CWU News

CWU Announces 2017 Distinguished Alumni


The Central Washington University Alumni Association is honoring nine individuals for their contributions to advancing the mission of the university.

The group will be celebrated at the annual Distinguished Alumni and 50-Year Reunion Banquet, which takes place during CWU’s Homecoming weekend on October 6.

“We’re so pleased to be able to recognize these individuals, who have each done so much to embrace CWU’s spirit,” said Robert Ford, director of alumni relations. “These nine people truly represent what it means to be a Wildcat.”

This year’s distinguished alumni include:

Under-40 Leadership Awards

• Kimberly Whipple is a graduate of the College of the Sciences. Whipple, who serves as the senior director of the Technical Advisors and Geophysicist at IHS Markit, is in charge of the company’s international sales force.

• Jose Iniguez, is a College of Business alumnus who established the very first Latino endowment at CWU and has raised close to $40,000 for the endowment through his music program, Encanto. He is also an award-winning Latin music artist, who, through his concerts, has raised over $150,000 for student scholarships, art organizations, and community groups.

• Ryan Scully is a College of Arts and Humanities graduate who serves as the president at Warshaw Blumenthal Inc. and is also a creative director at Turbo Dog Productions. In 2011, Scully was honored by the CWU College of Arts and Humanities with the Alumni of the Year award.

• Abe Silvestri is a College of Education and Professional Studies graduate who is currently the visiting club house manager for the San Francisco Giants and was previously the director of baseball operations at Washington State University.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

• Frank Gavaldon, a graduate of the College of the Sciences, is a disabled Marine Corp veteran, who served three tours of duty in Vietnam. Gavaldon retired from the City of Tacoma as a Civil Rights Investigator in 2011, but has remained committed to assisting individuals who have been victims of discrimination. In 2012, he formed the Tacoma Human Rights Council, a non-profit agency with a mission to eliminate discrimination in the US.

• Terry Robling, a graduate of the College of Business, is also a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, serving 38-years. He retired from active duty in 2014 as a Commanding General of the Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. He then came out of retirement in 2015, taking a Chief Executive Officer’s position at PKL Services INC., a global aerospace company.

• Kathy Cahill, a graduate of the College of Education and Professional Studies, serves as the vice president for PATH’s International Development division, directing strategy development and implementation across the organization’s international presence. Cahill has over 20 years of experience in public health.

• Andrea Klouse, a graduate of the College of Arts and Humanities, has a national reputation as a composer, conductor, and accompanist. Klouse founded “Vivace!”, a choral program, which provides students ages eight and up, from the South Puget Sound area, the opportunity to experience music with professionals from around the world. She was inducted into the Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2012.

Legacy Award

• Forty-four years ago, Ruth Harrington, honored with the Legacy Award, began organizing luncheons to raise money for CWU student scholarships that would benefit high school seniors and single parents and has raised nearly $1 million. Through monthly scholarship luncheons, Harrington continues to bring people together and raises money for education.

The 50-Year Reunion Brunch with the CWU Football team is scheduled for Saturday, October 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. For more information and to view a whole list of Alumni sponsored events go to: