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Alumni and Constituent Relations Senior Director Bob Ford Bids Farewell to CWU

Bob Ford with alumni and donors at Alumni Plaza sign entrance

Many, if not all, of you know Bob Ford. You’ve seen his smiling face, heard his contagious laugh, and felt his positive energy at alumni events and on the CWU campus for years.

Most recently, Bob has served as the senior director of alumni and constituent relations, but prior to this role he worked in student success for 12 years and also coached the CWU men’s rugby team. He has been involved in thBob Ford in China with CWU alumnie CWU community for over 18 years and made an impact in every role he has held.

He played an integral role in seeing the sport of rugby transition from a club to a varsity sport, played a large role in the building of the SURC, and reinstituted membership of the alumni association, which now has 1,700 members.

"Bob always seems to find himself in a place to build programs and implement change, with supporters from across campus,” said Director of Program Development and Alumni and Constituent Relations Ashley Gillum. “He was never afraid of doing the hard work, especially if it could grow the Wildcat family. He is the kind of person that inspires greatness from anyone who knows him, I know because I have felt it."Bob Ford in golf cart

Bob approaches his work with passion, and that is evident when you look at all he has accomplished during his time at Central.

When Bob was hired to the university advancement team in 2014, he said, “I look forward to leading a unit that is critical to our student success and having an opportunity to foster the impact our world-class alumni can have in both the university and their local communities,” and he has done a phenomenal job following through on that for the last six years.

During his time with University Advancement, Bob has been instrumental in reengaging alumni with Central through the alumni relations program.

He was a driving force in the creation of the CWU class ring, ring and medallion ceremony, Traditions Keeper program, Student Alumni Association, Wildcat Family network, Wildcat Business Network, and the mentorship program. He was also a catalyst behind the creation of the Alumni Plaza at Tomlinson Stadium, which now gives alumni a place to gather and watch CWU athletic teams compete.Bob Ford in foreground with CWU Boeing alumni

After almost two decades, Bob is leaving Central and pursuing an opportunity in the private sector.

“We wish Bob and his family the very best for the next phase of their lives,” said Interim Vice President for University Advancement Rick Paradis. “The relationships he has made while at CWU with coworkers, alumni, and students will be lasting. We know that he will continue to be a Wildcat at heart.”

Before his departure from CWU, Bob said, “I am so proud of the work we [in university advancement] have done as a team, the impact we have had on the lives of our students, and the trajectory of this institution.”

We will miss Bob at Central and thank him for his years of service to CWU and the Wildcat family.


Story by: Robin Burck robin.burck@cwu.edu

December 10, 2020

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