In the early 2000s, the greater Wenatchee community and Wenatchee Valley College came together for the “Nurses For Tomorrow” campaign to raise more than $2 million dollars to jump start the process of replacing the badly outdated and decaying nursing building and equipment on the Wenatchee campus.
The WVC Foundation, the Community Foundation of North Central Washington, Triple C Health Care, Central Washington Hospital Foundation, and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center participated in the fundraising effort.
The project received vast community support and became a priority for the region. With the assistance of Senator Linda Evans-Parlette, the legislature funded the more than $23 million capital project that would become Wenatchi Hall.
The building project included state-of-the-art nursing labs, classrooms, and lecture halls as well as research-quality biology labs for students planning to enter the nursing program and majoring in the sciences. To this day, “Nurses For Tomorrow” funds provide support for state-of-the-art equipment and ongoing training.
Many of the nurses throughout North Central Washington have graduated from WVC’s program in Omak or Wenatchee. Since Wenatchi Hall opened in 2007, WVC has produced nearly 430 nursing graduates.
Two recent graduates exemplify the quality of students coming from the nursing program: Ed and Annette Aguigui were a determined, focused team from the beginning of their educational journey at WVC.
They faced great personal loss and difficult family circumstances. After 20 years of military life, the couple were both ready to retire from service.
When the Aguiguis visited Washington State on their way to Alaska, they discovered that their young nephews were in foster care and were desperately in need of a home and family support. They changed their Alaska plans and made the two boys part of their family.
A short time later, the couple enrolled in the nursing program at WVC.
This dedicated pair faced the challenges of raising their young nephews while maintaining high GPA’s in the nursing program.
In addition, the couple regularly collected and donated food for community food banks, participated in events with the WVC Student Nurses of Wenatchee club, gathered school supplies for children in Belize, and were often found helping other nursing students with their studies. This team was an inspiration to many who got to know them at Wenatchee Valley College.
Jim Richardson is president of Wenatche Valley College. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.