WWU to Open New Downtown Bellingham Office
Western Washington University will open a new downtown office on June 19 in Bellingham’s historic Herald Building, a move that will better connect the university with the downtown, alumni and the entire local community.
“There’s a saying that communities take care of universities that take care of communities. The distinctive character, values and relationships that the City of Bellingham and Western share are key parts of what makes this such a great place to live, learn, work and play. We’re excited to deepen that engagement and broaden our sense of community with this new presence downtown,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.
The new office at 1155 North State St. will serve as a welcome-to-Western center in the heart of the city. The 2,500-square-foot ground floor area will include: a conference and events room; facilities and opportunities for the public to find out more about campus life; a walk-in/public reception area and office space for nine WWU staff members.
"I am thrilled to welcome this new Western office to our downtown," said Mayor Kelli Linville. "This is a great step in establishing a stronger presence in our City Center and demonstrates the strength of our partnership and shared goal of a thriving downtown."
The new office is a three-way partnership between the university, the WWU Alumni Association and the WWU Foundation, and marks a significant initiative to engage directly with key Whatcom County-based constituencies, including alumni as well as Bellingham-based businesses and philanthropists. Whatcom County alumni – more than 15,000 strong – constitute the second largest concentration of Western alums, and the city’s businesses are a major employer of Western graduates.
As part of its $60 million Western Stands for Washington campaign, the WWU Foundation has set its sights on doubling the amount of scholarship dollars available for students, and will be asking the Whatcom County community to help make this possible.
Western has signed an initial two-year lease with options for three additional annual extensions.