The magazine for Western Washington University

How do you get your blue on?

by Deborah DeWees, executive director of the WWU Alumni Association

By Deborah DeWees | Executive director, WWU Alumni Association

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When the Western Alumni Association kicked off the Get Your Blue On! campaign in 2008, our intent was to make the community of Western Washington University visible. Western has such a strong, growing community. We designated one day a week as Western Wednesday and encouraged everyone in our community -- near and far – to fly their colors and show their pride in our university.

Deborah DeWees

Executive Director, WWU Alumni Association

Just today as I write this on a Wednesday, I met an alumna, Lynsey Jackson (’03), a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital, who shared her WWU story after seeing the logo embroidered on my dress. Western gear makes it easy to connect with other members of our community.

On campus, we wear Western gear on Wednesdays. But you don’t have to be in Bellingham to get your blue on.

Allison Gregg, a ’97 graduate who works in Decatur, Ala., drove an hour to present a Western scholarship to an incoming freshman she’d never met. Gregg is an online alumni mentor with our Ask! program, and when a presenter was needed for Jennifer Seifried’s high school graduation ceremony in Guntersville, Ala., the Western network swung into action. Despite being more than 2,600 miles from Bellingham, two Alabama residents connected through the power of the Western community.

Michael Taggart (’88) got his blue on when he brought his friend Cary Painter (’88) by the Alumni House and encouraged him to sign up for a membership. Michael and Cary had classes together at WWU and were best men at each other’s weddings. Every year, they make a two-day trip back to Bellingham to visit campus and rekindle old memories. Michael and his wife, Erica Taggart (’98), have been lifetime members since 2005; their daughter is a freshman at Western. Michael wanted to make sure his friend stayed connected and enjoy the benefits of Alumni membership.

Bob Harvey isn’t even a WWU alumnus, but his wife, Mary Alice Peterson (’66), is so he has hosted the annual salmon barbecue in Olympia for the past four years. Th ey also sent their granddaughter Rylee to Western’s volleyball camp this summer.

There are so many ways to connect with your Western community: Join the Alumni Association; follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn; volunteer to host an event; serve on a board or committee; offer a student internship or hire a grad; be an Ask! mentor; or give a donation. Most of all, wear your gear and celebrate your Western pride.

Get Your Blue On!