CWU News

CWU Celebrates 2015 Commencement this Weekend

Central Washington University will hold its traditional three commencement ceremonies this weekend. Graduates in the College of Arts and Humanities, College of the Sciences, and Interdisciplinary and Individual Study majors will walk on Saturday, 9:30 a.m. June 13, at Tomlinson Stadium. Graduates in the College of Business and the College of Education and Professional Studies will walk at the afternoon ceremony at 2:00 p.m.

Graduates of CWU at Des Moines, Pierce, Lynnwood, and Everett will receive their diplomas at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, at the ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St. in Kent.

CWU College of Business alumni will be keynote speakers for both ceremonies.

Ellensburg native and alumnus Doug Wood, president and COO of Tommy Bahama, will deliver the keynote commencement speech at both of the Ellensburg ceremonies.

From the Boeing Space Program to Tommy Bahama, business grad Doug Wood, ’87, is down-to-earth and modest about his impressive rise to chief of operations at the fastest growing lifestyle conglomerate in America.

After graduation from Central, Wood began work as an administrator for the Boeing Defense and Space group. He credits his forward-thinking professors at Central for his rapid advancement at Boeing.

Later, he worked for McCaw Cellular and served as a consultant with AT&T Wireless, before being tapped by the Tommy Bahama Corporate Group.

At that time, Tommy Bahama was a $200 million company, specializing in apparel, accessories, and home furnishings. Since Wood has come on board, the company has reported sales approaching $500 million and has licensed a variety of products, from its signature rum to restaurants.

Wood now oversees all the operations of Tommy Bahama, symbol of the upscale island lifestyle, which has headquarters in two cities, cafes and emporiums in 18 more, and products featured in shops from coast to coast.

A native of Kittitas County, Wood has deep and cherished roots in the valley. His father worked for the City of Ellensburg, and his mother owned Buttons Jewelers in downtown Ellensburg from 1942 until it closed several years ago. He graduated from Ellensburg High School and returns regularly to visit family and friends. Wood also sits on CWU’s College of Business Advisory Board. And he and his family cherish their decades-old tradition of celebrating at the Kittitas County Fair and Ellensburg Rodeo every year.

Jean Adams, senior vice president of investments and senior financial advisor for Wells Fargo Advisors will be the keynote speaker at the Kent ceremony.

Adams is a 1988 finance graduate from Central Washington University. She grew up in Oak Harbor Washington, the youngest in a family of five kids. Her dad was a Navy fighter pilot and her mother was a school teacher.

After college, Adams worked at a leasing company for two years leasing equipment to medium-sized businesses. A friend told her about an opening at Bank of America and she jumped at the opportunity.  Adams worked in a variety of areas until she landed a coveted job on the bank’s Seattle trading floor selling fixed income securities to institutions and high net worth individuals. In 1995, an opportunity to work as a financial advisor in a private bank opened up. She accepted the position and over the next several years, became one of the bank’s most successful brokers.  

Adams has been at Wells Fargo since leaving Bank of America in 2003. She is a senior vice president with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.  Adams is one Wells Fargo’s top brokers in the Pacific Northwest and has served on the Wells Fargo Advisory Council, working with senior management on issues related to the brokerage business.

Adams served on Central Washington University’s Foundation Board from 2007 to 2013. She is passionate about supporting CWU and over the past several years, has funded numerous scholarships and is currently providing financial assistance to the College of Business.

Adams has been married for 27 years and lives in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle with her husband Joe and her dog Corky.


Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,