Dear friends,

If you’ve ever engaged with our college in some way, you know we are passionate about building educational opportunities that create upward mobility for our students. Our vision and intentions extend far beyond the Pullman campus as part of a shared commitment across the WSU system and throughout the Cougar community.

Our collective focus on student success is more than talk, and we know many of you hire Cougs because you know the value of a Carson College degree. Our recent job placement numbers confirm this.

Despite the economic challenges resulting from the pandemic, I’m excited to share that 80 percent of students who graduated during the 2020 academic year and were looking for work had jobs within six months of graduation. They earned a median starting salary of $50,000.

In this issue of eDividend, we recognize how a Carson College education provides opportunities for our students. I’m also pleased to share the college’s fourth annual Business in the Northwest Report, which finds that business leaders and employees are cautiously optimistic in their outlook despite the pandemic-related closures and uncertainties of the past year.

This issue highlights how military-affiliated students are using the college’s award-winning online MBA program to advance their military careers and prepare for eventual transitions to the civilian workforce.

You’ll also meet Naomi Kim, a senior from Hawaii who is planning a career in human resources. Mentoring available to Kim during her freshman year helped her overcome homesickness and get involved in campus life. Now, she’s a mentor to multicultural students.

Two stories showcase how our alumni are contributing to student success. The CougsFirst! networking organization has started a mentoring program for business students, helping students prepare for their professional careers. A story on Brighton Jones partner Kaycee LeCong shows how an involved alumna is making a difference in the area of personal finance education for students.

We also toast a team of hospitality business management students from Pullman who won the title of best wine label at the Intercollegiate Wine Business Invitational. Two teams from WSU/César Ritz Colleges Switzerland also placed. The competition gives students opportunities to hone their skills in leadership and teamwork—attributes of The Next Carson Coug curriculum.

As the promise of spring approaches—with graduation on the horizon—I hope you’ll join me in celebrating how the Carson College is making a difference in the lives of our students. Through your gifts of volunteering and financial support, you are partners with us in creating opportunities for our students, helping them achieve their dreams, and building a strong and innovative economic future for the Pacific Northwest.

Go Cougs!

Chip Hunter, Dean