Alumni Spotlight: Scott and Kate Missall
By Frances Badgett
Attorney Scott Missall (’75) majored in philosophy and political science at Western. Not only did he enjoy his time at Western, he and his wife Kate Strobl-Missall (’75) met on campus as sophomores and married in their dorm room at Buchanan Towers their senior year. Kate majored in sociology and anthropology. Dig under the 1975 paver on Memory Walk in front of Old Main and you’ll find their student identification cards in the time capsule. Kate rose rapidly in her career and retired four years ago as senior vice president of Marsh McLennan, a global professional services and risk management firm.
Scott’s favorite professor was David Ziegler, professor of political science at WWU. “He was an amazing individual and brought teaching to life. He was supposedly connected to the CIA and reportedly died while flying a military jet in the Middle East. He was smart, astute, and one of the best professors I ever had.”
Scott and Kate settled in Seattle. Early in his law career, Scott was asked to take a case representing Seattle Goodwill on an environmental landfill case. What started was a lifelong relationship between his work as a lawyer and as an advocate for Goodwill’s mission to provide free job training and education to individuals experiencing significant barriers to work, in addition to supplying people with affordable household items and good jobs. Scott joined the board of Seattle Goodwill in the 1990s and has been a staunch supporter ever since.
Most recently, Scott has had the pleasure of watching Goodwill (now Evergreen Goodwill of the Pacific Northwest) expand further into underserved communities through DEB, the Digital Equity Bus. Evergreen Goodwill brings “DEB,” which is staffed and loaded with laptops and hotspots, into areas with no internet access or low access to digital tools. Students attending DEB training can receive free internet hardware and internet access to learn technology skills and enhance their employment opportunities.
“It’s been very satisfying to be directly involved with and help Goodwill make a difference,” said Scott. “Goodwill’s motto says it all — “Because Jobs Change Lives.” Scott identifies with this strongly.
“I love how Goodwill helps people get an education so they can make sense of and successfully navigate our increasingly complex world and provide for their families.”
When he’s not practicing law, Scott, Kate and their sheltie, Rosie, enjoy hiking, taking photographs, and adventure travel around the world. In their 48 years together, these Viking valentines have had the good fortune to walk in and get to know people and what it’s like to live in South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and China, not to mention the easy trips to Europe.
Scott’s advice to current students is, “Study hard, learn for your lifetime, be generous, have fun and help others.”