Bellingham Physician Frank James to Speak at Winter Commencement March 24

Physician Frank James, a Western Washington University alumnus, will address WWU graduates and their families at the winter commencement ceremony March 24 at 10 a.m. in Carver Gymnasium.

About 575 undergraduate and 45 master’s students are expected to graduate from Western winter 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.

James, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health and an adjunct professor in global health at Yang Ming University in Taiwan. He is also the medical director for Travel Medicine Northwest, the health officer for both San Juan County and the Nooksack Indian Tribe, and president of the board of the Institute for Village Studies. He is often found at the intersection of public health and policy, speaking out on issues such as water and air quality. International work and service are also vitally important to James, who has worked abroad to improve public health in China, Taiwan, East Timor, India and Nepal. James is a Distinguished Alumnus of Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies and a graduate of the UW School of Medicine.

Also speaking at the ceremony will be Lily Olason, who is earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English literature and a minor in art history. Olason, a graduate of Blaine High School, was a peer adviser in Western’s Academic Advising Center and a member of the Students for Sustainable Water Club. She’s the daughter of Kraig and Brenda Olason of Blaine.

Doors to Carver open at 9 a.m., an hour before the ceremony, and all guests should be seated 20 minutes before the scheduled start.

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.

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.

Monday, March 19, 2018 - 12:12pm