CWU students share Wildcat pride with High School Musical flash - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

CWU students share Wildcat pride with High School Musical flash mob

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ELLENSBURG, WA - When High School Musical premiered on the Disney Channel in 2006, it instantly created a frenzy with millions of kids across the country who watched it. It launched the careers of Hollywood stars including Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale. 12-years-later, the teens of "East High" were the inspiration for a celebration at Central Washington University.

"We're All In This Together" is the High School Musical smash hit song that was also the show stopping end to a massive flash mob at the CWU Student Union Recreation Center on Thursday afternoon.

"That High School Musical moment from when I was 9-years-old watching that first time. Knowing that I can be a part of a community that's doing that, Central fostered that, and that's really exciting," said Myrinda Wolitarsky, CWU's HSM Project Logistics Coordinator.

The surprise performance was to commemorate the university earning another HEED award from Insight Into Diversity magazine. HEED stands for, Higher Education Excellence in Diversity.

"The (flash mob) project was actually aimed to celebrate the pin wheel of colors and the demographics that we have here at the Wildcat nation" explained Nenay Norawong, the HSM Project's Creative Director.

CWU has been given the award three times in the last four years and is the only four year school in the state to win it. The award recognizes higher education institutions that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"CWU is the most welcoming campus in the state and this award recognizes our priority on the diversity of people and ideas," said Delores Cleary, CWU's vice president for inclusivity and diversity. "Our goal at CWU is to foster an environment where we celebrate our differences and create a campus culture of mutual respect and acceptance."

According to the university, students of color comprise nearly 33% of CWU's student body. Hispanic enrollment is nearly 15% and about 92% of CWU students are Washington natives.

The flash mob took the project team three months, more than 100 students, and hundreds of hours of rehearsal to put together just a seven minute musical number worthy of a blockbuster movie.

" (It's) fulfilling. Very nourishing," Norawong observed after the dance was over, "I'm very thankful but more inspired because now I feel like I've been a part of a project where I have ADC'd. Absorbed, digest, compelled, and resonated that within the Wildcat nation so I'm very thankful."

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