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L-R: Michael Steinberger, Dean of Western CUNA Management Schools (WCMS); Bill Cheney, President and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA); Diana Dykstra, President and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues; Troy Stang, President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA); and James Likens, President of WCMS

WCMS HONORS 2013 GRADUATING CLASS
updated 07/30/13 07:52 AM
Largest Class Gift in History
Nearly 90 Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) graduates eagerly accepted their diplomas on July 25 at Pomona College in Claremont, CA—a significant and joyous accomplishment for the Lambda class.

Click here to view the 2013 WCMS Graduation and Colloquium photo gallery!

"What is it that brings us together? What is it that inspires us to be here?," said Bill Cheney, commencement speaker and president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). "There is something different about us. In reality, we're not an industry—we're a movement. It's that 'credit union difference'—balancing head and heart."

He said the future of the movement is "brighter than ever," with incredible opportunities for credit unions to become America's preferred financial institution. WCMS is cultivating the leaders of tomorrow who will highlight the credit union difference, the movement, and "win the hearts of Americans and small businesses."

The celebration quickly gained steam with the announcement of academic honors, which included seven students graduating with high honors and four with honors, followed by award announcements.

  • Nathan Linde, assistant vice president of the contact center for Washington State Employees CU (Washington), won the Rick Craig Prize for Excellence in Project II. This award recognizes excellence in a student's second-year project.
  • Douglas Brisbon, business development manager for Seattle Metropolitan CU (Washington), was the recipient of the Charles M. Clark Memorial Award, an award presented to an outstanding member of the graduating class and chosen by the class and faculty.
  • Chris Jillson, CEO of Sandia Laboratory FCU (New Mexico)—and a 1990 graduate of WCMS who represents the spirit of the WCMS—was honored with the James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award, which is given to a WCMS alumnus every year for significant achievement in the credit union field since graduating from the school.

As usual, the graduates had a chance to give back to WCMS—this year with $92,000. A tri-class auction event by the three classes raised $13,000, while the Lambda class raised $79,000 over the last three years, the largest class gift in WCMS history.

WCMS President James Likens' charge to the class concluded the ceremony. "From this class will come men and women who will become credit union leaders," he said. "Open your hearts to service. Your credit unions believe in you, so do your families, and so do I."

 
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