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University Advancement

CWU Alums Celebrate School History with Launch of Wildcat Alumni Plaza

After struggling academically in high school, Doug Andrews was strongly discouraged from pursuing his desire for a college education by his school counselors. Andrews, then 18, decided to join the Air Force for his schooling, but was rejected due to his impaired eyesight.

His backup plan may have failed him, but in 1963 Andrews chose to go to college, despite any adversity he may face. He attended Highline Junior College in Des Moines, WA, receiving an AA Degree in 1966. With this degree came the opportunity to transfer to Central Washington State College.

“Central was so accepting of those who had challenges,” Andrews said of his experience. “The school and the teachers were able to help students like me who had potential, but just needed a little extra help.”

Andrews graduated from CWSC with his BA in business administration in 1968. After graduation he returned to Seattle to work in and ultimately run the family business, Andrews Machinery Construction Supply.

As an alum, Andrews was integral in reestablishing the CWSC’s Alumni Association. He was a member of the Alumni Board from December 1974 to October 2012 and was instrumental in getting Central’s vanity card program started. Andrews’ time on the alumni board gave him the opportunity to watch and participate in the growth of CWSC/CWU through five university presidents, two acting presidents, six alumni directors, and numerous dedicated alumni association board members. 
He met his wife, Sharon, during the 1980s, and later encouraged her to pursue a degree in accounting at CWU’s West Side campus. She graduated in 1990. 

After much success in their careers, the Andrews sold the family construction supply business and retired in 2002. As they began planning for retirement, they contemplated ways to give back to the university that gave them so much. 

The Andrews established an endowed scholarship in 2016 to support transfer students with a documented accommodation through the CWU Office of Disability Services. They said they felt compelled to give back to students who simply needed a caring, helpful, and nurturing environment like that of Central.

Most recently, the Andrews donated to the Wildcat Commons project, specifically to support the new Alumni Plaza in the north end of Tomlinson Stadium. The Andrews say they were intrigued by the idea of a gathering place for alumni and were inspired to bring the campus together. 

“We liked the idea of the Alumni Plaza because it’s just a special place for alumni to get together,” Andrews said. “When people go into the Alumni Plaza, or look at the donor wall, we hope they will see the names of people who have gone there, and it will inspire them to get involved. So many people can be affected.” 

The Alumni Plaza was dedicated to the Andrews during a private donor preview on September 28 at Tomlinson Stadium. Bob Ford, executive director of alumni and constituent relations, says the Andrews’ gift to Wildcat Commons will help bring Wildcats together for years to come.  

“Doug and Sharon have helped change the conversation around alumni support and what is possible at Central,” Ford said. “They have moved the conversation from what might have been thought of as impossible to possible, and that is something that will have a lasting impact that will inspire others.” 

The CWU Alumni Association, CWU Athletics, and the CWU Foundation truly appreciate donors like Doug and Sharon. Want to invest in success? Consider giving to support Wildcat Commons and Central students today.

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