Kent Community Foundation renames scholarship to honor legacy of Jim McGinnis

Earlier this year, Jim McGinnis, a retired flight test engineer from Boeing and strong advocate for education, passed away.

The Kent Community Foundation is honoring his memory by renaming the Friends of KM scholarship as the Jim McGinnis Scholarship for KM Grads. The Foundation is also creating an endowment for the scholarship to ensure that Jim’s legacy continues. McGinnis was one of the founding members of the Friends of KM scholarship, and he was passionate about continuing that legacy by awarding scholarships annually to help students go to college.

Jim was raised in Montana (with a fly rod in his hand) and graduated with an engineering degree from Montana State in 1960. He worked for Boeing for 35 years. He originally joined the Foundation in the early 90’s as the Boeing representative. He re-joined the Foundation in the early 2000’s and has served as vice president, president, scholarship chair, and has continued to mentor incoming board members with tremendous grace and heart.

Leading with a strong moral compass and an unwavering belief in the power of education, McGinnis served on the Kent Community Foundation board since the early 90’s. Every year, McGinnis also served on the selection committee for the Friends of KM scholarship, and he took great pride in rewarding hard-working students with a scholarship to further their studies.

Cathy Wahlin, Kent Community Foundation president, served on the foundation board with Jim for many years. She reflected on the significant contributions McGinnis made to the foundation.

“As I think about Jim and his contributions, I think about how his guidance was key in helping the foundation grow and adapt when the Foundation changed their focus and branched off from the Kent Chamber,” Wahlin said. “He kept us focused on providing as much as possible to students and teachers while keeping our mission of Stewardship, Integrity, Leadership, Collaboration, Engagement, Inclusion and Sustainability in mind. Jim played a big part in shaping our new by-laws and mission. When it was time for big decisions, he always played a huge role. He was an insightful leader and will be greatly missed,”

David Radford, principal at Kent-Meridian High School commented on the significance of this scholarship to KM students.

“The Kent Community Foundation’s support of Kent-Meridian High School students plays a vital role in helping students access higher education. Many of our students have the desire, will and academic preparation to continue their education after high school, but the financial costs of college tend to be a roadblock. The Jim McGinnis Scholarship for KM Grads will help our amazing seniors chase their dreams and achieve their goals,” said Radford.

The Kent Community Foundation is kicking off a fundraising campaign to endow the Jim McGinnis Scholarship for KM grads. To learn more about the scholarship or to make a tax-deductible contribution, visit or contact the Foundation at [email protected].

About Kent Community Foundation
Since 1986, the Kent Community Foundation has awarded over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants. Currently KCF manages over $600,000 that will be used for scholarships and grants. In 2017, we expanded our mission to strengthen and support our community through partnerships and philanthropy. The Foundation’s vision is to build a vibrant community where all the opportunity to thrive. During COVID we recognized that a collaborative effort was needed so Kent Community Partners was formed. Faith communities, non-profits, food banks, and service clubs worked together with many volunteers to provide basic needs to the region’s most vulnerable populations and families. Making sure those vulnerable populations received food, housing, and safety was the goal of Kent Community Partners, which also helped to establish the Afghan Crisis Fund. Little Free Pantries/Kent was also a program that came out of the collaborative effort ( Kent Community Partners was just recognized by Mayor Dana Ralph with the Legacy Award and a Key to the City.  KCF is Kent’s best place for Philanthropy and Partnerships with exceptionally low overhead, many volunteers. For more info, please visit or email Kent Community Foundation at [email protected].

Article Source: I Love Kent