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WWU Alumni Connections Enrich Us All

By Deborah DeWees | Executive Director, WWU Alumni Association

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Deborah DeWees, executive director of the WWU Alumni Association, in the Viking Union overlooking Bellingham Bay | Photo by Rachel Bayne

Sidebar: Be a part of the conversation: The WWU Alumni Survey is coming your way

Be a part of the conversation: The WWU Alumni Survey is coming your way

It has been my experience that when Western alumni reflect on their days on campus, they have a strong sense of pride in their alma mater and the role Western played in developing the people they are today. I was reflecting on alumni who had recently reconnected and realized how important their involvement is for the Western community:

Chris Cassidy (’05) who now lives in Washington D.C. and works on Capitol Hill, recently organized a casual happy hour that drew more than 60 Vikings

in the D.C. area. They want to make this budding Western community fun and meaningful – and will help launch our alumni-student online mentoring program this summer. If you’d like to get on the D.C.-area alumni list, let us know.

Mike Bahn (’01) stopped by the Alumni House on his way to Vancouver, B.C., for the Olympic Games and to visit his wife, Laura Tietjen, a physical therapist

for U.S. Speed Skating long track team. He had already gotten in a workout at the campus Wade King Student Recreation Center, spoken to an upper-level Physical Education Health Recreation class, and later was going to meet a few grad students and faculty at Boundary Bay Brewery.

Dan (’98) and Jen (’99) Cunningham, who graduated with Chemistry and Biochemistry degrees respectively, just hosted a Western Alumni wine tasting event at their store, WineStyles, in Issaquah. They shared tales of their time in the labs at Western and with their favorite professor, Anthony Spencer-Cahill, who I learned that night officiated at their wedding. The Cunninghams felt good about reconnecting with WWU after a decade. And rightly so: More than 80 alumni, parents and friends were there! I spoke with several graduates during the evening, including Suzanne Coleman (’72), and her brother-in-law Larry Farmer (’88). Suzanne announced by the end of the evening that it was time for her to get more involved and she joined the Alumni Association on the spot!

I invite you to add your story to the list of alumni connections; stop by the Western Alumni House at the end of High Street, call, e-mail or join us on LinkedIn,

Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll help you figure out how!