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TCC Distinguished Alumni

Epitomizing Excellence

The Tacoma Community College Foundation is excited to seek nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Award again this year. The award honors and celebrates alumni who have distinguished themselves with outstanding professional and personal achievements. Established in 2006, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes former students of Tacoma Community College who serve as role models for the next generation of community leaders. The categories for nomination are as follows:

  • Significant Career or Personal Achievement
    Nominees in this category have made significant career or personal achievement accomplishments. Their work and impact have established them as a leader in their respective field and they have been recognized for their exceptional achievement.
  • Significant Service to Tacoma Community College and/or the Community
    Nominees in this category have had an important impact through service to TCC or the local community. Their work and contributions have advanced the mission of TCC: As the community’s college, we create meaningful learning, advance equity, and strengthen student and community success. Nominees have demonstrated an extraordinary record of service to TCC or to the community in general.

Nominate a Distinguished Alumn

If you would like to nominate someone for the Distinguished Alumni award, fill out the nomination form by May. 5, 2023. You may also submit any additional materials such as a resume, news articles, brief letters of support from a nominee’s colleagues, and other materials.

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T'Wina Nobles - 2022

TCC is proud to recognize Washington State Senator T'Wina Nobles, who has represented Washington’s 28th Legislative District since 2021. She also serves as President and CEO of the Tacoma Urban League, where she leads programs to strengthen and support the local African American community in social equality and economic independence.


Born in Frankfurt, Germany to a military family, Nobles moved to Washington when her family was stationed at Fort Lewis, now Joint Base Lewis McChord. During her childhood, Nobles faced many challenges, including homelessness, which led her to move into foster care at the age of 15. She succeeded despite these challenges, applying her passion, energy and hard work to finishing her education and becoming a teacher.


Nobles graduated from Tacoma Community College before transferring to the University of Puget Sound, where she earned her undergraduate degree and a Masters of Arts in Education. While at Tacoma Community College, Nobles was a member of the women’s basketball team. That year the women’s team was West Division Champs and placed 5th in state. The state appearance was the first for TCC in a couple of decades.


Education has always been central to Nobles’ life, and she believes strongly in giving back to the community that helped her succeed.  She worked as an instructor for the Metropolitan Development Council’s College Bound Program at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School and Stadium High School, also serving as a PTA leader and school board member. She founded the in-school and after-school organization “Ladies First,” dedicated to empowering young women and building positive self-esteem. In 2019 she founded the T’wina Nobles Young Professionals Scholarships, supporting two students per year at TCC and Clover Park Technical College. In 2022 she expanded the scholarship to support two students per year at Pierce College. Nobles is also a Co-Architect of the Black Future Co-op Fund, a philanthropic organization that uplifts the Black community across Washington through intentional investments in areas such as health, housing, education, art, criminal justice reform, and civic engagement.


Nobles has served on the boards of many community organizations, including the University Place School Board, Statewide Poverty Action Network and the Black Education Strategy Roundtable. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including two “40 Under 40” awards and the 2020 Senator Maria Cantwell Women of Valor award. She lives in Pierce County, and in her free time Nobles enjoys lazy days with family, running environmental justice campus for her mentorship group, outdoor adventures in our state parks, and reading inspirational nonfiction.

Past Honorees

2019 - Mari Leavitt 

2016 - Andre Stout

2015 - Ali Criss, Financial Advisor

2015 - Vernelda Savoy, Managing Nurse

2014 - James Curtis, Attorney

2014 - Chris Anderson, CEO 2bridges

2013 - Connie Ladenburg, City Councilor, Congresswoman, Social Worker

2012 - Dave Burmark, High School Counselor

2011 - Dr. Walter Nolte, University President

2010 - Ed Troyer, Law Enforcement

2009 - Jim Walton, City Manager

2008 - Fred Stabbert, Businessman/CEO

2007 - Brian Sonntag, Banker, County Clerk, Auditor

2006 - John Hall, Financial Services CEO