ODESZA, Mayor Linville honored at alumni awards
By Anna Edlund
The annual Alumni Awards and Recognition Celebration brought together community members to celebrate the achievements and successes of campus alumni, like the music duo ODESZA and Mayor Kelli Linville.
Among those awarded were 12 alumni, two professional friends to the university and a family of 18 with strong ties to the community.
Boundary Bay Brewery Operations Manager Casey Diggs was awarded with the Community Volunteer Recognition Award.
“It’s definitely humbling,” Diggs said. “The team at the brewery really give me the opportunity to go out in the community and be helpful, and that’s what I think being a volunteer is—being as helpful as possible.”
Other awards included a Lifetime Achievement Award to John Abrams, as well as seven Distinguished Alumni Awards to various alumni.
Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight of electronic music duo ODESZA received the Young Alumni of the Year Award. Both graduated from Western in 2012.
Community member Brian Griffin was honored with the Campus School Recognition Award for his many years of service to the school.
“I feel a bit of an imposter, because I didn’t really graduate from Western Washington University,” Griffin said in his acceptance speech. “I graduated from the ninth grade of the campus school in the normal school in 1947. But I am delighted to be here.”
Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville was also among the recipients, as she accepted the award for Legacy Family of the Year Award on behalf of the Linville, Kuljis and Parberry families. Since 1949, 18 members from these families have attended Western.
Western student Erin Pratschner works with the Alumni Association and helped put on the event.
“It’s really great to see all these people who are influential at Western, even today and back when they were students,” Pratschner said. “I think it’s really inspiring for students to see where alumni go in their futures and where you will go one day.”