By Stacey Robertson
Among the first actions that I took as the new dean of the College of Arts and Humanities was to appoint adjunct professor for Choral Studies Scott Peterson as the faculty alumni outreach liaison.
The reason was simple: A college is much more than its current students, faculty and staff. Our alumni are an integral part of who we are and who we want to be. They are the best and most poignant evidence of our success
In the weeks leading up to our Alumni Day on April 21, we have frequently contemplated what our alums mean to our college – past, present and future.
Just as important, we have pondered how we can team up with our alums to enhance our present programs and increase opportunities for our students to experience success in life and in the global marketplace. Our alums are a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience.
Are we doing enough to collaborate with them, and to listen to their advice? They want to help. They appreciate how CWU contributed to their respective careers.
We believe our alumni can enrich and improve us in multiple ways. Yes, we will always appreciate those who assist us financially in providing the best education possible to the thousands of students we educate in our robust eight departments — Art, Communication, English, History, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Theatre Arts, World Languages — and related interdisciplinary programs.
Our alums are more – much more — to the College of Arts and Humanities. They are our legacy. They know what CWU means in terms of their respective careers and the well-being of their families. More importantly, they can be vital mentors for our present students and our graduates.
We recognize and value the wisdom, sage counsel, networking opportunities, and friendship our alumni provide to our current students. It’s a challenge in today’s competitive marketplace to
find meaningful careers. We believe that having well-placed alums is vital. These alums hold prominent positions in key industries, located in desirable venues and in growing fields, which are critical to students building their careers.
We are dedicated to helping our students graduate and succeed. In turn as they experience fulfillment in life and work, we hope that they, as CWU alumni, will offer guidance, mentorship and assistance to the next wave of graduates, and thus continue this affirmative cycle for the benefit of all.
Two Generations of Wildcats
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Jack and Crystal Widman (both of the CWU Class of 2000) and their daughter, Jacki. Jacki will be entering Central this fall as a junior, having already earned both her associate’s degree. She hopes to be a member of the CWU graduating class of 2018 or 2019.
Her father, Jack, is the principal of Glacier View Junior High in Puyallup. Crystal is a junior high teacher at Stahl Junior High School also in Puyallup.
Jack received his B.A. degree in Social Studies and History (taking African American and Russian Studies) and a minor in Elementary Education. He also earned his teaching certificate from Central. Crystal earned her B.A. in Elementary Education with a minor in Science.
Jacki intends to follow in her parents’ footsteps and pursue a CWU College of Arts and Sciences degree in Social Studies/History with an eye toward becoming a teacher.
Jack and Crystal’s son, Bryan, is a ninth grader at Stahl Junior High School. Will he become the sixth member of the Widman family to attend and graduate from Central Washington University? We hope so.
One thing is certain: The Widmans are teaching important skills to the next generation of students. They embody the mission of the College of Arts and Humanities – ethically minded leadership, creativity, and intelligence. They are using the skills they developed and honed during their days at Central to educate and inspire their students.
College Arts and Humanities Alumni Day
We will be celebrating an alumni honoree from each of our eight departments on Alumni Day, April 21.
I am looking forward to welcoming our alums back to Ellensburg and learning about their experiences at Central and in the years that followed. We will also be inaugurating our first Alumni Mentorship Program. This program will partner each of our alumni honorees with a lucky student in every department.
The highlight of the day will be our afternoon Alumni Panel discussion at the Milo Smith Tower Theatre during which our alums will share their wisdom and life lessons with students, faculty and staff.
We are confident that our Alumni Day will be successful and productive, but we hope to do so much more. Let me assure you the College of Arts and Humanities will always prioritize our alumni as valued friends and respected collaborators in the future of our beloved university.