Alumni of the Year 2023

Meet the Alumni of the Year 2023, honored for service and achievement that embody the spirit of their alma mater.



Ann Gibson '68

Ann Gibson is the first to say that her life has been full of surprising twists and turns. After graduating from Walla Walla University with a degree in accounting, working her first accounting job, and earning her Master’s in Business Administration from Andrews University, her first surprise was the opportunity to work in Singapore for the Far Eastern Division. There, she made lifelong friends and discovered a love for teaching to which she would return many times. “I’m most grateful for the opportunity to teach so many talented students,” she says. Gibson taught at the collegiate level, hosted a variety of international seminars, and wrote a textbook on Christian business ethics. She earned a doctorate in accounting in 1992. Between teaching stints, Gibson’s business acumen also made her an excellent accountant and administrator. Gibson is the first female auditor for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and was named Andrews University’s Outstanding Woman of the Century. Now in retirement, she and her husband, Larry, enjoy spending time with Gordon, Heidi, and their three kids. From her varied experiences, she can tell others that letting God lead will bring possibilities beyond anything imaginable.

Marci Knauft '93 and '03

Marci Knauft says, “I came to Walla Walla College with a plan for my life, but God used my time here to prepare me for His plan.” She was set on becoming an elementary school teacher in an Adventist school, but after graduation, it became clear that God was calling her to a special education classroom in the public school system, filled with kids who couldn’t stay in their regular classrooms. Despite trepidation, she answered the call. For the last 19 years, Knauft has continued working with at-risk students, both as a high school teacher and principal. Knauft earned her master’s degree in students at risk from the university in 2003 and continues to see God’s hand in her work. “Every day I get to work with students who are struggling with life. I get to listen to their stories and be a role model for them. I get to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” she says. Knauft also finds joy in helping with Pathfinders, teaching Sabbath School, and leading vacation Bible school programs. She and her husband, Ted, have four children and have foster several others.

Doug Taylor '78

Doug Taylor graduated in 1978 only to start start work at Walla Walla University the day after commencement, the start of 44 years of service to the university. His degree in business and concentration in information science uniquely prepared him to work as the university’s first systems analyst, assist in designing the first networked computer system for administrators on campus, and long career in Student Accounts. He formed strong friendships both in school and at work that brought much joy to his career. In 1997, Taylor fulfilled a dream to start his own business and shared his bill collection expertise with healthcare offices across the country. This unique opportunity allowed him to visit all 50 states and log over 1 million air miles. Taylor can now honestly say that for him there’s no place better than Walla Walla Valley. He’s given back to his community in many ways, earning the WWU Award for Community Service in 2021. Now retired, Taylor has also found a passion for train travel and enjoys seeing new corners of the country. However, his exceptional dedication remains as he teaches a query training class for university staff.