Apple Cup rivals unite through Boeing opportunities

Boeing's sponsorship of the Apple Cup football game brings together current and future Boeing employees from the UW and WSU

November 30, 2016 in Our Community

The bonds between Boeing and the major universities in the state of Washington are deep and longstanding. More than 10,000 current Boeing employees are graduates of either the University of Washington (UW) or Washington State University (WSU), and Boeing has provided millions of dollars in charitable contributions and scholarships to the schools over the years.

But the connection goes beyond sheer academics and a consistent pipeline of talent. Once again, Boeing was the sponsor of the Apple Cup football game between the cross-state rivals. With this year’s winner headed to the Pac-12 Conference’s championship game, more than bragging rights were at stake.

One week before the game, another Apple Cup event took place in Seattle. Boeing hosted a networking event and behind-the-scenes tour of the University of Washington’s athletic facilities for nearly 100 Boeing Scholars, interns and recent hires with ties to both schools. It was an opportunity for promising talent to meet established Boeing talent -- engineers, test pilots and leaders -- as they work toward their professional goals. For many, that goal includes a future with Boeing.

Tinneal Ching, a mechanical engineering senior at WSU’s campus in Everett, Wash., says working for Boeing is her dream.  

“The choices you can make at Boeing and the different directions you can go are exciting to me,” she said. “You can go from Finance to Industrial Engineering to Project Management depending on your interests and flexibility.”

Humza Mangrio, a UW senior, spent last summer working as a Boeing intern.

“I loved everybody I worked with,” he said, “and it’s really exciting working with the products. Supporting making airplanes is out of this world!”

When the two teams squared off this year at Washington State in Pullman, Wash., a week later, the first 10,000 fans to arrive received Apple Cup hats featuring the Boeing Centennial logo.

Boeing executives Todd Zarfos, a UW graduate and vice president for Engineering Functions and the Washington State Design Center, and Craig Bomben, a WSU graduate and vice president of Flight Operations, represented Boeing alumni from both schools in ceremonial roles at the Apple Cup football game.

They supervised the traditional coin toss before the game and assisted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee after the game when he awarded the Apple Cup trophy to the University of Washington for its 45-17 win.

“It’s a privilege for Boeing to celebrate all aspects of our partnerships with these schools, from academics to the Apple Cup,” said Zarfos. He noted that Boeing’s first charitable contribution back in 1917 was to build a wind tunnel at the University of Washington. During the years since, Boeing support has gone toward a variety of needs, including scholarships, the Boeing Advanced Research Center at UW and stormwater research at WSU.

“Our ties to these schools and their students – past, present and future – are deep and ongoing,” Bomben added. ‘We’re honored to give hard-working students the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

By Deborah Feldman