Inaugural class of distinguished alumni

From left to right, Shelley Broader, Gary Rubens, Lisa King, Nancy Krook, and Katey Koehn.

Washington State University Global Campus inducted the first five members of its Society of Distinguished Alumni, all of whom earned degrees in the College of Arts & Sciences.

“Over the past 30 years, WSU Global Campus has been a part of the educational and career journeys for many accomplished and influential people,” said Dave Cillay, WSU Global Campus chancellor.

The Society of Distinguished Alumni was created during the Global Campus’ 30th anniversary to pay tribute to the accomplishments of its graduates. The first class of inductees are prominent business, civic and philanthropic leaders, ardent supporters of the WSU Cougar family, and unwavering advocates of lifelong learning.  

Meet the distinguished alumni

Nancy Krook was one of the first three graduates of WSU Global Campus, in 1994, earning the bachelor’s of arts degree in social sciences that she had begun on the Pullman campus in the 1960s.

Nancy had a 23-year career as a lead administrative secretary for the Burlington-Edison School District and was recipient of Western Washington University’s “Outstanding Distinguished Education Award.”  In 2011, she and her husband Frank established an endowed scholarship to benefit WSU Global Campus students and were recently recognized as WSU Foundation benefactors.

Shelley Broader was a semester shy of receiving her degree from WSU Pullman in 1986 when life took her in a different direction. Twenty years later, in 2006, she completed her social sciences degree at WSU Global Campus.

Shelley has had a prolific career in business focused in the retail sector, serving as CEO, executive officer or board member for iconic brands including Walmart, Michael’s Arts and Crafts, and Chico’s Stores. She was named to Fortune’s Most Powerful Women International list in 2015 and is currently a corporate board director for multiple companies, including Dutch Bros. Coffee.

Lisa King, another social sciences graduate, finished her degree at WSU Global Campus in 2008, almost 30 years after leaving WSU Pullman during her junior year for other pursuits.

Lisa and her husband, Jim, founded Hudson Bay Insulation in 1990. Together they grew the company to a staff of over 200 when Lisa retired in 2015. Throughout the years, Lisa has volunteered and financially supported numerous charitable causes throughout the Puget Sound area.  Lisa and Jim are benefactors and laureates of WSU, and Lisa serves as the current president of the WSU Foundation and chair of the Board of Directors. 

Katey Koehn served as a Student Involvement Committee member for ASWSU Global during her studies. She graduated from WSU Global Campus in 2014 with a bachelor’s of arts degree in social sciences.

Katey has been a leader in the information technology industry for more than 20 years, working for several pre-eminent companies including eBay, Yahoo, and Verizon. She is an active member of WSU’s Alumni Association, serving as vice president of the association’s board of directors, and currently works as director of technical program management for Walmart Global Tech.

Gary Rubens graduated from WSU Global Campus in May of 2022, earning his degree in psychology and fulfilling a goal forty years in the making. He was originally accepted to WSU Pullman in 1981 but the cost was prohibitive for him at the time.

Gary has worked as an executive for multiple companies, including as a vice president at Lowe’s. He is a philanthropist and ardent supporter of higher education in Washington, with his Rubens Family Foundation donating millions to provide scholarships to students across the state. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship and is the CEO of Athlete Intelligence.

“We are proud to have these exceptional Cougs represent us as Global Campus’ first Distinguished Alums,” said Cillay. “And we are looking forward to inducting more outstanding alums in the years to come.”

Top image: The inaugural class of Global Campus distinguished alumni at a recognition ceremony at WSU Pullman in November 2022. From left to right, Shelley Broader, Gary Rubens, Lisa King, Nancy Krook, and Katey Koehn.

Top photo: From left to right, Shelley Broader, Gary Rubens, Lisa King, Nancy Krook, and Katey Koehn.

By Jeff Willadsen, Global Campus Senior Writer for WSU Global Campus news.