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A Letter From The Director: Giving Thanks

November provides us an occasion to reflect on opportunities in our lives to give thanks. It is also a great time for recognizing the sense of family within our communities. I am constantly amazed by the reach and passion of our Wildcat family. Just over a week ago our new Provost, Katherine Frank, traveled to Washington D.C. where she was greeted with alumni volunteer’s eager to connect with her and share their excitement and passion for Central. Based on the Provost’s response following her time in D.C. it is clear that regardless of how far from Ellensburg life may take us, the bonds our alumni create through their shared experiences as students is truly unique.

As we look towards preparing for Thanksgiving, I encourage you to reflect on the things you are most thankful for in your life and consider paying it forward. This might mean practicing a random act of kindness, making a donation to those in need at the F.I.S.H. Food bank, or sponsoring a child’s holiday wishes by picking up a gift tag in the Student Union Building from the Center for Leadership and Community Engagement’s 19th Annual Giving Tree. I would also encourage you to consider giving back in support of our students at CWU. If you are looking for some inspiration I would encourage you to check out our feature on the phenomenal work Ruth Harrington is doing. I am certain Ruth’s story will inspire you and hopefully prompt you to think about ways you can give back.

One opportunity we are really excited about is the continued growth and development of our mentoring program that is directed by our Alumni Coordinator, Laura Sanchez. The work Laura is doing to help pair our current students with alumni mentors is incredibly powerful. If you would like to learn about how you can serve in this capacity, please reach out to Laura and she can help connect you with our Professional Network. Much like our feature on Sean Cook this month, we are delivering on the promise to provide our students with the best educational experience possible and constantly looking to improve on that service.

Another example of how our alumni are contributing to the success of our current students is through site visits and opportunities for students to meet alumni working in their field of interest. Last week we had the pleasure of taking 28 students on a site visit of the Boeing facilities in Everett. These students received a VIP tour and had Wildcat alumni showing our students the assembly line of Boeing’s commercial airplanes. If you would like to set up a similar tour with your company please contact our Director of Program Development, Ashley Gillum.

On the eve of Veterans Day, I am reminded of the words echoed by President John F. Kennedy “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” One of the things that is perhaps most inspiring about our Wildcat community has been the demonstrated support and gratitude shown to our Veterans. I encourage each of us to continue to express our support and appreciation through our everyday actions, not just on Veterans Day but throughout the year as our service men and women have made the greatest sacrifice in order to provide us with the liberties we enjoy today.

In closing I would be remised if I didn’t say thank you to everyone that made it back to campus to celebrate our 125th anniversary during homecoming week. We had a remarkable time recognizing our Distinguished Alumni and the class of 1966 as they celebrated their 50th anniversary. If you missed the opportunity to come back don’t worry, there are still plenty of occasions for you to engage as we continue the celebration of our great university.

On November 15th join us for an alumni pregame at Kimo’s Sports bar in tri-cities to cheer on our CWU Men’s basketball team as they take on the WSU Cougars at the Toyota Center. We will also be in Hawaii on November 16th and November 18th celebrating our 125th pride with our CWU Women’s basketball team as they take on Chaminade & BYU-Hawaii. We will host a meet and greet dinner with the team and coaches in addition to alumni and prospective students following the CWU vs Chaminade game. Dinner will be from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at Side Street Inn, On Da Strip. Be sure to RSVP today.

As you can see, we have plenty left to celebrate in our 125th year of Central Pride and we have plenty to be thankful for. I implore you to seek new ways to engage with one another, be kind towards one another, and be thankful for what we have. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events and, in the event our paths do not cross, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.




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