CWU News

CWU is Expanding its Community Outreach

Central Washington University has expanded Ann Anderson’s role, formerly director of Government Relations, to director of Community and Government Relations. A former state senator and Central Washington native, she will act as the university's primary liaison with civic and business groups in Central Washington, particularly in Ellensburg.

“We want to be accessible to our communities with clarity and consistency," says CWU President James L. Gaudino, adding that Anderson served many years on the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce Board. "Ann is well known in our communities, and is a trusted leader."

Anderson, a CWU alumna, served in the Washington State Senate (1987-1998), where her leadership positions included Senate majority whip, majority caucus chair and deputy majority leader. As a state senator, her committee assignments included the Senate Higher Education and K-12 Education committees. Ann's work in education was recognized with CWU's Distinguished Alumni Award and the Washington Vocational Education Special Legislative Award. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from CWU.

“I'm honored to help the university strengthen community relationships," says Anderson. "We’re building new stronger connections to create internships, research opportunities and business partnerships that benefit not only the university, but also the regional economy."

CWU’s expanded statewide reach includes community college and Running Start partnerships — from Grays Harbor to Walla Walla. New university institutes are partnering with businesses to conduct research, provide services and prepare the next generation of entrepreneurs.

 “We’re reaching out like never before,” says Anderson. “We have more than 4,000 high school students in our Running Start program alone. We’re providing expanded access, new courses of study and we work hard to link our students with businesses for real-world experiences, as well as for job opportunities after they achieve their degrees.”

Anderson will help CWU achieve its goal of strengthening Kittitas Valley’s economy. Familiar with agriculture and business issues through her work in the Senate, Anderson will maintain her state relations responsibilities. She was named Legislator of the Year (1998) by the Association of Washington Businesses, as well as by the Washington State Farm Bureau (1996). The Community and Government Relations office is located in Barge Hall, room 211. Ann Anderson can be reached at 509-963-2185.

Contact: Jackie O’Ryan, CWU Public Affairs,

June 5, 2014