Denny Heck

Olympia – Lt. Governor, Denny Heck has been named the 2022 Joseph Albert Dear Distinguished Alumni Award Winner by his college alma mater, The Evergreen State College. 

The award was established in 2014 and named for accomplished Evergreen graduate and lifelong advocate of the college, Joe Dear, who dedicated his life to public service. Dear’s list of accomplishments includes helping restore solvency to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, heading the Washington State Investment Board and Department of Labor and Industries, leading the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration under President Clinton, serving as Chief of Staff to Washington Governor, Gary Locke and sitting on The Evergreen State College Foundation’s Board of Governors.

The award honors other alumni, who like Dear, go above and beyond in public service. 

“The Lieutenant Governor’s lifelong dedication to Washingtonians and public service exemplifies what the Joseph Albert Dear Distinguished Alumni Award represents,” said Evergreen President, Dr. John Carmichael. “Denny’s work representing Washington as a United States Representative and in the State House of Representatives along with his entrepreneurial work as a business owner, leadership in environmental policy and advocacy for open government all represent the foundation that Evergreen challenges its students to build.”

“I’m honored to be receiving this distinguished award,” said Lt. Governor, Denny Heck. “When I attended Evergreen I learned critical thinking, good communication skills, resourcefulness and the idea that I should follow my passion – public service. Evergreen helped me build a strong foundation that has allowed me to spend my life’s work doing what I love and what I believe in.”

Heck will receive his award during a luncheon at Evergreen’s “Return to Evergreen,” weekend which kicks off with a presentation from Evergreen’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship from 1-3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, and a full day of events from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15. The luncheon will be from noon to 1:45 p.m. October 15 in Evans Hall on Evergreen’s Olympia campus. 

This will be the first in-person Return to Evergreen since the pandemic. For more information on the Joseph Albert Dear Distinguished Alumni Award, please visit the webpage, for more about Return to Evergreen, visit