Submitted by Whatcom Educational Credit Union
Whatcom Educational Credit Union (WECU) and Western Washington University Viking Athletics (WWU Athletics) announced a sponsorship agreement creating the “WECU Court at Carver Gymnasium” and establishing a $50,000 annual donation to fund scholarships for student-athletes.
WECU, with both its historical ties and support of education, will provide the funding for scholarships to student-athletes who participate in any NCAA Division II sponsored sport.
“As a proud graduate of Western Washington University, and supporter of Viking Athletics, I am thrilled that WECU is partnering with Western to support student-athlete success,” said Jennifer Kutcher, President and CEO of WECU. “Approximately 20 percent of our employees are Western alumni, so we understand first-hand the quality education Western provides, and are proud to be a part of this investment in students and their future. This sponsorship opportunity strengthens our long-term partnership with Western and our community. It truly is a perfect fit!”
“Western is delighted to partner with WECU and grateful for their sponsorship of the Carver Gymnasium court, as well as their generous scholarship support for our student-athletes,” said Sabah Randhawa, President of Western Washington University. “The excellence of Western Athletics is not only a source of great pride for all in our community, it attracts students from diverse and traditionally underrepresented backgrounds too. WECU’s support will not only help make Western more affordable, it will increase the quality of the campus experience for all.”
“WECU’s commitment to community and education is a shining example of what partnership is all about. We look forward to our teams competing on WECU Court at Carver Gym when it opens in the fall,” said Steve Card, Athletic Director of Western Washington University. “WECU’s generous scholarship support will help our student-athletes succeed in competition and in the classroom, and help prepare them for future endeavors.”
The 2017 season was one of the most successful for WWU Athletics, with two national championships and 13 of 15 intercollegiate programs reaching the NCAA Division II Championships. WWU student-athletes continued to shine in the classroom as well. Using the NCAA Academic Success Rate, which includes all freshmen student-athletes from the fall of 2009 and also accounts for student-athletes who transfer into or out of the institution, WWU posted an 86 percent success rate, compared to the NCAA Division II national number of 71 percent. WWU’s federal graduation rate for student-athletes for the entering class of 2009, which looks only at how many freshmen student-athletes who received athletically based financial aid and graduated within six years, was 85 percent, compared to the NCAA Division II national rate of 56 percent.