Alumni Conversations: Western's newest double major

Deborah DeWees

I’ve spent more than two decades sharing the amazing WWU story and helping alumni support students and university programs. I’ve seen philanthropy, big and small, make an important impact, and I continue to be pleasantly surprised by just how giving Western alumni are. Once again, I’ve found myself surprised.

Eight months ago, ODESZA’s Clayton Knight ’12 and Harrison Mills ’12 contacted my office and asked if we’d be interested in having them perform at the upcoming WWU Alumni Weekend, then asked if it would be okay if Death Cab for Cutie, whose band members Ben Gibbard ’98 and Nick Harmer ’98 are also alumni, could join them for the concert. The two bands had connected at a music festival and thought that performing at Western, where they both got their start as student bands, would be fun. They let us know that they wanted the concert to be affordable for students to attend, as well as to raise funds for student scholarships. Clearly they remembered what being a student meant and how alumni could make a meaningful difference.

On May 18, these alumni and their fellow band members will perform the first concert ever held in Civic Stadium to a sold-out crowd of 11,500 WWU students, alumni and supporters. This benefit concert will provide in excess of $25,000 for student scholarships through the WWU Alumni Scholarship Endowment Fund. Hundreds of students over the coming years will benefit from this support.

Ben, Nick, Harrison and Clayton thank you for your generosity and inspiring us all by doing what you do best for WWU!

Go Vikings!

WWU Alumni Weekend May 17-19, 2019, Bellingham,, WWU Alumni Presents Double major Death Cab for Cutie, ODESZA, May 18, Civic Stadium, Bellingham, WA, Sold Out.

is executive director of the WWU Alumni Association