Awards


Outstanding Alumni

Each year the Central Washington University Alumni Association honors a small group of individuals who embrace CWU's spirit and mission. Nominate a deserving alum, and help us showcase our most exceptional Wildcats. Honorees will be recognized at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony. Read more about our alumni awards below.

Professional headshot of Hilary Tanneberg long brown hair with bright smile

2022 Young Philanthropist of the Year

Hilary Tanneberg

Hilary graduated from Central Washington University in 2009 and started giving back to the university shortly after in 2011. She consistanly gives to areas including the Moss Adams Accounting Faculty Endowment fund and the women's basketball team. She has also been part of the mentorship program at CWU for the past two years, providing guidance to students pursuing the CPA track.

 

Professional headshot of Julie Back wearing cream suit with long blonde hair and bright smile wearing a fancy necklace

2022 Alumni of the Year

Julie A. Back

Julie graduated from Central Washington University in 1992 with a Business Administration degree and is the 2022 College of Business Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Julie serves on the College of Business Leadership Board and is an advisor/principal at Wealthspire Advisors.

 

Couples photo of Jean and Joe Adams, jean wearing a bright pink sweater smiling with mid length blonde hair and Joe smiling with short cut hair and blue jacket

2022 CWU Philanthropists of the Year

Jean and Joe Adams

Jean and Joe graduated in 1988 and have been giving back to Central Washington University for over 15 years. They have supported the College of Business, various scholarship funds, the Wildcat Commons project, and most recently, the Nicholson Pavilion Renovation Project, also known as the Health Education Project. Their significant contributions to the renovation project will include two naming opportunities; the Jean and Joe Adams Atrium in the main lobby and the Sheila Hyatt Athletics Administrative Office Suite, named in memory of Jean’s late mother.

Past Honorees

Alumni Innovator Award

The Alumni Innovator Award recognizes an individual who brings innovation and creativity to the workplace via a new idea, perspective, or initiative within the CWU community. A nominee will have demonstrated innovation in one or more of the following areas:

Criteria:

  • Nominees must have earned a degree from Central Washington University.
  • Nominees have demonstrated a commitment to the institution and have made significant contributions to CWU through their time, talent, or financial support.
  • Nominees have demonstrated a commitment to innovation and creativity in their workplace by bringing new ideas, perspectives, or initiative within the CWU community.
  • Nominees model a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their personal, professional, or community life. This may include actively working to advance the representation and inclusion of underrepresented groups, promoting cultural awareness and understanding, and advocating for social justice and equality.

Nominate an alum for the Alumni Innovator Award today.

Emerging Alumni Award

The Emerging Alumni Award recognizes an individual who has taken advantage of the opportunities offered by CWU and has used their skills, abilities, and passion to make a meaningful impact. This individual has demonstrated a commitment to the growth and development of the CWU community and has left a lasting impact on their peers and the college.

Criteria:

  • Nominees have graduated or will be graduating from Central Washington University during the awarded year.
  • Nominees have been involved in one or more student organizations, volunteered for various community service projects, excelled academically, or taken leadership roles in student initiatives at CWU.
  • Nominees have modeled a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at CWU by actively advocating for these values and taking steps to create an inclusive environment.

Nominate an alum for the Emerging Alumni Award today.

Distinguished Alumni Award

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates who have distinguished themselves in their fields; have earned a high degree of respect among their colleagues and in the general community; and whose impact has been felt on a regional, national, and/or international level.

Criteria:

  • Nominees must have earned a degree from Central Washington University.
  • Nominees have made significant contributions to their community and have demonstrated a commitment to community service and volunteerism.
  • Nominees have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and have made a significant impact in their personal, professional, or community life.
  • Nominees have demonstrated a commitment to the institution and have made significant contributions to Central Washington University through their time, talent, or financial support.
  • Nominees model a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in their personal, professional, or community life. This may include actively working to advance the representation and inclusion of underrepresented groups, promoting cultural awareness and understanding, and advocating for social justice and equality.

Nominate an alum for the Distinguished Alumni Award today.

Legacy Award

The Legacy Award honors individuals whose contributions and achievements in the community embody CWU’s mission of fostering citizenship, being responsible stewards of the earth, and leading enlightened and productive lives. Through mentorship, their commitment supports the university’s vision of educating leaders through intellectual inquiry and excellence achieved through a diversity of ideas and people. The person selected will be recognized for contributions to the community at large, as well as unwavering dedication and commitment to the advancement of Central.

Criteria:

  • Nominees must have earned a degree from Central Washington University.
  • Nominees must be a current CWU employee with a minimum tenure of three years.
  • Nominees model a commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at CWU. This may include actively working to advance the representation and inclusion of underrepresented groups, promoting cultural awareness and understanding, and advocating for social justice and equality.

Nominate an alum for the Legacy Award today.

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