Yasuko Hino Grate ’90 knows what it feels like to be a stranger in a strange land. She came to Seattle Pacific University speaking very little English and, because of the language barrier, struggled to succeed in her computer science and business classes. “The language was hard,” she remembers, “so my courses didn’t make sense. It’s a good thing Dr. Tindall noticed.”
Dr. Michael Tindall of the Department of Computing Sciences gave her a break that Yasuko says changed the course of her life. “He allowed me more time to complete tests so I could graduate.”
Grate went on that summer to a career as a test manager at Microsoft, where she met her husband, Thomas. Now retired, she has focused her enthusiasm and considerable energy on a wide range of interests, including learning Italian.
Because of her experience as an international student, she has directed her generous giving toward the Yasuko Hino Grate Endowment, which provides scholarships for international students. Having more students on campus from different countries also benefits domestic students by providing a broader world view.
She has also made her endowment a beneficiary of her estate through her will. “I remember what it is like to be a student, and I think it is probably really hard now,” she says. “I want to help international students to be more comfortable here so they don’t feel they are alone.”