Alumni Conversations: Come see what we've been up to

Some say you can never go home again, but that's just what I've done.
Kim O'Neill
“Western’s campus is open and bustling with activity.”

Some say you can never go home again, but that’s just what I’ve done.

It is not only possible to return home, but could be one of the best things you’ve ever done, filling you with a sense of renewal and energy.

Growing up in Stanwood, once I turned 18 life took me east of the mountains to Washington State University, and then on to Moscow, Idaho, and Lubbock, Texas. When the opportunity to return to the Pacific Northwest presented itself, I jumped at the chance and feel so fortunate to now be at Western as the Vice President of University Advancement and President and CEO of the Western Washington University Foundation. But this is not about me. It about each and every one of our Alumni and your alma mater’s ever-present invitation to come home.

Western’s campus is open and bustling with activity. Students, faculty and staff are back, and while we may be a bit difficult to recognize behind our masks, the energy and enthusiasm is as high as it has ever been. Buildings are open, Carver Gym and the Vikings are in action once again and the coffee shops are full. It’s truly a great time to be in Bellingham.

Construction on the south end of campus with the newly opened Alma Clark Glass residence hall and the soon-to-be-completed Interdisciplinary Science Building are tremendous additions. If you haven’t been here lately, the Viking Union has undergone a significant makeover with the addition of the Multicultural Center and a brand-new bookstore (stocked with all kinds of great Western gear). The interior of Wilson Library continues to be upgraded and is a great place to spend a quiet afternoon. There are more sculptures than ever before and discovering the art in the Sculpture Collection is a great way to spend an hour or two. And, of course, the Arboretum is always open for a good trail walk.

Come home. Spend some time at the place where (hopefully!) you made great memories. Bring your family. If you have a child getting close to deciding on where to apply to college, our Admissions Office offers tours nearly every day. Whether it’s a weekend getaway to Bellingham, a morning walk for those who are still local, a visit to the Gallery or a game in Carver, this will always be your home and you are always welcome back. Always.

Find your way back home. Go Viks!

is Western’s vice president for University Advancement, CEO and president of the WWU Foundation, and executive director of the Alumni Association.