As of Tuesday, May 30, 2017
ELLENSBURG For many years of service, Central Washington University Board of Trustees will present an honorary degree to James D. “Jim” Honeyford, an alumnus and a Washington state senator from Sunnyside.
“It is with great pleasure that we present Sen. Honeyford with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Central,” university President James L. Gaudino said. “The faculty committee that recommended him for this degree said his demonstrated experience was commensurate with a candidate for a doctorate of letters and he was certainly deserving of this honor..”
The honorary degree will be conferred during the Ellensburg campus commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. June 11 in Tomlinson Stadium.
Honeyford has three Central degrees, including a bachelors of arts in sociology and education, and a master of education in instructional media.
In 2014, he received the first-ever College of the Sciences Alumni of the Year award for social sciences.
In 1994, Honeyford was elected to the state House of Representative, serving the 15th Legislative District.
After two terms, he was elected to the Senate in 1998, to which he has been re-elected four times.
Honeyford is Senate vice president pro tempore, chairman of the Capital Budget Committee and vice chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
He serves on the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications and the Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development committees.
He worked as an Ellensburg police officer for six years before moving to Sunnyside for a 30-year career as a teacher, coach, and librarian in the Sunnyside School District. He has been a farmer since 1995.
Honeyford has been active with the Washington State Farm Bureau, Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club, Washington State Grape Society and the now-defunct Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.
He is a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, and former Washington State Historical Society trustee, Sunnyside City Councilman, and Habitat for Humanity board member.
The Washington Coalition for Open Government previously honored Honeyford with the “Key Award.”
The Association of Washington Business gave him the Jim Matson Award and the Washington Association of Agricultural Educators named him legislator of the year.
Honeyford and his wife, Jerri, have four adult children.