Alumni Conversations: A Month of Celebration

We welcomed friends back to campus for several events last month.
Kim O'Neill

Visit the WWU Alumni Association to learn about events, connections and opportunities for alumni. 

Western’s outstanding reputation is built on the success of our graduates and this night only reinforced the amazing accomplishments of so many.

The month of May and the end of the academic year brought with them many celebrations on campus to highlight accomplishments and recognize achievements.

For the first time in more than two years, scholarship donors and the student recipients gathered in person. The positive energy in the room was palpable. Students were feted for being a named scholarship recipient and we celebrated the individuals who make that support possible. This event is always a warm and welcoming one, but it seemed extra special this year as both students and donors had the chance to meet and get to know one another after such a long period of time without events. It was the blend of philanthropy and student success at its best!

The Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony was the university’s opportunity to welcome 13 alumni back to campus to be recognized for their outstanding accomplishments. Pride doesn’t begin to describe the feeling we all had as graduates took the stage while their faculty mentors, current students and family members looked on. Photos and stories can be found in this issue and believe me when I say this is the highlight of the year for the WWU Alumni Association. Western’s outstanding reputation is built on the success of our graduates and this night only reinforced the amazing accomplishments of so many.

The seventh annual WWU Give Day was a rousing success and a tremendous way to cap off what has been a successful fundraising year for Western. Once again, you answered the call for support and provided much needed resources for our academic units, sports clubs, Viking Athletics, and the Western Welcome Scholarship. We are so very grateful to our loyal donors and appreciative to those who may have made their first gift on May 26. Together, you all are positively impacting the Western experience for thousands of young people—thank YOU!

The Western Welcome Scholarship is the university’s new initiative to provide much needed support that will allow high school seniors who dream of a Western education the opportunity to pursue a degree. The funding gap is real and the need is great. This scholarship will make college more accessible and open up opportunities to many for whom college might otherwise not exist. This is one of the most critical needs we have—both as a university and in society—and your support is deeply appreciated. YOU make a difference!

I wish you a fun-filled and enjoyable summer. If your travels bring you to the Bellingham area, please stop by for a visit and stroll through the Outdoor Sculpture Collection or Arboretum. If you are close by, campus is a great place for your daily walk. Or if your kids are sports-minded, the Athletic Department hosts a slew of summer camps. Whatever your interests, Western has something for everyone.

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