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Yakima Send Off

Letter from the Director: 125 Years of Central Pride

Every day I am humbled by the fact that our alumni and students continue to challenge themselves not only in the classroom and in the job market, but also in life. Our Wildcats come from all over the world but the shared experience they have at Central provides a foundation for success as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of a global economy, seeking to make an impact that contributes to the greater good.

Cesar Chavez said “True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.” As our alumni transition from students to professionals they often reflect on the legacy they have left behind. This legacy is handed down from one generation to the next through the shared experience of becoming a Wildcat. Informed by the values of inclusivity, curiosity, and the pursuit of lifelong learning, this experience has forged a rich tapestry of caring individuals that are working to give back in their communities. In our Alumni feature you can read about one example of how a second generation Wildcat, Riley Elliot is using her role as Miss Downtown Seattle USA to broaden brain cancer awareness.

In an effort to help capture the many shared experiences that contribute to the spirit and tradition of what it means to be a Wildcat, Student Government with the support of alumni and staff from across the university have worked to identify 91 traditions. In recognition of the institutions 125th anniversary, these traditions have been assembled into a new 1891 Traditions Keeper book that will be available to all students as we celebrate125 years of Central pride.

New this year we will be hosting a send-off party on September 7, to help incoming Yakima area students get excited to blaze their own trails during their time at Central. This will also provide a chance for the incoming freshmen and transfer students to speak with you, our alumni, and ask questions, hear stories, and learn from your experiences. If you’re in the Ellensburg or Yakima area and want to join us, please rsvp today. 

For those alumni that want to help welcome new students when they arrive on campus, consider volunteering to help move-in the largest freshman class in Central’s history by participating as a member of the “Movers and Shakers” on Thursday, September 16. You will get an opportunity to welcome students, parents and family members to the Central family as you help this new generation of Wildcats settle into their new home away from home. 

If you are not able to attend either of these exciting welcome opportunities then consider applying to become a mentor for the Central Student Alumni Association Career Mentoring Program. For questions about how to become a mentor, please contact Laura Sanchez at 509-963-1976 or email her at

This summer we partnered with CWU Athletics to provide an enhanced membership option in honor of the 125th anniversary. We are so excited to welcome you and can’t wait for you to take advantage of all the benefits that come with being a member. If you missed this exciting opportunity don’t worry just click here to learn about how you can join by August 31, to take advantage of this amazing offer.

Thank you to those who have participated in our communications survey. We appreciate the feedback so we can make sure to communicate in a way that meets your needs. Click here to take the survey by August 15, and look for some changes to our communications in the coming months.

Now check out some of the exciting programs happening near you:

CWU Day with Seattle Sounders FC: Purchase your discounted match tickets as we cheer on Sounders FC as they host the Portland Timbers on Sunday August 21. Prior to kickoff we will be hosting a traditional pre-game in the parking lot across from the CenturyLink Pro Shop. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your limited edition co-branded Sounders scarf. 

2016 CWU Fall Sports Preview: We are excited to announce that the 2016 Wildcat Sports Fall Preview, hosted by CWU alumni and Tommy Bahama CEO, Doug Wood, will take place at Tommy Bahama Corporate Office in Seattle on August 24. Come out and meet the coaches and hear about the exciting new recruits that will be representing the crimson and the black. 

CWU Alumni Wine Tasting at Rusty Grape: Join us at Clark county's best winery. We are in the early stages of building regional chapters and this program is all about connecting Wildcats in the Vancouver, WA area. We hope you are able to come out August 25, at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy some great wine tasting while meeting fellow alumni in your community.

Brews and Bikes PDX: Could there be a better way to experience all that Portland has to offer? Bring a friend and come check out the latest craze in group cycling as we hit the road to explore the Portland Micro Brew scene. Registration includes a free Alumni T-shirt. Come out and raise a glass August 27, starting at 12:00 noon and surround yourself with great friends and reminisce about your time at Central.

Ellensburg Rodeo & Kittitas Valley Fair: Don’t miss the best rodeo and fair in the country. Come back to the burg and enjoy all that Ellensburg has to offer as we celebrate the 94 years of Rodeo over Labor Day weekend. 

Homecoming 2016 save the date: Homecoming activities begin October 10, and run through October 15 this year. Join us for an exciting line up of activities and programs that commemorate the 125th anniversary of the institution. Get your tickets and root for the home team as we take on Western Oregon and plan to stay Saturday night to enjoy the comedic talent of Brian Regan.

As you can see, we certainly have a lot to look forward to as we celebrate 125 years as a community. It is truly an amazing time to be a Wildcat and I look forward to the many great opportunities that will come this year.

Always a Wildcat,

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.