CWU UA FY23 Impact Report


Central Washington University acknowledges the people who have been on this land since time immemorial. The Ellensburg campus is on lands ceded by the Pshwanapum and other bands and tribes of the Yakama Nation in the Treaty of 1855. The Yakama people remain committed stewards of this land, cherishing it and protecting it, as instructed by elders through generations. We are honored and grateful to be here today on their traditional lands, and give thanks to the legacy of the original people, their lives, and their descendants. LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT


Introductions Student Impact CWU Giving Day




Alumni Engagement Steve Hertling Field

10 11 12 13

Leaving a Legacy at CWU

Scholarship Support

Student Impact 14 Vatheuer Family Foundation 15 Alumni Mentorship 16 Detective Jeanne Walford 17 The Wildcat Promise 18 Student Impact 19 David and TJ Schelert 20 Facts and Figures 21-22 Boards 23

509-963-2160 CWU is an EEO/AA/Title IX Institution. For accommodation e-mail:





To the Wildcat Family—

As the Vice President of Advancement, I am honored to have the opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for your unwavering support and extraordinary generosity towards Central Washington University. Your continued dedication to Central has been instrumental in supporting the bright futures of Wildcats. Your philanthropy has played a pivotal role in transforming the lives of students, empowering faculty, and advancing facilities on our campus. Through your contributions, we can uphold our new mission, vision, and values to create transformative educational opportunities that encourage personal growth and success while fostering a community of equity and belonging. Your philanthropy helps us shape bright futures for current students and for generations to come. Together we are nurturing talent, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and providing unparalleled opportunities for Central students.

In the pages ahead, you will discover inspiring stories of contributions that are having a positive impact on our campus community and beyond. We will highlight the incredible endeavors supported by your generosity and demonstrate how your investments are yielding substantial returns in terms of knowledge creation, societal impact, and the realization of our shared vision. We are greatly appreciative for your continued partnership and look forward to the incredible accomplishments we will achieve together in the future.

PAUL ELSTONE Vice President, University Advancement Executive Director, CWU Foundation

You have not only made a significant difference in the lives of students and faculty, but you have also become an integral part of our Wildcat family.

“I cannot thank donors and supporters of CWU enough for their investment and continued commitment towards students and the university. They allow us to do the important work we do, and without them, we could not do it at the level required. In the last year, we made great progress towards our goal of providing resources that lead to the successful futures of CWU students. Donors and supporters continue to see CWU as a value-added investment that impacts our communities and students’ lives. The future will require highly skilled, highly educated individuals, and I think we are well positioned to be the conduit to make that happen. “It has been my honor to serve as Foundation Board Chair. Looking to the future, I am excited to introduce the

“As incoming chair, I am thrilled to continue to work alongside foundation board members who offer their passion and expertise to enhance our overall goal of supporting the future of CWU students and the university. As an alumna, I believe in the value of a CWU education. As a supporter of the university, I believe in making CWU’s quality education accessible to all and look forward to assisting Central in this mission.” WENDY IWASZUK ( ’ 97) Incoming Board Chair CWU Foundation

incoming Foundation Board Chair Wendy Iwaszuk who I know will continue to enhance the future of students and the university.” RALPH CONNER ( ’ 88) Board Chair CWU Foundation



“Because of our dedicated Wildcat family, the last year was incredible for the CWU Alumni Association. Thank you to each one of you who remained connected to CWU and showed your support by attending alumni gatherings including Homecoming, regional events, and CWU Night with the Mariners and by offering your time and talent to be mentors, guest speakers, and regional leaders. “As I finish my term as CWU Alumni Association President, I look forward to the great work that Jada Rupley will accomplish as she moves into her new role as president. The future of the alumni association is bright, and we look forward to your continued involvement and engagement as we transition away from our paid membership model into our all-inclusive model of lifelong belonging.” ANDREW MORK ( ’ 11) Board President CWU Alumni Association

