The Foundation for WWU & Alumni announces the selections of its annual alumni awards

Recipients represent Western in their field, their community, or among their peers

The Foundation for WWU & Alumni is proud to announce the 2024 WWU Alumni Award winners. These five award recipients represent Western in their field, their community, or among their peers. The winners are listed below.

To read more about these winners, please visit:

WWU Alumni Award Winners


- Tony George, class of 1986, president of Kitsap Bank


- David Cullier, class of 1990, director of the University of Florida Brechner Freedom of Information Project


- Danny Marshall, class of 1980, tribal leader, Steilacoom Tribe


- Nicole Burdick, class of 2013, founder of Money Maven Financial

- Ruta Nanivadekar, class of 2014, president of the board of Palouse Pathways and organizational development program manager, City of Bellevue

These outstanding alumni will be celebrated at a special reception on May 10. The reception is supported by proceeds from the Chris Goldsmith WWU Alumni Program Endowment Fund.


About Western Washington University

Western Washington University offers more than 200 academic programs on its main campus located in Bellingham, and at additional sites in Anacortes, Bremerton, Everett, Port Angeles and Poulsbo. Western is recognized nationally for its successes, from being named the top master’s-granting institution in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years in a row by U.S. News & World Report, which also named WWU as the of the best public schools in the West for veterans, to its recognition as one of the most sustainable, green campuses in the nation by the Sierra Club. Western is also known for being a top producer of prestigious National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, and Peace Corps volunteers, and nationally ranked for graduates who go on to earn research doctorates.  The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Academic Workplace report named Western as one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, winning honors in two categories: teaching environment and tenure clarity and process.  


About the Foundation

The Foundation was established in 1966 as a vehicle to receive and encourage private giving to WWU. In the past year, donors have provided $24 million to the University in the form of annual gifts, endowed gifts, estate gifts, and gifts in kind like real estate, equipment, and works of art. Gifts fund student scholarships, as well as provide support for programs, faculty, clubs, and teams.

In 2023, The Foundation for WWU & Alumni was formed when the Foundation merged with the WWU Alumni Association. The Foundation for WWU & Alumni serves all alumni, donors and members of the WWU community from a single, streamlined organization.

The Foundation is led by a group of dedicated board members who grow awareness of the importance of private support to public institutions. These alumni, parents, and community leaders bring their experiences in business, education, science, and non-profits, and share the common mission of engaging new friends for Western while also stewarding the more than $140 million in assets under the Foundation’s management.


Media Contact

Loren Skaggs, Director of Marketing and Communications, University Advancement, WWU,