Western Washington University presented its most prestigious alumni awards to individuals and a family at its 2007 Alumni Awards Celebration Dinner Oct. 26.
The award winners span a wide range of accomplished alumni, including leaders in business, the arts, journalism, the military, science and education.
ďIt gives me great pleasure to celebrate Western alumni whose successes have paralleled those of the University. Our alumni have achieved personal and professional recognition and their civic contributions have improved our cities and towns,Ē said Western President Karen W. Morse.
On Oct. 26, President Morse and the Western Washington University Alumni Association Board of Directors presented the Lifetime Achievement Award, Distinguished Alumni Awards, Young Alumnus of the Year Awards, and the Legacy Family of the Year Award.
∑ Larry ďGo Vikings!Ē Taylor Alumni Service Award: Larry Taylor. In recognition of his significant service to the University, the Larry ďGo Vikings!Ē Taylor Alumni Service Award was created this year. The award, presented to Taylor in September at his home, will be given annually to an alumnus who best exemplifies the characteristics of Taylor, sharing his dedication to and enthusiasm for Western. Taylor, former member of the Board of Trustees and past president of the WWU Alumni Association, died Oct. 5. He was 57. Taylor received a bachelorís degree in Business Administration (College of Business and Economics) from Western in 1972.
∑ Young Alumnus of the Year: Kendrick Efta, founder and principal consultant for Allyis, Inc. Efta received a masterís degree in English (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) from Western in 1995.
∑ Young Alumnus of the Year: Richard Law, chief executive officer for Allyis, Inc. He received bachelorís and masterís degrees in English (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) from Western in 1993 and 1995.
∑ Young Alumnus of the Year: R. Ethan Yarbrough, president of Allyis, Inc. He received bachelorís and masterís degrees in English (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) from Western in 1992 and 1995.
∑ Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Business and Economics: Shaun Wolfe, CEO of MessageGate, Inc. He received a bachelorís degree in Business Administration and Computer Science from Western in 1989.
∑ Distinguished Alumnus for Fairhaven College: William ďBillĒ Dietrich, author, journalist and assistant professor of Environmental Journalism for Huxley College of the Environment. He received a bachelorís degree in journalism from Western in 1973.
∑ Distinguished Alumna for the College of Fine and Performing Arts: Elsi Vassdal Ellis, professor of Art at Western. She received a bachelorís degree in Visual Communication in 1974 and a M.Ed. in Technology Education in 1977 from Western.
∑ Distinguished Alumna for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Midge Loser, who retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain in 1988. She received a bachelorís degree in Physical Education from Western in 1960.
∑ Distinguished Alumna for Huxley College of the Environment: Heather Flaherty Merchant, who is the Environmental Education and Community Outreach manager for the city of Plano, Texas. She received a bachelorís degree in Environmental Education from Western in 1977.
∑ Distinguished Alumnus for the College of Sciences and Technology: Laurie Vitt, who is the George Lynn Cross research professor and curator of Reptiles at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. He received bachelorís and masterís degrees in Biology from Western in 1967 and 1971.
∑ Distinguished Alumnus for Woodring College of Education: Steven Clarke, principal of Bellingham High School. He received a bachelorís in Speech Education in 1985 and a masterís in School Administration in 1991 from Western.
∑ Lifetime Achievement: John Fotheringham, who has devoted more than 50 years to education in Washington State, including as a public school teacher, superintendent of the South Central School District (now Tukwila), executive director for the Washington Association of School Administrators, and as a professor at Washington State University. He received a bachelorís degree from Western in Physical Education/Secondary Education in 1955.
∑ Legacy Family of the Year: Hickenbottom family, whose members for more than six decades have attended Western Washington University starting with Ed Hickenbottom in 1941. He received his bachelorís degree in 1951 after taking several years off to serve in the U.S. Army. He was the student body president from 1950-51. He went on to become a teacher and his attendance at Western was followed by 23 family members.
A PDF that includes biographies of all award winners is available at http://www.wwu.edu/ucomm/exchange/index.html
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