Wakasugi-Don receives alumna award

Voiland College alumna Tess Wakasugi-Don (Construction Management ’06) has been named the recipient of Washington State University’s 2024 Women* of Distinction Alumna Award. This prestigious recognition celebrates Wakasugi-Don’s outstanding contributions to the construction industry and her steadfast dedication to diversity and inclusion. 

Portrait of Tess Wakasugi-Don.

“I am grateful to the women who paved the way before me and for the unwavering support they have given me throughout my career,” said Wakasugi-Don. “In turn, I commit myself to paying this support forward, nurturing and empowering the women of tomorrow in both my community and industry.” 

“Tess, despite the challenges of a male-dominated industry, became the first woman to be promoted to Principal at GLY Construction in their 50-year history,” remarked School of Design and Construction Director Jason Peschel, a supporter of Tess’s nomination. “Her journey from intern to Principal exemplifies her dedication and leadership within the construction sector.” 

“Tess’s exemplary career in the construction industry and her unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion made her a standout nominee,” said Mary Rezac, former dean of the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.  

Throughout her career, Wakasugi-Don has been a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion, and her efforts to foster an inclusive environment within the construction industry have been widely recognized and applauded. Additionally, Wakasugi-Don’s dedication to mentorship and community engagement underscores her commitment to nurturing the next generation of construction professionals. 

Previously honored in The Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list, Wakasugi-Don serves on WSU’s Construction Management Advisory Board, in addition to several other volunteer roles, which further highlight her impact as a leader and advocate for diversity in the industry.