CLAREMONT, Calif. (7/29/14)--Matthew Weidler of Evangelical Christian CU in Brea, Calif., just became the sixth student in the history of Western CUNA Management School to graduate with highest honors. He was one of 89 students who graduated from the school on July 25.
Matthew Weidler of Evangelical Christian CU in Brea, Calif., with Western CUNA Management School Board Trustee Chair Shruti Miyashiro, is just the sixth person in the history of WCMS to graduate with highest honors. He earned high honors on the three examinations taken over the three-year period as well as on each of his two projects. (California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues photo)
Weidler earned high honors on the three examinations taken over a three-year period, as well as on each of his two projects. Evangelical Christian CU has $1 billion in assets.
Five students graduated with high honors while seven graduated with honors. Students accepted their diplomas at a ceremony held July 24 at Pomona College.
Students graduating with high honors were:
- Christopher Curry, Hawaii
- Sharee Dickey, Utah;
- Dohnia Dorman, New Mexico;
- Tina Estes, California; and
- Missy Key, Utah.
Honors students this year included:
- Ethan Bambock, Washington;
- Joy Deonna Grimes, California;
- Ryan Kane, California;
- Lynda Joy Mahoney, New Mexico;
- Molly Roberts; California;
- Jennifer Krystal Trejo, California; and
- Teresa Ward, California.
Over a three-year period, students have five opportunities to earn academic honors. Honors and high honors are awarded to the highest achievers on the examinations taken by all students at the end of each school year. Students may also earn honors and high honors for the analysis of each of their two projects.
In addition, senior student Marci Gannon of Washington won the Charles M. Clark Memorial Award, which goes to the graduate who best represents high moral character, leadership, credit union dedication and academic achievement. The winner is nominated by his or her class and Gannon's peers said of she deserved the award for "being enthusiastic, a great leader, and motivator."
WCMS 2003 graduate Jon Hernandez, CEO of both CalCom FCU, Torrance, Calif., with $64 million in assets, and Mattel FCU, El Segundo, with $31 million in assets, received this year's James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award for significant achievement in the credit union field since graduating from the school.
Christopher Curry won the Rick Craig Prize for Excellence in Project II. This award recognizes excellence in a student's second-year project.
According to its time-honored tradition of giving back to WCMS, the graduating class presented WCMS President Jim Likens with fundraising checks totaling $101,796--$17,795 from a class auction event by the three classes, and $100,001 raised over the past three years by the class, representing the largest class gift in WCMS history.
Rudy Hanley, who recently retired as CEO of SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, Calif., with $10 billion in assets, served as the commencement speaker. He spoke passionately about the credit union movement. "We're a movement not an industry," he said. "An industry is about numbers ... about dollars. A movement is about people."
He challenged the graduates to remember it's about the members, and to use their newly earned skills and knowledge to improve the quality of members' lives. He believed all of them would be up to the challenge.
"You are a great example for us; you inspire us," he said.
WCMS serves credit unions in the 13 western states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. It is sponsored by the Alaska Credit Union League, California Credit Union League, Credit Union Association of New Mexico, Hawaii Credit Union League, Idaho Credit Union League, Montana Credit Union Network, Mountain West Credit Union Association, Nevada Credit Union League, Northwest Credit Union Association, and Utah Credit Union Association, in cooperation with Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.