Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville to Speak at Fall Commencement Dec. 16

  • Kelli Linville

BELLINGHAM – Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, a Western Washington University alumna, will address WWU graduates and their families at the fall commencement ceremony Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. in Carver Gymnasium.

About 740 undergraduate and 40 master’s students are expected to graduate from Western fall quarter. There will be one ceremony for all graduates and each graduate will receive four tickets for guests. Overflow seating will be available on campus.

Linville, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, was elected mayor of Bellingham 2012 and re-elected in 2015. Before that, she spent 17 years in the Washington State House of Representatives and chaired the House Ways and Means Committee. Before holding elected office, Linville worked as a speech pathologist in the Bellingham School District and served as president of the Bellingham Education Association. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech-language pathology and audiology from Western.  

Also speaking at the ceremony will be Raven Benko, who is earning a Bachelor of Science in biology with a marine emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts in environmental policy. During her time at Western studied harbor seals in Bellingham Bay and received a prestigious NOAA Hollings Scholarship to conduct research with the National Marine Fisheries Service in New Jersey. Benko is a graduate of Niwot High School in Colorado and hopes to have a career in science and public policy.

Overflow seating will be available adjacent to Carver in Western’s Science Math and Technology Education building, where the ceremony will be shown on large screens. The ceremony will also be streamed live at

Following the ceremony, graduates will have the opportunity to follow WWU tradition and deposit their Western identification cards in a box that is later cemented into Memory Walk in front of Old Main.

Doors open an hour before the ceremony and all guests should be seated 20 minutes before the scheduled start.

Guest parking is free on Commencement day and available in most lots. Visitors must observe regulations for handicapped and individually reserved spaces. Visitors are also advised to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and to allow for travel time between the parking lots and Carver.

Shuttle bus service will be available from the 12A parking lot off South College Drive from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or until there is no demand. One of the shuttle buses will be ADA-equipped and will accommodate two wheelchairs. Guests who use wheelchairs may also park in lot 17G, which will be reserved for accessible parking.

Parking attendants will be available to assist guests with special parking needs.

For more information or for disability accommodations contact the Registrar’s Office, (360) 650-3701.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 4:55pm