Walter Scott

Walter Scott, Jr. (’97)

2017 Walter Scott, Jr. Award Recipient

Chairman & President
Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1931, Walter Scott, Jr., was the grandson of Scottish immigrants. Raised during the Great Depression, Scott began working at the age of eight as he shoveled snow for neighbors. When he was older, he worked on farms and ranches during the summer. He attended Colorado A&M (later Colorado State University), where he earned an engineering degree. During his college years, he worked summers for Kiewit, a construction company. Scott worked his way up the ladder from job foreman to superintendent to district manager. At the time, Scott became CEO of Kiewit in 1979, it was principally a construction business with some mining interests. Under Scott’s leadership, Kiewit became one of the leading heavy construction organizations in the nation. In 1998, Peter Kiewit Sons’ (PKS) separated its construction and communication/information services business, thus establishing Level 3 Communications, a subsidiary, as an independent corporation. Scott became chairman emeritus of PKS and continued as chairman of Level 3, operator one of the world’s largest communications and Internet backbones.

Dennis R. Washington (’95)

2024 Walter Scott, Jr. Award Recipient

The Washington Companies

Dennis Washington was born in Spokane, Washington, in 1934. He contracted polio when he was eight, but recovered. After high school, Washington went to Alaska to pursue a job in heavy construction. Two years later, he returned to Montana and worked for his uncle who owned a construction company. By age 26, he was vice president of the largest construction company in Montana. Three years later, Washington went into business for himself and by 1969, he was the largest contractor in Montana; within 10 years, Washington Construction would be listed among the largest in the nation. Washington eventually branched into mining, dam building, railroads, and marine shipping. In 1996, Washington Construction merged with Morrison Knudsen. From that, Washington directed the formation of Washington Group International, acquiring components of Westinghouse and Raytheon to mold one of the largest design/build companies in the United States. His other private businesses, the Washington Companies, soon comprised more than a dozen affiliated companies, including the largest privately owned railroad in the United States and the largest marine transportation company in Canada.

Phyllis J. Washington

2024 Walter Scott, Jr. Award Recipient

Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation

Phyllis J. Washington is Chair of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. She also serves on the National Board of Young Life, a 65 year old Christian organization for young people, and the National Committee of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in Washington DC. Phyllis, a native Montanan, received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Montana in 1964, married Dennis Washington and pursued her teaching profession for 7 years before retiring to raise her sons, Kevin and Kyle. Later she turned her talents as an interior designer and antiquarian into Phyllis Washington Antiques ~ Maison Felice in Palm Desert, California. Phyllis’s philanthropic pursuits began with the University of Montana (“UM”), serving several terms on the UM Foundation Board of Trustees. She received UM’s 1999 Bucklew Presidential Service Award and in 2009, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education. Phyllis was instrumental in the design and construction of the Phyllis J. Washington Education Center at the University. In 2011, the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education and Human Sciences was renamed in her honor.