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College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education



ABOUT THE INSTITUTE:  Western Washington University’s Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education is devoted to promoting civic literacy within secondary education and the public at large. It offers students, teachers and community members an opportunity to work with professors, activists and political leaders to learn how local, state and national politics develop.  Each Fall, in cooperation with the WWU Political Science department, the Institute sponsors the annual Munro Seminar for Civic Education.  Attendance is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Munro Institute and its activities, please visit our Face Book page or contact Professor Vernon Johnson, the Munro Institute Director, at


ABOUT RALPH MUNRO:  Ralph Munro is a Western Washington University alumnus and former trustee. Munro was elected Washington’s Secretary of State in 1980 and continued in that position until his retirement in 2001. In 1966, after graduation from Western, Munro went to work for the Washington State House of Representatives in Olympia. In 1969, Governor Dan Evans appointed Munro as Washington State’s first Volunteer Coordinator. This job led to a White House request for him to help formulate a new federal agency called ACTION. In 1972, the Governor called Munro home to serve on his personal staff. As Secretary of State, he promoted legislation that improved voting practices in Washington, streamlined corporate registration, promoted economic development, and tirelessly promoted wildlife preservation and sponsored programs to benefit people with disabilities. Munro continues to serve his community in a variety of ways. A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Education/Political Science, Munro continues to support WWU’s educational values. He and his wife Nancy reside in Olympia.



Keith Wagoner, Washington State Senate, 39th District (R-Sedro Woolley)

John McCoy, Washington State Senate, 38th District (D-Tulalip)

Becca Kenna-Schenk, Director of Government-University Relations, Western Washington University

Dr. Todd Donovan, Whatcom County Council member, Professor of Political Science, WWU

Dr. Vicki Hsueh, Professor of Political Science, Director Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, WWU

Dr. Kate Destler, Associate Professor of Political Science, WWU