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Central Washington University

CWU President Honored by Washington State Legislature

Thursday, March 25, 2021

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Legislature has passed a pair of resolutions honoring outgoing Central Washington University President James L. Gaudino for his more than 12 years of service.

The Washington State Senate passed Senate Resolution 8615, which was sponsored by Senator Judy Warnick and co-sponsored by Senators Jeff Holy, Jim Honeyford, and T’wina Nobles.

During the reading of the resolution, Warnick and Honeyford were joined by Senators Marko Liias, Lisa Wellman, and Curtis King, in applauding Gaudino’s leadership, particularly in overcoming some of the most challenging times in CWU’s 129-year history.

The Washington House of Representatives approved an identical resolution (House Resolution 2021-4611), sponsored by Representative Mike Sells and co-sponsored by Representatives Tom Dent, Brad Klippert, Cindy Jacobsen, Mari Leavitt, Debra Lekanoff, Alex Ybarra, Gerry Pollet, and Kelly Chambers.

“This is a great honor and one that was entirely unexpected,” Gaudino said. “I’ve been fortunate to be part of a community of very gifted and talented faculty, students, and staff, so this recognition is as much for them as it is for me.”

Ron Erickson, chair of the CWU Board of Trustees, said the honor was much deserved.

“President Gaudino has done a superb job leading the university for more than 12 years,” Erickson said. “His commitment to academic freedom, enhanced technology and modernization, building the university’s image, and promoting an accepting environment where students feel they belong, has strengthened Central. We will all miss President Gaudino.”

The twin legislative resolutions cited Gaudino for “creating a welcoming and inclusive campus climate that has resulted in CWU being the most diverse public university in the state, and the only university to earn the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award in six of the past seven years.”

Additionally, the president, who will step down on June 6, was praised for expanding educational opportunities by launching a number of online degree programs and establishing instructional sites in Sammamish and at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Both houses of the legislature concluded by extending their sincere thanks to Gaudino for his service to the people of Washington and his work in expanding educational opportunities for the citizens of the state.

Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,

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