skip to content

Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipients

About the Distinguished Alumnus Award

A Centralia College selection committee continues to seek nominations for the college's annual Distinguished Alumnus award. This prestigious award is the highest honor the college confers upon individuals who have attended the college and is presented during commencement exercises in June.

The award is given to an individual who attended Centralia College for at least one year and has made significant contributions to his or her profession or society in general.

Previous winners of the honor include Brian Valentine, senior vice president of Windows, Microsoft; Susan Dunn, special assistant for policy support with the state Employment Security Department; Del Smith, founder and owner of Evergreen International Aviation, Inc.; Gordon Sweany, past chairman of the Board of Safeco Insurance; Patty Morton, an executive in the U.S. State Department; and Richard Ice, a retirement community administrator.

Both Smith and Valentine have earned National Alumni of the Year honors and were recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges.

Others honored include: Gary Justice, former KIRO-TV News anchor; John Mulligan, third-highest ranking official in the U.S. Post Office; Margaret Woods, a nationally recognized leader in the education of young children; Ford Rainey, movie and television actor; Jennifer Williams, founder of the British American Arts Association; James Lonborg, NASA engineer; Donald Fowler, an executive with Tandem Computers; Bill Brumsickle, a former school official and state legislator; and Orin Smith, president of Starbucks.

How to nominate an alum

While the college is aware of the careers and accomplishments of many of its graduates, each year the selection committee depends upon members of the community to make nominations for the award, sharing their knowledge of the successes of Centralia College alumni. For additional information or nominating forms, call Centralia College, (360) 736-9391, ext. 290 or 561. The name and information on how to contact a nominee may be mailed to:
Julie Johnson
Centralia College
600 Centralia College Blvd.
Centralia, WA 98531