Night Owls Celebrate Reaching 10,000 Students

10,000th student Over 300 Night Owls recently joined us for a party, and we certainly had reason to celebrate. Our university’s current, annual enrollment topped 10,000 students for the first time ever — a huge leap from only 850 students in 2011.

Students, alumni, faculty and friends packed the ballrooms at Muckleshoot Casino in Auburn. The event proved a great way to expand and strengthen connections with other Night Owls. Several students were able to meet their student mentors, and everyone had a chance to say hello to our beloved mascot, Sage the Night Owl. In addition to tasty appetizers, guests enjoyed delicious desserts crafted by WGU Washington student Lindsey Hubbard. Each dessert artfully carried the 10,000 Students theme.

The guest of honor was WGU Washington’s honorary “10,000th Student.” That distinction was given to Elizabeth Shin, a Seattle native, who began working on her master’s in integrated healthcare management in November.

After graduating high school, Elizabeth earned postsecondary credentials in video production and digital media. Her education was supplemented by a trip to Havana, Cuba to study that nation’s healthcare system, as well as an internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. From that combination of experiences, she developed a passion for helping people — and using different media and new technology to achieve higher standards of healthcare. She now works at a prominent, area hospital, and her degree will help her advance as a leader in her field.

On a bittersweet note, we also took the opportunity to honor and thank WGU Washington’s first Chancellor, Jean Floten, who is retiring after 45 years in higher education. Chancellor Floten joined WGU Washington after leading Bellevue College for more than 22 years, where she developed the college from Bellevue Community College into an innovative, nationally acclaimed institution.

Jean has been granted emeritus status and will remain connected to WGU Washington.

To see pictures of the festivities, please visit WGU Washington’s Facebook page.

Building a strong, WGU community in Washington is an important goal of the university. Please keep an eye out for similar events coming soon to your area.


celebration cake

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