“I am excited to be the incoming President of the CWU Alumni Association during a time of so much change. As we head in a new direction, I look forward to building on the incredible momentum created by the talented individuals on the board to advance our vision of building a passionate Wildcat network.” JADA RUPLEY ( ’ 73)

Incoming Board President CWU Alumni Association


“ Receiving these scholarships reduced my stress about my financial situation and inaccessible opportunities feasible for me and I am incredibly grateful. Participating in research and public scholarship is helping me gain experience and knowledge to apply to graduate school. With your support, I am able to continue engaging in opportunities that will inform my future as a public health professional. Thank you for this investment in my future; I hope to be able to pass it on through my work.” allowed me to focus on my studies and pursue opportunities that will help me prepare for my future. Receiving scholarships allowed me to work fewer hours and made otherwise

RUBY COLLINS (’23) Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Majors




CWU’s annual day of giving, #GiveCentral, is a 24-hour period where we call on the Wildcat community to put student’s needs first and make donations to various projects brought forth by departments and colleges across the university. This year, the aviation department created a campaign goal to raise $10,000 to send students and flight instructors to the largest aerospace gathering in the US called Airventure Oshkosh. CWU Aviation staffed a booth at the event which brings more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts together from 80 countries over a one-week period every July. To ensure CWU students could attend the conference and reach their fundraising goal, the Hermanson Company kindly contributed a significant amount towards that goal. Included with their donation was a memo that said in part, “Opportunities such as the 2023 Oshkosh Fly In are unique and something the students will cherish

forever. CWU’s participation will certainly increase the exposure of the program and acknowledge the momentum you are building in the eyes of the commercial airlines and the general public.” The department received donations from 17 additional donors to make this dream a reality for aviation students and the program. The Hermanson Company noted that Aviation Department Chair Dr. Pavel should be commended for his efforts in building the CWU Aviation reputation on a broader scale. “This gift enabled me to bring six students and flight instructors to Airventure 2023 for an experience they will never forget” said Dr. Pavel. “We put them to work as event volunteers and they represented CWU in the highest regard. In fact, the six students and flight instructors were given a standing invite by the Oshkosh Airventure event organizer to come back next year.”

“ Opportunities such as the

acknowledge the momentum you are building in the eyes of the commercial airlines and the general public.” - Hermanson Company

2023 Oshkosh Fly In are unique and something the students will cherish forever. CWU’s participation will certainly increase the exposure of the program and



$ 7,000 Donated by Susie Jensen (’01) to the Wind Ensemble WASBE International Convention held in South Korea in July of 2024. $ 2,500

• 513 total donors


• 45 total fundraising projects • 141% increase in online dollars • 226% increase in online transactions

Donated by Janet Backus (’72) as a match for Wildcat Pantry, supporting food security at CWU. $ 2,000

• 15 Challenges

• Completed challenges unlocked $79,885

• 84 #GiveCentral

Donated by Jana Decker (’11) as a match for the Cap & Gown fund which supports graduating Wildcats who may not be able to afford their cap and gown for commencement.

Ambassadors accounted for 90 gifts totaling $41,338





337 Alumni Volunteer Interactions

Alumni Worldwide


WA State Alumni

1,000 CWU Night with the Mariners Tickets Sold

2,708 Alumni Event Participants

2,596 New Alumni in FY23


Investing in the future of CWU football and the athletic training program, former student-athlete and alumnus Steve Hertling (’70) has made a significant commitment to CWU athletics.

to have the opportunity to meet the challenge of college football was pretty exciting for me.” Hertling says that one of the biggest highlights from his time at Central was meeting his wife Cheryal (’71) who is also an alum. The couple has been married for 51 years and is excited to be leaving a permanent mark on CWU’s campus.

To honor his generosity, the athletic field in Tomlinson Stadium has been named Steve Hertling Field.

