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Central Washington University

CWU Identifies Puget Sound Office Close to Alumni, Students, Business Partners

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (November 30, 2012) Central Washington University has found an ideal location to support enhanced communication with Puget Sound-area corporate and government leaders, and university alumni and students, most of whom call western Washington home. CWU Trustee Ron Erickson has announced that the university is now finalizing a sublease on office space in Seattle at 1505 Westlake Avenue N, suite 1000.

"This space puts CWU 100 miles closer to the homes and businesses of the majority of our students and alumni," said Erickson, noting that more than 65 percent of them hail from counties west of the Cascades. "This is a wonderful new resource for the university and for all of our friends and partners."

On December 1, the university will begin subleasing 3,057 square feet from Strategies 360, a strategic communications firm for public policy, marketing, communications, creative services, federal and state lobbying, and business strategy. The cofounder and chief executive officer of Strategies 360 is Ellensburg native and CWU alumnus Ron Dotzauer. Brad Fitterer, CWU Foundation board vice chair and secretary, said the alumni connection makes the space even better.

"Ron Dotzauer is a longtime friend of Ellensburg and the university, and we're delighted to have the opportunity for this closer partnership," said Fitterer, owner of Fitterer's Furniture in Ellensburg.

In addition to the office space, the two-year lease allows CWU access to an additional 3,000 square feet of deck overlooking Lake Union. No modifications are required of the partially furnished space. The monthly lease will be $8,166.67, which includes utilities and other services.

CWU's presence in western Washington has been growing for more than 30 years. CWU now offers degree programs at community colleges in Des Moines, Edmonds, Everett, Kent, and Steilacoom. CWU President James L. Gaudino points out that, in spite of this long-time commitment to the most populous part of the state, CWU has had no centrally located office in the Puget Sound area for alumni outreach, business communications, government relations, or student recruitment.

Dramatic disinvestment by the state has added new urgency to the need to strengthen CWU's physical presence and marketing position in western Washington. The loss of half of state funding in just three years has refocused the fiscal priorities of the university, according to Gaudino, who said CWU now must rely heavily on private funding, including donations by friends and alumni, and corporate support—each of which exists in greater abundance in the Puget Sound area.

All of Washington's Fortune 500 companies—Costco, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Paccar, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Weyerhaeuser, and Expeditors International of Washington—are located in the Puget Sound region. The state's largest and most philanthropic corporations and many of its most powerful policymakers also reside in the area. More than 65 percent of Washington's population lives in the region.

"We've set some very ambitious goals for corporate and alumni relations and overall enrollment," said Gaudino, adding that Washington State University already has a Seattle office. "If we’re serious about providing the best possible service to our students, alumni, and corporate partner, then we must be accessible where these key stakeholders live and work."

 

Media Contact: Linda Schactler, executive director, CWU Public Affairs, 509-607-4103, schactler@cwu.edu