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Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund

A needs-based scholarship supporting Walla Walla graduates

Begun in 2012, the Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund has helped more than 30 graduates fulfill their educational dreams after high school.

Jerry Zahl and his Class of '62 classmates started the fund as a way to give back to the community. Today, the fund is at over $228,000 and has given out $36,000 in scholarships.  

2023 scholarship recipients used their awards at the University of Washington, Walla Walla Community College, Whitman College, and Columbia Basin College.

Walla Walla grads are encouraged to donate their class year amount (e.g., $20.23). Class of '62 alumnus Garth Lindsey was instrumental in motivating classes to meet their reunion gift goals by offering matching gifts—sometimes double-matching class gifts! Please read more about Garth's legacy of giving, below.

As Jerry Zahl puts it, “You do not need to be a millionaire to give to this scholarship fund. Each graduate contributing their graduation year in dollars and cents annually would be a good place to start. The acceptance and support from the local community has been absolutely fantastic from the beginning because everyone senses the need.”

Gifts from all graduates and friends of further education are welcome.

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Garth Lindsey: Celebrating a Legacy of Giving

When it came to helping future generations, Garth Lindsey earned top honors. A Walla Walla Graduate of Distinction, Lindsey’s contributions to the Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund will ensure that the students of the future have more funding to pay for their education after high school. His gifts to the fund, now well over $100,000, were part of a lifetime of giving and supporting people in need.


Born in Walla Walla, Garth was intrigued when his Wa-Hi Class of ’62 classmates, led by Jerry Zahl, first established the fund—and he was a stalwart supporter from then on. Garth established a habit of pledging to match the amount donated to the Scholarship Fund by a Wa-Hi reunion class, assuming they met their goal of raising the amount of their graduating year ($1,986 for the Class of 1986, for instance.) Often, the check he ultimately delivered was double or triple his pledged amount. As Zahl put it, “I never ever asked Garth to give a cent. He was just there, encouraging, and willing to financially support, every year, and often times many times a year.”


This generosity, and the desire to see the Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund continue to grow, are—in addition to the contributions of many others—the reason the fund is now over $285,000. 


“This money,” said Zahl, “as Garth and Mary well understood, will continue to be there, supporting students for many generations to come. We cannot do enough; but fine people like Garth and Mary sure have made a big difference.”


Garth attended school in College Place for grades 1-8, then moved to Garrison Junior High in 9th grade. At Wa-Hi, he was passionate about music and played in a band when he wasn’t picking strawberries for Klickers, picking carrots or peas, or fighting fires in the McKenzie National Forest. He went on to study music at Brigham Young University, and performed with the Oratorio Choir where he met his future wife, Mary. The two wed in 1964. Ultimately, Garth found a career as a Certified Public Accountant, becoming a leader in the television broadcast industry. Together, the Lindseys raised of five children, have 11 grandchildren, and recently celebrated the birth of their first great grandchild.


The Lindseys established a pattern of “quiet financial support,” making contributions behind the scenes to improve the lives of others. Together, they funded an endowed scholarship for Accounting at BYU and are regular contributors to the Port Ludlow Performing Arts, Olympic Music Festival, and Minneapolis Institute for the Blind among other organizations. Their impact on the Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund has been dramatic. We were deeply saddened to learn of Garth's passing on April 3, 2024, and our hearts are with Mary and the entire family. (Read more.)


“We must not ever forget what they have done for the children of the Walla Walla School District,” said Zahl. “I appreciate the willingness of all in participating in building a great memory, and history of the deeds of Garth and Mary Lindsey, to forever be with the Walla Walla Public High Schools Scholarship Fund.”

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