“Steve has been a tremendous friend of Wildcat Athletics since he first arrived on our campus in 1966,” said Director of Athletics Dennis Francois. “It is a privilege for us to name our field in his honor and secure his legacy at CWU.” Hertling is a CWU Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and was an outstanding kick- returner, running back, and defensive back at Central, setting 14 school records and earning four letters from 1966-1969. “Being inducted into the Hall of Fame was really special,” said Hertling. “I stayed close to Central from the time that I stepped my first foot onto campus. I have known so many people that have been involved in athletics there for over 50 years, and to be selected into the hall of fame, knowing how many great players and people have been involved at that school, it was a very humbling honor.” He was also a three-time Evergreen Conference all-star, earning first-team honors at running back in 1967 and 1968 and at defensive back in 1969, returning four punts for touchdowns, and having eight interceptions in his senior season alone. “Central provided me with an opportunity to have an education and play football, and football was pretty big in my life at that time” said Hertling. “Just arriving and knowing I was going

Hertling’s legacy at Central has been ongoing since he graduated, making his first donation of $25 when he started his first teaching job out of college.

“My original goal was to pay back the money they gave me to go to college,” said Hertling. “As I paid back the money, which meant everything to me, I was involved in the football program and wanted other kids to have the opportunities that I had, so I kept giving so they could help other kids. The practice field was a magnificent classroom, and the lessons I learned there were the lessons that helped me achieve what amount of success I’ve had in my lifetime.” Hertling’s most recent contribution will support both the football program and the athletic training program at CWU. His goal of paying back the scholarship money he received when he was a student-athlete is now sure to support Wildcats and enhance the overall student experience for generations to come. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of Steve Hertling and are honored for his name to have a permanent place in the stadium to cement his legacy as an outstanding football player and generous supporter at Central,” said CWU President Jim Wohlpart. “His commitment will have a lasting impact on generations of

Wildcats to come and will enhance the futures of countless student-athletes.”



“ CWU provided us with an excellent education. It is the foundation that made us

CWU donors create impactful philanthropic legacies with the power of planned giving. You can make a planned gift through your will, charitable trust, or retirement account, all as part of your estate planning. Including the foundation as a beneficiary of your estate is an effective way to make a significant gift that might not otherwise be possible. More than 20% of the funds we raise come from these vital gifts. Our community of Barge Society members, including those featured on this page, use a variety of planned giving options to create their legacies. Some advantages include significant tax benefits, additional lifetime income, and, most importantly, the ability to make a difference for future generations of CWU students. LEAVING A LEGACY AT CWU

successful. We are very thankful. Our success has provided us with opportunities that were not available to our parents. We were the first to graduate from college. Many thanks to CWU.” KENNETH (’56) and VIRGINIA (’65) LANDEIS

“ I grew up in the small town of Waterville in Eastern Washington. Going to college had always been a goal for me and my parents. Meeting new friends and learning

from so many kinds of people made the foundation of my life stronger, deeper, and more positive. These rich, life-forming experiences and memories still stay with me today. I loved the time I spent at Central!”

If you have questions about planned giving, please contact CWU Director of Planned Giving, Sarah Freeman, at or call 509-859-1166.


Steve (’83) and Kristen Brace have established the College of Business Student Athlete Scholarship at CWU which supports student- athletes who are pursuing a business degree. The $45,000 commitment will award six annual scholarships for the next three years to student-athletes who are enrolled at Central full time and are in good academic standing. The awardees can major in any field within business and play in any sport at CWU. “My wife and I were interested in establishing impactful ways to help more kids going into business.” said Steve. “For us, it’s a way to give back, but also a way to pull talent out of the business program and introduce them into the real world by hiring them as interns and employees of our company.” In addition, Steve and Kristen have an existing scholarship at CWU called M Brace the Commitment, created in honor of Steve’s father, Martin Brace. This scholarship also supports student-athletes at CWU, offering four student athletes assistance each academic year. “At Central, you can truly make an impact, and I think that is one of the most gratifying things,” said Steve. COLLEGE OF BUSINESS STUDENT ATHLETE SCHOLARSHIP


SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT In FY23, Ted (’77) and Janice King committed $25,000 to the Waldo King Jazz Scholarship Endowment, a fund established in 2019 by Kathleen King to honor her husband and Ted’s father, Waldo King (’50). Waldo was an alumnus of CWU, Central Washington College of Education at the time, and helped found the Collegians jazz band in 1946. The additional funding from Ted and Janice ensures that two students a year receive the Waldo King Jazz Scholarship, one instrumentalist and one vocalist. Recipients of the scholarship must be participating in a vocal or instrumental jazz ensemble and be pursuing a degree in music education.




“ Air Force ROTC has been the most beneficial experience I have had the opportunity of partaking in. I have grown and continue to improve professionally in more ways than I can count. Every day that passes I find myself not only closer to, but more prepared for my goal: to become a pilot. This has been my dream since I was very young, and through time my fixation has only grown stronger. Receiving this scholarship has been one of the prouder moments of my career in AFROTC. I hope to live up to the legacy of both those who have received this honor before me and of course, Captain Welch. This scholarship serves as motivation to maintain a high standard of integrity, service, and excellence in all aspects of my life. I am excited to use this opportunity as fuel to accomplish great things as a student, cadet, and future officer. Thank you again for your support. It truly goes a long way.”

THOMAS RIEGER (’23) Aviation Management Major Business, Aerospace Studies Minors

VATHEUER FAMILY FOUNDATION SUPPORTS CWU STUDENTS Inspired by their experience at Central and growing up in nearby Cle Elum, two brothers have been integral in helping students succeed through Vatheuer Family Foundation (VFF). VFF provides direct support to partners internationally supporting food systems, sustainable agriculture, and access to clean water. CWU is honored to be considered a partner to carry forth these key priorities to help humanity’s future. In the last fiscal year, VFF offered $55,000 in support to the College of Business agribusiness program, pre-medicine student scholarships, and Douglas Honors College emergency funds. The agribusiness program was designed to be accessible and fill education gaps for farmworkers in Central and Eastern Washington. VFF’s generosity is helping create resources to agribusiness program faculty to provide students with national networking opportunities and the time to create a more comprehensive agribusiness program. In addition to their support of agribusiness, VFF has helped six students become one step closer to obtaining their dream of attending medical school. In FY23, VFF doubled their support from FY22 by donating $20,000 to the Vatheuer Foundation Scholarship which provided four students with scholarships. One of the recipients says they made it through their senior year and graduated on time without having to take time off from studies, which wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarship. VFF also recognizes the need for programs to have the flexibility to meet student’s needs in real time. As such, they provided the Douglas Honors College with $5,000 for emergency funds to address times when a student finds themselves in a difficult situation and needs support to maintain their academic standing and momentum as a student. “CWU gave me a wonderful education,” said VFF Director Martin Vatheuer. “It’s been great working with CWU to help the next generation pursue their dreams. CWU has developed creative ways to help students from all kinds of backgrounds realize their potential.”

What started as a group capstone project ended in establishing a new endowed scholarship at CWU with Janet J. Britt (’23) committing $25,000 to create the Giving Back Business Scholarship Fund. When tasked with creating a project that created a positive impact and was something sustainable, the group of business students had a lot of ideas for how to help people, but most of their ideas were one-time activities. Though they could create a manual to have another group recreate the project in following years, Britt found that perpetuating impact was something important to her and eventually they agreed to fundraise the initial GIVING BACK BUSINESS SCHOLARSHIP

sum of a scholarship fund. My hope is that this scholarship will have a deeper impact,” said Britt. “One- thousand dollars to a single student can be enough to keep them in school.”




