Notable Eagle Alumni

Making Us Proud

Eastern isn’t just about our top-notch teachers. Our alumni association includes a Grammy-nominated opera singer, an Olympic gold medalist and a starting NFL offensive tackle — not to mention, six brigadier generals among its accomplished alumni.

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Who Has Made Their Mark?

Name & Grad YearDegreeAccomplishments
Cooper Kupp '17BA in EconomicsA four-year All-American wide receiver who currently plays for the L.A. Rams. Superbowl LVI champion and MVP. Offensive Player of the Year 2022.
Taylor Adams '09BA in Electronic Media & FilmAuthor of four novels, including international best seller No Exit, published in 30 languages and now a major motion picture on Hulu produced by 20th Century Studios.
Stacey Dacar '08BA in Business AdministrationDacar named to SBDC Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals for America's SBDC.
Stacey Dacar, marketing manager for the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Young Professional at the national conference of SBDC programs, America's SBDC.
Nate Jackson '06BA in Communication StudiesCelebrity comedian, actor and entrepreneur. Owner of Nate Jackson's Super Funny Comedy Club, 1 of 6 Black-owned comedy clubs in the U.S. Nate made his acting debut in the movie Spirited; starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell that released in December 2022.
Annie T. OakesBA in Anthropology and MA in EnglishOne of 15 winners of the 2023 Faculty of the Year Award out of more than 3,000 instructors at the University of Phoenix. Current GED coach at North Idaho College and online tutor for students in the US and abroad.
Michael Roos '05BA in BusinessRetired in 2015 after 10 seasons as a starting offensive tackle for the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
Shawn Vestal '05MFA in Creative WritingA recent Washington State book award winner.
Jill Bakken '08BA in Recreation ManagementJill and Vonetta Flowers won the first women's Olympic gold medal in bobsled at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Kris Monaghan '03BA in Recreation ManagementA 15-year LPGA Tour player who went to Beijing, China in 2006 to become the first LPGA golf professional at Central Golf Beijing.
Luke Clausen '01BA in BusinessCan lay permanent claim to being the greatest bass fisherman in EWU history. He caught an all-time record, three-day bag limit of 56 pounds 2 ounces, to capture the Super Bowl of professional fishing–the 2006 CITGO Bassmaster Classic and the $501,000 that went with it.
Chris White '01BA in Communication StudiesHas joined The Phoenix Flame for the team's inaugural season in the International Basketball League in 2007. White, 6'8", starred at Brophy College Prep before playing at Eastern Washington University where he was a first team All-Big Sky performer for the Eagles in 2001.
Mandy Manning '98BA in Radio/TelevisionThe 2018 recipient of the National Teacher of the Year award.
Deborah Backman '95BA in Liberal StudiesTook over as the children's librarian at the Hudson Public Library (Hudson, Mass.) in 2006.
Michelle Hege '95; Cher '94, '96 and Jim Desautel '94, '96MS in Communication Studies; BA in Liberal Studies, MS in Communication StudiesThe driving force behind Spokane advertising agency, DH.
Thomas Hampson '92BA in GovernmentA Grammy-nominated opera singer who received the 2017 London Philharmonic Lifetime Achievement Award.
Launi Meili '90BA in Liberal StudiesTook home the gold medal in women's three-position small-bore rifle shooting at the 1992 Olympic Games.
Lee (The Flea) Watkinson '89BA in EconomicsMaking his mark as a professional poker player, competing in the World Series of Poker and racking up more than $4 million in winnings in his career so far.
Jess Walter '87BA in JournalismA national and international award-winning author.
Julie McKay '87BA in Government A current Spokane County Superior Court Judge
Kris Wilder '86BA in EducationInducted into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2018. Internationally recognized practitioner and teacher of Goju-Ryu, one of the four original styles of Karate. Sensei Wilder has earned black belt-level ranks in Goju-Ryu karate (6th dan), Tae Kwon Do and Judo, and authored more than 20 books on Martial Arts and self-defense.
Frank Armijo '86BA in Management Information SystemsThe general manager and program director at Lockheed Martin Information Technology in Richland. He was named the Tri-Citian of the year for 2006 for his efforts in economic and community development in his hometown.
Laurie Ferris '86BA in EnglishSenior vice president of West Coast Bank. She has been with the company for 15 years and in the financial services arena for 31 years.
Colin Cowherd '85BA in Radio/TelevisionAmerican sports media personality and host of The Herd on Fox Sports.
Jim McElwain '85BA in Physical EducationThe former head coach of the Florida Gators football program.
Scott Schaefer '85BA in Radio/TelevisionNominated for a Directors Guild of America Award as part of the directorial team for Showtime's Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t. Schaefer previously won three National Emmy Awards for writing for Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Linda Boggs '84, '88BA in Reading, MA in School AdministrationNamed a National Distinguished Elementary School Principal of the Year in 2003 for her work at Blue Ridge Elementary in Walla Walla.
Todd McFarlane '84BA in General StudiesCreator of the Spawn comic book series and current co-owner of the NHL's Edmonton Oilers.
Larry Rencken '84BA in MarketingA former CIO for Welch's. The Concord, Mass., company is the world's leading producer of juices, jams, and jellies.
Angela Pixton '83BS in NursingThe first female commissioner of The Washington State Potato Commission.
Lt. Gen. Gary Volesky '83BA in Military ScienceThe Commander of I Corps at joint base, Lewis McChord.
Brian Perry '82BA in ChemistryA senior software engineer at Telect. He previously worked at Itron and Itronix.
Jay Manning '80BA in GovernmentJoined the Cascadia Law Group after six years as the director of the Washington State Department of Ecology.
Paul Stringer '79BA in EducationPresident of Nicklaus Design, the number one golf course design company in the world founded by Jack Nicklaus, with 436 golf courses open for play in over 46 countries. Paul is a global ambassador for golf having traveled to almost 90 countries worldwide in his current role. Helped bring the first President's Cup to Asia hosting the 2015 President's Cup at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea.
Dottie Mathers '79BA in NursingAn associate professor of medical/surgical nursing at Pennsylvania College of Technology where she has written three award-winning workbooks for nursing curriculum.
Terry Langston '78BA in Professional AccountingA co-creator of the blockbuster board game, Pictionary.
Mary McCormick Busse '74BA in Radio/TelevisionCEO of MBI Media in Los Angeles. She's listed in the Who's Who in Entertainment, 1st Edition, and Who's Who of American Women, 15th Edition.
Tom Thompson '72BA in BusinessNamed the Nation's Restaurant News Chain Leader Operator of the year in 1998 for his work as chief operating officer of CKE Restaurants Inc., parent company of the Carl's Jr. restaurant chain.
Dr. Robert Salsbury '58BA & MA in Education2002 winner of the EWU Alumni of the Year award, co-author of "The Encyclopedia of Multicultural Education and Multicultural Education in the U.S.," co-author of "Unequal Opportunity: A Crisis in America's Schools?" and Colonel of the United States Air National Guard.
Jessie Nicassio Attended until '04Played for the St. Louis Rams and the Indianapolis Colts. Since then, he has developed the "EZ Kicker," a punting and kicking device. While attending Eastern, Nicassio set school records for career average per punt and season average per punt.
Dr. Rick (Ethan Richard) Allen '69BA in JournalismAuthor of the book, "Great By Eight: The Remarkable Power of Early Childhood Development and author of "Inside Pitch: How the Ill-fated Seattle Pilots were Played into Bankruptcy in One Year. (#27 on Top 100 Baseball Books of All Time). Served 20+ years as President/CEO of United Way of Pierce County, raising nearly $200 million in human services efforts.

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