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The Iñiguez Family: A Wildcat Family that Gives Back - Decorative Image

While there are a variety of scholarships that support students at Central Washington University, there’s something unique about the Iñiguez Family Endowed Scholarship.

Dedicated to their parents, Santiago Iñiguez and Guadalupe Rodriguez, the Iñiguez Family Endowed Scholarship is dedicated to Latinx students who demonstrate financial need, with a preference for first generation Mexican-American students.

Santiago Iñiguez and Guadalupe Rodriguez were migrant farm workers from México who believed strongly in the power of education. They had eleven children, all of which graduated college, five of them from CWU. The Iñiguez children set up this scholarship in their memory.

“Our family is one of many examples of how education, a strong collective family identity and hard work can lift families out of poverty,” Simón Iñiguez mentions. “But we recognize that we did not do this alone. Several of us benefited from academic and athletic scholarships, and we wanted to give back to the community that helped lift us up.”

To help support the scholarship, the Iñiguez brothers host a “Guy’s Weekend” in Ellensburg every year. This year, the weekend began on October 2, and included activities such as tailgating and attending the CWU vs Midwestern State football game, playing nine holes of golf at the Ellensburg Golf Club, and venturing to local bars downtown.

“The ongoing collaborative effort between ourselves, CWU, and local businesses for the common good is a winning formula,” the family says.

In addition to the Guy’s Weekend, the Iñiguez family collaborates with a non-profit, Encanto Arts, which has historically raised funds for the scholarship through concerts across Washington State.

For the members of the Iñiguez family that graduated from CWU, they say, “The university served as a place that allowed each and every one of us to evolve as human beings.”

They each have fond memories of the university, recalling, “It challenged us physically, emotionally, and academically to bring about the best of us in different ways during our time there.”

Some of their favorite moments from their time at Central are memories such as beating the Western football team, presenting at SOURCE, and connecting with CWU’s professors.

“We will always hold CWU dear to our hearts and paying it forward to assist future CWU students was the least we could do!”

In the future, the Iñiguez family hopes to be able to fully fund athletic scholarships at CWU to inspire the next generation of Latinx student-athletes and help achieve their dreams for the future. 

“We hope to inspire others to give back and pay it forward.”

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December 2021

Story by: Kathleen Singleton