Skip to main contentSkip to footer content

Office of Development
A Mother Knows

After taking "a few gap years" between high school and college, Brian Wester '85 transferred to ESF from a community college as an older student. Scholarships and financial aid enabled him to earn his paper science degre

"If it wasn't for that help," said Wester, "I wouldn't have had the education I did."

"I had the good fortune to go to ESF and chose the right program," he said. "It was the right size school and the right kind of program."

Thanks to that education and a long career in the paper industry, Wester now enjoys retirement in Washington state and wants to help students who, like him, may need help paying for college."I was the first generation in my family to go to college," said Wester, "and if people like me can get a hand up and make it through school without too much debt, that's good."

Wester established the Martha Wester Scholarship, named for his mother, a German immigrant who was unable to finish high school but valued education highly to help students do just that.

"She was a strong advocate for my education and education in general," he said. She founded PTAs in Wester's grammar and high schools and later worked in a library. "She was very much self-educated and also outdoor-oriented so I thought it was appropriate [to name the scholarship for her]."

"If I can start a scholarship and give someone else an advantage, I feel good about that and so would my mother," he said.

There aren't any restrictions on the scholarship. "I left it open," he said. "I didn't want it to be restrictive. I just hope it helps someone."