Donors and Difference-Makers

A grateful receiver gives back


Loyal donor and member of ’85 Orange Bowl team joins Forever Washington

Jim Simpson bleeds purple — always has, always will.

Some of his earliest and fondest memories happened at Husky Stadium, where he cheered on his favorite football team with his father, a UW alum, dentistry professor and die-hard Dawgs fan.

He marveled at Sonny Sixkiller’s passing prowess, witnessed Warren Moon’s MVP performance in the Huskies’ 1978 Rose Bowl victory, and like so many young football players in Seattle, dreamed of playing for Coach Don James someday.

“When it came time to go to college, there was no doubt where I wanted to go,” says Jim, a longtime Tyee Club donor who recently created a program endowment for the Big W Club and plans to add to it in the future through Forever Washington, a giving program for those who remember UW Athletics in their wills.

Jim’s dream to play for Coach James came true in 1983 when he walked on as a wide receiver for the Huskies. He proudly suited up in purple and gold for each of his four years and will forever treasure playing in the 1985 Orange Bowl victory.

“It was a real magical team,” Jim says. “Our captains had incredible leadership and we had a great coaching staff. It was a group of guys who came together and said ‘we’re gonna go for it.’ We did all the extra little things we had to do.”

“That’s what our coaches always drilled into us. Anybody can come up with a game plan but if you execute on the little things, you’ll have the edge over your opponents. And I’ve tried to exemplify that in my career.”

Jim graduated in 1987 with a degree in history and launched a successful career in sales. In addition to supporting Husky Athletics through annual gifts and Forever Washington, Jim is planning a spring 2016 golf tournament and will donate the proceeds to the Big W Club.

He hopes to create more opportunities for former UW student-athletes to reconnect with one another after they leave campus and to reaffirm their commitment to the student-athletes who follow in their footsteps.

Interested in learning more about Forever Washington?

Visit or call the Tyee Club office at 206.543.2234.