Distinguished Alumni Award

Award Criteria
Alumni (graduate) status is required for nomination or receipt of The Distinguished Alumni Award. Exemplary achievement in one’s profession, academic activities, and community and civic service are primary considerations. The nominee should attribute their success in some way to their time at Eastern Wyoming College.

The award will be presented at the EWC spring graduation ceremonies.

Nominations are open until March 31st of each year.

To be considered for the EWC Distinguished Alumni Award, please send a completed nomination form and resume or biography to the EWC Foundation. Individuals nominated but not selected during a given year will be considered for at least two additional years.

2023 Distinguished Alumni
Julie Nighswonger

Often, while Julie Nighswonger sits in her home studio sketching the groove of a horse’s nose with a fresh charcoal pencil, she is humbled by the path her life took. She had never considered making art into a career. In fact, she originally went to college to be a veterinary technician; though, she admits in hindsight, she is not entirely sure how she settled on that. “I really don’t know where the vet tech came from,” she said. “…I think I [just] loved Wyoming.” Born and raised in Minnesota, Nighswonger had originally planned to go to North Dakota State University for design, but after a summer working on a dude ranch in Wyoming, she decided she couldn’t go anywhere else. Thus, she switched to vet tech and packed her bags for Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington.

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Contact Information

EWC Foundation
3200 West C Street
Torrington, WY 82240

Lisa Johnson

Executive Director of EWC Foundation

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Michelle Prusia

Administrative Specialist

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Past Recipients of the EWC Distinguished Alumni Award

  • 1991 Barbara Bonds
  • 1992 Carol Clark
  • 1993 James Rose
  • 1994 Jack Ainsworth
  • 1995 Jack Lenhart
  • 1996 W. Keith Miskimins
  • 1997 Scott “Ote” Berry
  • 1998 Jerry Butler
  • 1999 Charles Haase
  • 2000 Dolly Heyl
  • 2001 John Thomas
  • 2002 Todd Peterson
  • 2003 Jeff Marsh
  • 2004 Jerry Hunt
  • 2005 Hortensia Soto-Johnson
  • 2006 Dusty Stephenson
  • 2007 Deborah Vosler
  • 2008 Chuck Brown
  • 2009 Craig Alford
  • 2010 Richard Van Klaveren
  • 2011 Dixie Roth
  • 2012 Alex Dale Ehrlich
  • 2013 David Briggs
  • 2014 Carl Rupp
  • 2015 Billy Janes
  • 2016 Doug Zalesky
  • 2017 Dean Gorsuch
  • 2018 Pete Kalivas
  • 2019 Jason Dixon
  • 2021 Roger Kuxhausen
  • 2022 Buffy Kelly
  • 2023 Julie Nighswonger

The EWC Foundation raises, receives, and manages private gifts to support programs and projects throughout the college and plan for future needs.