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WWU hosts first WECU Night of the year

WWU and WECU’s continued partnership supports students and Western community

An illustration of Victor the Viking, Western Washington University’s sports mascot. The next bobblehead night will be Feb. 8, 2024, when the Western men’s basketball team battles Seattle Pacific University at Sam Carver Gymnasium in Bellingham, Wash. // Illustration by Sam Fozard

The Whatcom Educational Credit Union is partnering with Western Washington University to give away 250 free Victor the Viking bobbleheads during the women’s and men’s basketball games. The first giveaway was on Jan. 25 at Sam Carver Gymnasium. 

Western Athletics is excited for the bobblehead giveaway to the first 250 entries, during rivalry night for women’s and men’s basketball. 

“This year we’re doing a giveaway for bobbleheads – in the past [WECU has] given away coffee mugs,” said Director of Athletic Communications of WWU Jeff Evans. “They’ve done different things like that to help us with fan interaction and promotions.” 

WECU is a nonprofit credit union that has sponsored Western Athletics since the renovation of Carver Gym in 2017. WECU Nights has been a community event since 2019, a way for Western to recognize the support WECU has given them over the years. 

“We want to show up in person and invest into the students and student body,” said WECU Director of Public Relations Keith Mader. “We’re trying to pull [WECU] members up to Western and say ‘Hey, there’s this great school in town and you can go to these high-level basketball games.’”

Scholarships are important for students and the Western community, and WECU takes great pride in providing students with scholarships.

“WECU is thrilled to be considered a part of the Viking community of support. We celebrate this long-standing relationship and are especially proud of the $70,000 in scholarships awarded to Western students,” said WECU Charitable Giving Lead Virginia Shelton via email. Shelton said the same amount is awarded every year to Western students.

WECU Court was created in 2017 after Western Athletics and WECU agreed on a sponsorship, establishing a $50,000 annual donation in funds for student-athletes. 

“This is Carver Gym, but when we play men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball, they play on WECU Court,” Evans said. 

Bobblehead Nights 3
WECU Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium in Bellingham, Wash. on Jan. 25, 2024. WECU Court was created in 2017 after WWU Athletics and WECU agreed on sponsorship, creating a $50,000 annual donation to fund student-athletes. // Photo by Aiden Luhr

The support from WECU hasn’t gone unnoticed by the athletic department at Western.

“I think that’s one of the big things WECU does is not just support athletic scholarships, but they support scholarships on campus,” Evans said. “We’re so thankful for all the support they show us through all those things, especially the scholarship support.”

In 2023, Western held a special recognition for WECU’s support over the years and their $500,000 commitment over five years to support various Western student success programs. 

WECU sees value in partnering with public schools like Western.

“I think we all benefit when we are able to invest in students,” said President and CEO of WECU Jennifer Kutcher.

As an alumna of Western, Kutcher said she recognizes the impact businesses can have when supporting the local community.

“If Western and [other] schools can partner with businesses to support students, I think it lifts us all up. It supports our students, our communities, it’s an investment in all of our futures,” Kutcher said. 

WECU hopes the giveaway will add to a fun night for Viking basketball.

“We wanted to provide something additional for Western, to this partnership, and we hope that the bobbleheads bring some additional enthusiasm to a night that’s already got that great rivalry going on,” Mader said. 

Bobblehead Nights 2
WECU Content and Engagement Marketing Specialist Krystal Zigulis (left) and WECU Director of Public Relations (right) pose in front of packaged Victor the Viking bobbleheads at Sam Carver Gymnasium in Bellingham, Wash. on Jan. 25, 2024. The first 250 entries got free Victor bobbleheads. // Photo by Aiden Luhr

Western’s athletic department is proud of WECU’s contributions during their partnership. 

“They’re committed to creating that energy and excitement on campus. I hold what they’re doing in high esteem and from a department standpoint, we’re super thankful for the partnership,” Evans said.

For the past six years, WECU has been a sponsor of Western athletics, and the partnership will continue moving forward.

“For me, it’s a way to give back,” Kutcher said. “If businesses can support any schools with students at any level, it’s a payoff, it’s positive for everybody in the long run — students are our future.” 

The next bobblehead night will be Feb. 8, when the men’s basketball team takes on Seattle Pacific University at Carver Gym. Students and WECU members get free admission by showing their ID cards. Fans can find ticket information here.

For more information about Western athletics, see their website. For more information about WECU and to become a member, see their website.

Aiden Luhr

Aiden Luhr is a junior at Western and a sports reporter for The Front. He is a journalism news/editorial major and enjoys anything sports related. You can reach him at

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