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CWU Alumni Association
Phone: (509) 963-2160
alumni@cwu.edu

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.

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Hilary Tanneberg

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.

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Julie A. Back

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.

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Jean and Joe Adams

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


4 Under 40 Leadership Award

4 Under 40 honorees excel in their industries or communities through their leadership roles, share a commitment to personal growth and community involvement, and exemplify true Wildcat spirit.

Successful candidates are:

  • Recognized leaders in their profession OR in their volunteer service
  • Engaged Wildcats through service, volunteerism and/or resource investment
  • Under 40 years of age at time of nomination

Nominate an alum for the 4 under 40 Leadership Award today.


Distinguished Alumni Award

The  Distinguished Alumni Award  recognizes CWU 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. 

Successful candidates have:

  • An undergraduate degree or higher from CWU
  • Outstanding achievement in his or her professional field

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 Washington University.

Nominate an alum for the Legacy Award today.


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