Gabriel S. Galanda
Human rights attorney
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Few cases have brought the titans of sovereignty and individual rights head-to-head quite like the famous Nooksack tribal disenrollment case, but WWU alumnus and attorney Galanda, ’97, B.A., English, is up to the challenge of representing those whose tribal membership status is at risk.
“It’s a civil rights issue,” he says plainly, his voice choked with emotion.
For Galanda, this kind of struggle isn’t new. An enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of California and a native of Port Angeles, Galanda grew up steeped in both the traditions and hardships of Indian country. He knew from the time he entered Western what he wanted to do: “I went to WWU and law school knowing I wanted to represent tribes and tribal communities—that was the focus I carried through law school.”
In 2010, Galanda started his own law firm. “I was working out of my home. I went to work in my sweats. I was seen as more accessible, and individuals began calling me regularly with civil rights, religious rights cases representing tribal members in whatever form of crisis or controversy they found themselves in.”
As an attorney, Galanda is often cited for his eloquence. “Studying English literature taught me how to think critically and write analytically. I hit my stride studying English in particular.”
Armed with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Native Son” under one arm and “Critical Theory and Practice” in the other, Galanda took off from Western for law school at the University of Arizona, where he received his law degree in 2000.
In his mission to serve underserved Native American populations, Galanda has also founded Huy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rehabilitative opportunities for American Indian prisoners.
Serial technologist, marketing rock star
Young Alumnus of the Year
Dumont, ’11, B.A., marketing, relishes the energy of startups, the passionate developers with new ideas, and the high-level problem-solving of small businesses. Dumont has built and supported companies like Moz, Seesmic (acquired by Hootsuite), Stride (acquired by ProsperWorks), Tatango, and Betaworks. He also served as the Chief Marketing Officer for Bitly. In 2014, he was selected for Forbes prestigious 30 under 30. His current venture is Curious Capital, a venture capital firm in Seattle that has invested in 11 startups this year. His dedication to Western is equally passionate, serving as a keynote speaker at Business Summit 2017, hosting a happy hour in Seattle for alumni, and guest lecturing in courses at WWU.
Catharine R. Stimpson
Scholar and author
Distinguished Alumna Campus School
Catharine “Dodie” Stimpson, a pioneer in the study of women and gender, founded Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society in 1974 and was the first director of the Women’s Center at Barnard College. From 1994 to 1997, she was the director of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Fellows Program. She has published eight books, more than 150 monographs, essays, and stories, and served as co-editor of the two-volume Library of America edition of the works of Gertrude Stein. She chaired the National Council for Research on Women, served as president of the Modern Language Association, and was a board member of PBS. She also chaired the Ms. Magazine Board of Scholars. She is Dean Emerita of the Graduate School of Arts and Science at New York University, where she is also a University Professor of English and teaches a course in “Law and Imagination” at NYU Abu Dhabi. And she cherishes her Campus School education; she still wears her t-shirt from the 2007 reunion.
Retail Store Experience Leader, BATA Brands SA
Distinguished Alumnus, College of Fine and Performing Arts
Fisher, ’89, B.S., visual communication, an industry leader in retail design, helps shape the retail store experience at BATA, one of the world’s largest shoe and clothing retailers and manufacturers. His resume lists several other globally recognizable brands, including LEGO, the NBA, Sprint, Sunglass Hut, and Universal Studios. Fisher was also responsible for the merchandising at the first NBA retail store, in New York City.
Author and History Professor, University of British Columbia
Distinguished Alumnus, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Thrush, ’93, B.A., Fairhaven interdisciplinary concentration, law & diversity, a history professor at University of British Columbia, writes books that explore corners of history, such as indigenous culture and downtown Seattle in “Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place.” His most recent “Indigenous London,” explores how indigenous visitors from the U.S., New Zealand, Canada, and Australia influenced the decision-making, culture, and popular discourse in London beginning in the 16th century.
Instructor, Health and Community Studies, WWU Everett Campus
Distinguished Alumna, Woodring College of Education
Blanchard, ’97, B.A., human services; ’99, M.Ed., adult education, is deeply committed to her students in human development, human services, holistic health, addiction and recovery, and other essential courses she teaches in Western’s Human Resources and Rehabilitation Counseling Program in Everett.
Director, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
Distinguished Alumna, Huxley College of the Environment
True, ’81, B.S., ecosystems analysis, oversees King County’s trail development, natural resource protection, and historic properties. Among her department’s recent accomplishments: King County Land Conservation Initiative protecting 65,000 acres, progress on a tree planting project that will plant 1 million trees by 2020, and a landmark fish, farm and flood agreement.
Business Services Loan Officer, WECU
Larry “Go Vikings” Taylor Alumni Service Award
Not only is Roddy, ’84, B.A., business administration, a Western Athletics super-fan and season ticket-holder, Roddy’s advocacy secured the WECU Court sponsorship in Carver Gym, along with $250,000 in scholarships for Western athletes. He also serves as a mentor to student athletes and volunteers at every Graduation Celebration.
Peter J. Hallson
Former President, Diversey Water Technology
Lifetime Achievement Award
Hallson, ’58, B.A., biology, fell in love with the sciences at Western. In 35 years at Nalco Water, he worked his way up from sales to president of Diversey Water Technology, which was acquired by Nalco. Now retired, he is on the College of Science and Engineering’s External Advancement Group, advocating locally and in Olympia to support Western. An avid bicyclist, Hallson also leads group rides in his community, advocates for bike education in elementary schools, and conducts safety courses for cyclists.
Raymond Merle “Bud” Burke
Professor Emeritus of Geology, Humboldt State University
Distinguished Alumnus, College of Science and Engineering
Burke, ’68, BAE, geology; ’72, M.S., geology, was one of the first Master of Science students at Western and remains an active supporter of the WWU Geology Department. Though retired, he is a beloved former professor at Humboldt State, where he received the Outstanding Professor Award in 1998.
CFO, Legend Brands
Distinguished Alumnus, College of Business and Economics
Not only did Wilson, ’79, B.A., accounting, gather tremendous financial support for Western while he was at Moss Adams, he has also established and supported many funds for students and professors, and programmatic support for the accounting department.
Family Outreach Manager, WWU New Student Services/Family Outreach
Campus Volunteer Award
As one of the forces behind programs for new students and families, Stevenson, ’00, B.S., physical education, plays a crucial role WWU students’ success.
City of Bellingham and Mayor Kelli Linville
Community Volunteer Recognition Award
Western is grateful for amazing support from Linville, ’74, B.A.; ’81, M.A., and the city, including funding for Paint B’ham Blue and WWU Alumni Weekend.