Sally Savage passed away in Seattle on July 11, 2013, in the company of her husband, David Savage, and her family after a brave struggle with cancer.
The WSBA, Washington State Bar Foundation, attorneys and judiciary across
Washington state and beyond, friends,
and colleagues will greatly miss this vivacious, determined, and worthy advocate.
Sally Savage had a remarkable career
and we are in awe of her many and varied accomplishments. She started her
legal career at the Attorney General’s
office in 1977, having been hired by
then-Attorney General Slade Gorton. In
1978, Sally was assigned to Washington
State University (WSU) as an assistant
attorney general. She quickly impressed
her supervisors with her legal acumen,
integrity, confidence, and grace under
fire; two years later, she was named
senior assistant attorney general and
chief legal counsel to WSU. Sally was a
skilled advocate for WSU, trying cases
that involved higher education issues,
including a groundbreaking gender discrimination claim that she argued in the
Washington State Supreme court.
For nearly 30 years, Sally’s contributions to WSU were many, varied, and
valuable, working with four university
presidents, serving as vice president
for university relations and vice president for advancement. She loved her
profession, her colleagues, and the law.
After Sally retired from WSU, she
graciously accepted the role of president
of the Washington State Bar Foundation, where we served together as trustees. With her years of experience in
advancement and philanthropy at WSU,
Sally personally and painstakingly engineered the Bar Foundation’s renaissance. Under her skillful leadership and
tireless knack for strategic thinking
and implementation, she guided the Bar
Foundation out of the doldrums and decades of benign neglect.
Under Sally’s leadership and over
the course of a few years, the Bar Foun-
dation has caught fire, is vibrant, and is
growing in its capacity to raise money
to support the WSBA’s diversity and
justice programs. Sally gave us the un-
derpinnings to ensure the Bar Founda-
tion’s continued growth.
As the Bar Foundation made its his-
toric gift of funds to support diversity
and justice programs at the WSBA on
July 11, 2013, Sally passed away quietly.
We know that she would have been so
immensely proud of this accomplish-
ment but would have shied away from
any recognition of her enormous talents
that led to this moment. Fortunately, her
legacy of philanthropy and efforts on be-
half of the Bar Foundation will not go un-
recognized. This September, the WSBA
and Bar Foundation will honor Sally’s
legacy with the new Sally P. Savage
Leadership in Philanthropy Award. Her
clarity, expertise and vision helped es-
tablish a path for enduring support of
a strong bar association that provides
statewide leadership on matters of pro-
found importance to the profession and
the citizenry. Sally’s spirit of generosity
and leadership continues to inspire all
of us who recognize the transformative
potential of philanthropy. The Sally P.
Savage Award recognizes donors, vol-
unteers, and friends who embody Sally’s
spirit, determination, and values.
She left us too soon, but her legacy
will live on. nwl
Judy Massong is a WSBA governor
and president of the Washingon-ton State Bar Foundation. Nancy
Isserlis is a former WSBA governor
and the Foundation treasurer.
Remembering Sally’s Legacy
by Judy Massong and Nancy Isserlis