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Alumni

One Big Cat

Obtaining a bachelor’s or graduate degree is an amazing accomplishment, and we want to celebrate new grads as they join the cohort of alumni from Central Washington University.

Commencement is a time to celebrate success and to celebrate the future of fellow Wildcats. It’s a time where we welcome new alumni and celebrate them for their accomplishments and wish them well in their future endeavors. Commencement is a time in which we can all look back fondly and remember the anxiety-filled-walk to Tomlinson Stadium, the bagpipes ringing through Ellensburg, the influx of family, friends, and alumni.

This year, the Ellensburg commencement speaker is John Haroldson. Haroldson, a CWU alumnus, is the first Latino elected to serve as District Attorney in the State of Oregon and has served as a criminal prosecutor since 1988. Haroldson earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Central Washington University, and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Oregon.  He is a member of both the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar.

Tod Nielsen will serve as the commencement speaker for the Kent ceremony. Nielsen is a graduate of CWU Lynwood and has excelled in the tech industry. Nielsen also began his own software company as soon as he graduated from Bothell high school in 1983. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration and Information Systems, and soon after went to work for Microsoft in 1988, where he stayed until June 2000.

Nielsen is now the President and CEO of Financial Force, a cloud-based applications company headquartered out of San Francisco, CA. Formerly the Executive Vice President of Platform at Salesforce, Nielsen joined Financial Force in January 2017, bringing with him his deep understanding of cloud platforms and extensive experience taking technology companies beyond the billion-dollar revenue mark.

Nielsen has held many other high-profile positions throughout his career, serving as an executive at four of the five, top largest enterprise software companies including Microsoft, Oracle, VMware, and Salesforce.

We are excited to host these two outstanding alumni as they share their knowledge, experience, and the values that have helped shaped them into successful graduates and outstanding alumni. 

Following commencement, the Alumni Association will welcome our 2017 graduates and commemorate this milestone by hosting a Grad Celebration in Ellensburg and a special reception for graduates following the Kent ceremony.

While we prepare to welcome this new class of alumni following commencement we hope you consider giving the gift of membership to the CWU Alumni Association. Recent graduates are eligible for a discounted membership for their first year. Membership to the Alumni Association comes with outstanding benefits, including invitations to events, discounts, and special access to exclusive areas at athletic events.

Past graduates who are not yet members, are encouraged to join and receive these same benefits. For those with expired memberships, renewing is just a click away.

The Central Washington University Alumni Association would like to take the time to congratulate each and every member of the graduating class of 2017. We look forward to seeing all of the amazing things that our recent graduates will go on to accomplish. We hope that the network of more than 100,000 alumni worldwide will help to provide the support these young alumni will need as they transition to life after university. Go Wildcats!

CWU Commencement Ceremonies
Whether you have a student graduating, or you’re planning to show your support for a mentee, we want to make sure you have all the details you might need to show your Wildcat Pride during graduation. Ellensburg campus ceremonies will be held on Saturday, June 10, followed by a ceremony in Kent on Sunday, June 11. For additional details, visit the commencement page on our website. Tickets are not required for entry at any of the graduation ceremonies.


For more information, click to join or give the gift of membership to a recent graduate today.

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