make it possible for a Wanapum student to pursue opportunities that they might not have considered but for the existence of this Fund which honors a precious relationship that made a difference in their family’s lives.