Football helps WSU reach all kinds of fans

Hosting one home football game in Seattle has become a Washington State University tradition. But the innovative use the university has made of this access to the west side has been anything but conventional.

WSU’s largest alumni base resides in western Washington and northwestern Oregon, with about 45,500 alumni along Washington’s I-5 corridor and another 15,000 in the Portland metropolitan area.

“To be able to showcase the university to alumni and friends of WSU has been rewarding to the university and also to our west side supporters” said Tim Pavish, executive director of Alumni Relations.

“We use the game to create many opportunities to engage with important audiences and tell the WSU story,” said Mary Gresch, associate vice president for Strategic Communications and Marketing.

The marketing team works with Athletics, the colleges, the Alumni Association, the WSU Foundation, Student Affairs, the Office of Research and other entities to coordinate, promote and execute dozens of media opportunities and events throughout Seattle Week. This enhances WSU’s visibility, fund-raising efforts, recruitment of top students and alumni engagement.

Several colleges have made strategic use of the week. For example, the College of Business and Economics last year launched a Power Breakfast. Held twice annually, it attracts top speakers from Seattle’s corporate world. This year’s speaker will be Alan R. Mulally, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The College of Liberal Arts is planning a Cougar Jazz Night featuring Jazz Northwest, WSU’s faculty jazz ensemble.

“This allows us to meet with supporters in an environment that lends itself to socializing,” said Dean Erich Lear. “That opens the door for us to engage supporters in conversations about other centers of excellence within the college.”

Seattle Week strategies for student recruitment will include the third annual Macy’s Future Cougars of Color Diversity Scholarship Luncheon, a college fair and a luncheon for high-ability high school seniors.

For more information on the Sept. 14-17 Seattle activities, including a schedule, ticket prices and reservations, visit

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