In a continual effort to decrease administrative costs and streamline university functions, a reorganization is underway within administration. As of January, Lorri Bays has stepped into the role of Executive Assistant to Doug Tilstra, Vice-President for Student Life. For those who don't know Lorri well, she and her husband Dean have two daughters, Jennifer and Christina. They enjoy kayaking, biking and spending time at the ocean when they get the chance. Lorri began her career at WWU in the Accounting office as cashier in early 2014. In 2016, she became the administrative assistant to Scott Ligman, Associate Vice-President for Academic Administration, and has done a wonderful job in that role for 4 years. We look forward to seeing her talents shine in this new area of campus.

The position Lorri held has been taken on by Sharryl Toews. Sharryl has served as Executive Assistant to Steve Rose, Vice-President for Financial Administration, since 2017 and will continue that role as well as providing primary administrative support for Scott Ligman. A native of Canada, one of Sharryl's favorite things is a good cup of tea. Sharryl is married to our own Bruce Toews, professor of Business. Together they have two daughters, Jaci (Hellie) and Sonia. They enjoy outdoor activities and road trips as well as their collection of pets.

We are very thankful to have colleagues dedicated to the continued improvement of Walla Walla University, so please join us is extending a big "Thank You" to everyone involved in this transition, and please give them a warm welcome in their new roles.


David Wiltfong is joining the WWU team as the new Field Practicum Coordinator in Missoula, MT for our Social Work department. He was most recently the Director of Treatment for Missoula Correctional Services and has lived in Missoula since 1997. He is a graduate of University of Montana with a degree in Recreation Management and an alum of WWU where he received his Master’s in Social Work.

David and his wife, Kate, have two children, Frances and Ruby. In his spare time, David enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, going to the gym, rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs, and a good barbecue with his family. He wants to thank everyone for being so kind and welcoming to him and his family, so please continue to give them all a warm WWU welcome!


Patrick Garrett is joining the Walla Walla University team as Security Supervisor in the Campus Security department. Patrick is a former retired police sergeant from the City of Milton-Freewater. He holds degrees in criminal justice, corrections, advanced police officer training both supervisory and management, and is a graduate of Portland State University.

Patrick is a true Walla Walla native, having lived here his entire life. He and his wife, Michele, have four children: Ashly, Justin, Levi, and Wyatt. In his spare time, Patrick enjoys studying genealogy, watching or playing any time of sport, and doing activity with his family. We are excited to have Patrick join the Walla Walla University family, so please extend a warm welcome!


Ron Wentland is joining the Walla Walla University team as Plumbing/Welding Foreman in the Facility Services department. Ron comes to us from Littleton, Colorado where he managed his own company.

Ron is a graduate of WWU's Technology department, and in his spare time, he enjoys camping, hiking, and off-roading. We are excited to have Ron join the Walla Walla University family, so please extend a warm welcome!


Aaron Nakamura is joining the Walla Walla University team as Director for the Marketing & University Relations department. Aaron comes to us from the Milo Adventist Academy, where he worked as VP for Marketing and Advancement. Aaron graduated from California State University with a B.S. degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing Management and from the University of Southern California with a Masters in Communication Management.

Aaron has just moved to the Walla Walla Valley from Oregon. In his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, standup paddle boarding, recording music, hiking, and camping. We are excited to have Aaron join the Walla Walla University family, so please extend a warm welcome!


Michael Benca is joining the Walla Walla University team as General Manager of Sodexo, our campus dining and catering service. Michael comes to us from Athens, Georgia, where he worked as Executive Chef and Operations Director for Sodexo at St. Mary's Hospital. He has a Culinary Degree, and a Bachelor's Degree in Business. He has 37 years of experience working in the Food Service Industry in many types of venues to include Private Clubs, Restaurants, Hospitals, and Universities.  He moved to the Walla Walla Valley just 3 weeks ago and so far is loving it and the University community! 

In his spare time, Michael enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, and, of course, cooking. So please extend Michael a warm WWU welcome!


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