Distinguished Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Western's greatest source of pride is the personal and professional achievements of its alumni, those who have gone on to distinguish themselves in their personal and professional lives, representing the best that Western has to offer. Recipients are selected based on demonstration of the following:

  • Dedicated service to the community or nation
  • Leadership
  • Personal growth and achievement
  • Professional achievement
  • Contributions to the Western district


Nomination forms are due January 30.

2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Diane (Forde) Raaum
1975 Fashion Merchandising/Marketing Diane Raaum

Diane (Forde) Raaum is a 1975 graduate of the Fashion Merchandising/Marketing program. She is the owner/publisher of Coulee Region Communications, LLC. Some of their publications include Coulee Region Women, La Crosse Area Builders Association Home Show Book and Parade of Homes Planbook, and the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo book.

In addition to her professional work, she has a long history of community involvement and support. She serves on the Parade of Homes and Home Show Committees for the La Crosse Area Builders Association; is a member of the Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association; is a member of the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Mainstreet Inc.; and has served as president of the Women's Fund of Greater La Crosse. She also is a YWCA-La Crosse board member, is on the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association's Go Red Luncheon, and has been part of 4-H, Viroqua Business and Professional Women organization, and Viroqua Mainstreet.

Her work both personally and professionally has been awarded by the Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association (Excellence Award, 2007-2015), the Great Lakes Graphics Award of Excellence (2008-2015), and the YWCA-La Crosse Circle of Friends (Schleiter Award, 2012).

She is also mother a mother of three and grandmother of one. Raaum currently lives in Onalaska with her husband Pete.

Colleagues describe her as a wonderful leader, kind, respectful, and involved. Western Technical College is pleased to announce Raaum as our 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient.

Previous recipients