Proceeds from this endowment will be used to recruit and recognize incoming freshmen students in good academic standing who will major in communications through the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. Preference will be given to students demonstrating an interest in the field of public relations. Furthermore, selections will be prioritized as follows:
- Communication majors of Nez Perce descent,
- Native American students,
- Minority students, and
- Non-minority students.
Finally, each recipient may be further distinguished as a Foley Scholar, gaining additional exposure to priority needs in government and public service through programs offered by the Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. Scholarships will be awarded annually by the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, with input from the Director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service.
The Jay and Retha Inghram Rockey Scholarship Endowment was established in 1994 to recognize communication students in good standing who share the Rockeys’ interest in the field of public relations. Jay, a 1950 graduate of WSU, and Retha, a 1949 graduate of the University of Idaho, are founders of the Rockey Company, Inc., currently owned by Hill and Knowlton. From its inception in 1962, The Rockey Company grew to one of the largest public relations firms in the Northwest, with offices in Seattle, Spokane, and Portland. Jay is the 1991 recipient of WSU’s Distinguished Achievement Award. Retha, who grew up in Lapwai, the capital of the Nez Perce nation, was committed to assisting Native Americans in their pursuit of higher education.
Jay and Retha believe in a legacy of advocacy and involvement at Washington State University. “To be involved is a powerful potion,” Jay claims. As a member of the original visiting committee at WSU, Jay witnessed the transformative power of private support. While serving as chairman of the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees (1990-1992), he helped lay the groundwork for Campaign WSU, the University’s first major fundraising effort. In recognition of his dedicated service to WSU and the WSU Foundation, Jay was presented with the Weldon B. Gibson Distinguished Volunteer Award in 1993. His involvement continues on numerous boards and committees, including the Murrow School of Communication Advisory Board, Presidential Scholarship Achievement Committee and WSU Golf course Committee.
Jay and Retha met in Vancouver, five years after earning their degrees. The Rockeys’ association with WSU spans four generations: Jay’s mother, Celia McDowell Rockey (BS Pharmacy 1922) and father, McClellan “Chick” Rockey (BS Agriculture 1922); brother, Ward M. Rockey (BA English 1950); son, David Jay Rockey and daughter-in-law, Mary; and grandchildren Jay Martin and Christine Martin.