Humboldt State University

Alumni Couple, Both Employees, Are Big HSU Supporters

"Humboldt State is a fun place to collaborate,” says Kumi Watanabe-Schock, who, along with her husband, Jay Schock, gives time and money to numerous causes and organizations across campus. Kumi and Jay have been a part of the Humboldt State community for decades. Jay (’81, Art) and Kumi (’87, Spanish) first met at HSU as students in 1981. They were married in 1982.

As students, they spent their formative years here, they fell in love here, and now they work here—Jay is a Financial Aid Counselor and Kumi is the Library Media Coordinator. 

Aside from enriching the educational experiences of students, they’re also prolific donors to HSU. In fact, Jay and Kumi were highlighted during last month’s HSU Cares Campaign for their inspiring commitment to supporting Humboldt State.

Kumi and Jay give to an impressive range of programs that include KHSU, the Humboldt Loyalty Fund, Arts, and HSU Athletics. But giving is only part of the story. They volunteer their time, too. Kumi supports several student clubs, and Jay, an artist, has even donated some of his watercolor paintings for use in the annual HSU Athletics Sports Auction. “We try to support students, staff, and faculty anyway we can. We love this community,” Kumi says.

In the University Library, Kumi enjoys the opportunity to support students. Kumi has for the last 10 years helped to plan the Campus Dialogue on Race, an event that involves workshops and discussions that address social justice issues. This fall, she co-facilitated the weeklong event for the first time. “This year was the 17th Campus Dialogue on Race and it was the best yet,” she says with an infectious smile. 

“Dialogue on Race is an eye-opening event,” adds Jay. “You get to interact with students in a novel way. You see a side of them you otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to see.”When asked why giving is so important to them, Jay says that every little bit helps. “It feels good to give. No matter how small your gift, you can still directly benefit HSU’s students. $20 here, $50 here, it really adds up. As long we can afford to, it’s nice to share—it doesn’t take much to improve projects or provide scholarships at HSU.” 

If you would like to get involved like Jay and Kumi, visit humboldt.edu/giving to learn how you can HSU students and programs.