Siblings Teresa (’91, ’02) and Joe (’96) King are using their Central education and professional experience at Boeing to give back to current students by becoming mentors. Earning both her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering technology (MET) and graduate degree in engineering technology from Central, Teresa has had a long career in the field and spent the last 17 years at Boeing where she is currently the cabin development and integration senior project manager. Likewise, her brother Joe earned his degree in MET and has spent the bulk of his career at Boeing where he currently leads the functional integration single and multiple failure team for the 777X development program supporting certification deliverables.

In 2022, Joe and Teresa mentored four students who all got jobs with Boeing after graduating. In 2023, Teresa finished the year having mentored five students, three of which have already been hired into careers in their field and the remaining two she is working on getting placed as entry-level engineers. “Both Joe and I have been very fortunate that we had such a great mentor in our MET chair when we were at Central,” said Teresa. “The late Walt Kaminski was our champion. He truly believed in his students, and I personally feel I would not be where I am if it weren’t for his unwavering support. I thought this would be a great way to honor his legacy and saw it as a chance to give back.” Looking to the future, both Teresa and Joe plan to continue mentoring Central students and encourage other alumni to give it a try. I think a lot of alumni think that the only way to give back is financially,” said Teresa. “I would encourage alumni to think outside the box because giving back can come in so many forms. Alumni are doing great things and many students could benefit from their expertise. I got so much out of mentoring that I wished I would have done this sooner.”

“The MET degree I earned at Central helped prepare me for my professional career,” said Joe. “I wanted to share this experience with CWU engineering students, and Teresa and I recognized that soft- skill development is key to success in any professional career, so we developed the mentoring program to emphasize that throughout their senior project work.” Not only do Teresa and Joe work with their mentees on topics pertinent to working in the MET field, but they also focus on what Joe refers to as ‘soft skills.’ This includes facilitating in-person dry- run presentations of student senior project presentations and a resume writing workshop that helps put their best foot forward when applying for jobs.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor to CWU students, please visit


CWU has been presented with a new scholarship endowment fund, thanks to a King County Sheriff’s Office detective whose investigation of a fatal hit-and- run crash led to the identification of the driver who caused the accident. The donations to the endowment fund came from the family of Bryan Panzanaro, who passed away in the accident, and six of the crash survivors—David Scott Hutchison, Stephen G. Clay, Jeffrey Cushman, Sheryl Foley, Oliva Pascua, and John Weatherwax— who designated Detective Jeanne Walford (’96) as the recipient of the $85,000 fund. The survivors pointed to Walford’s work as an example of excellence in protecting and serving the community. “By locating the phantom driver, she profoundly impacted the civil litigation of the wrongful death and personal injury cases,” they said in a statement.

the law and justice profession by providing scholarships to current and future law and justice students. She said her decision to start a new CWU endowment fund was an easy one. I loved Central. It was a great school,” Walford said at a July 31 ceremony at CWU-Sammamish, also attended by CWU President Jim Wohlpart and Provost Michelle DenBeste. “And if I can help one student a year to pay their tuition, maybe they will come work for us someday.”

Walford presented the funds to her alma mater in hopes that it will further




The Wildcat Promise was designed at CWU to close the gap between aid students receive and the total cost of attendance while also creating opportunities for more students to build their future at Central. The program provides guaranteed funding for students to supplement their existing federal, state, and other financial aid support for four years if they remain in good academic standing. We are thankful for these early donors to this new program.

Seattle Kraken and One Roof Foundation

At every home game last season, the Seattle Kraken and One Roof Foundation, together with Starbucks, honored someone doing fantastic work to inspire, uplift, and unite their community as a Kraken Hero of the Deep. Each Hero of the Deep selects a nonprofit to receive a $32,000 grant from One Roof Foundation’s Kraken Unity Fund, established and funded by Kraken ownership. At the game on February 16, alumnus Robert Nellams (‘81) was recognized as the Kraken Hero of the Deep and selected The Wildcat Promise to be the recipient of the $32,000 grant.

Kelly and Kevin Bengston

In FY23, Kelly (’96) and Kevin (’96) committed $200,000 to establish the first Wildcat Promise Endowment, making them the first of our initial group of founders. “We are very passionate about first- generation students and helping them pursue their education,” said Kelly. “Kevin and I were both first-gen students, so we know what it’s like. We understand that it’s hard to afford college, and we wanted to help find a funding mechanism for students who don’t have the benefit of full financial aid. With The Wildcat Promise, and other programs we support, we see students thrive.”

Wendy Iwaszuk and Steve Damm

As part of #GiveCentral, Wendy (’97) and Steve (’98) committed $20,000 to The Wildcat Promise. In doing so, students will face less of a financial gap between their aid and their cost of attendance which will increase student retention rates and ensure that students graduate in a timely fashion.


“ Attending CWU became a dream of mine

when I was in elementary school. I remember visiting campus on a field trip with my school and learning about the different types of science classes offered at Central. As a first-generation college student, the pressure of excelling in school has been difficult. Receiving this scholarship has allowed me to focus on my academic work rather than putting my time and energy towards making enough money to pay for my education. I’m proud to say that I’ve managed to meet my goal of keeping straight A’s in all my courses. Thank you for allowing me to put my education first.”

JASMIN GUTIÉRREZ (’24) Geography Major




According to College Factual, CWU’s accounting program is in the top 15% of all colleges and universities across the country. With many students choosing this as their field of study, CWU accounting alumnus David Schelert (’81) and his wife TJ wanted to establish support for accounting students and the program itself that would benefit students for generations to come. “We don’t want people to be left behind just because they don’t have funds” said David. “I always knew I wanted to be an accountant, and my high school counselor told me about a full-ride scholarship at Central called the Central Investment Fund which I ended up being a recipient of. Now I want to give back to support current and future students.” David and TJ committed $51,000 to the College of Business to fund the David and TJ Schelert Endowed Scholarship and provide funding to the department research lab, Vital.

Rather than just helping one person through scholarship, we thought it would help all business students if we also supported Vital,” said David. “We thought that even though we might not be giving enough money to help all students individually, we could support a product that could benefit all students.”


$ 9,306,082

Total FY23 Fundraising (Includes new gifts, pledges, and bequest expectancies.)

$ 51,473,986 CWU Foundation Total Net Assets*

$ 35,757,569 CWU Foundation

Total Endowed Funds*

*As of June 30, 2023




$ 6,377,029

Support for Programs, Faculty, and Facilities

$ 2,929,035

Support for Scholarships

$ 1,962,375

New Endowment Funds



Scholarships Awarded

Total Donors




CHAIR Ralph Conner (’88) VICE CHAIR Wendy Iwaszuk (’97) TREASURER John Fisher (’76) SECRETARY Amy Hanson (’90)

PRESIDENT Andrew Mork (’11) PRESIDENT ELECT Jada Rupley (’73) FORMER PRESIDENT Karina Busch (’04) TREASURER Craig Sanderson (’13) SECRETARY Dan Ford (’13, ’16)

Janet Backus (’72) Pete Barlow (’71) Kelly Bengston (’96) Steve Brace (’83) Aaron Christophersen (’92) Lisa Conquergood (’91) Jodi Daly Jason Davis (’97) Michelle DenBeste Paul Elstone Andrew Hatlestad Leonard Hill (’12) Ozo Jaculewicz (’95) Scott McCammant (’82) Jeff O’Donnell Ben Remak (’79) Jennifer Richards (’95) Angy Smith (’95) A. James Wohlpart

Tony Aronica (’09) Jasun Aubert (’21) Renee Bernazzani (’89) Jason Berthon-Koch (’07, ’22) Jana Decker (’11) Sam Gutierrez (’19)

Misha Linn (’13) Edith Rojas (’19) Vincent Ruiz (’11) Kiana Shaw (’09) Kelle Vandenberg (’99) Rubal Virdi (’14) Bethany Warren (’13)



400 E. University Way Ellensburg, WA 98926-7507

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