Summer Quarter Commencement Set for Aug. 20

BELLINGHAM – Karen L. Richards, a Western Washington University Distinguished Alumna and an investment officer with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC in Bellingham, will speak in two Commencement ceremonies Aug. 20 in Western’s Performing Arts Center Mainstage.

Approximately 365 undergraduates and about 60 master’s candidates will receive degrees this quarter. Admission is by ticket only, and each graduate will be allowed four tickets. Overflow seating also will be available on campus.

As Carver Gymnasium undergoes a $70 million renovation project, summer, fall and winter Commencement ceremonies will be held in the Performing Arts Center Mainstage. Spring Commencement will be held at Civic Field in Bellingham.

Summer Commencement will include two ceremonies: At 9 a.m., students will graduate from the College of Science and Engineering, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Fine and Performing Arts, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the American Cultural Studies Program, Huxley College of the Environment and the Graduate School. The noon ceremony will include graduates of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Woodring College of Education and the Graduate School.

Additional viewing for the summer ceremony will be available in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, located in the same building as the Mainstage. Off campus, the ceremony will be broadcast on Whatcom County Comcast Cable Channel 26, and streamed live at

Commencement speaker Richards is the 2015 Distinguished Alumni from the College of Business and Economics. A financial adviser with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, she is also a member of the Western Washington University Foundation board of directors. She earned two degrees from Western: a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration in 1982 and a Master of Business Administration in 1989. Richards has worked for Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC since 2007 and has earned the credential of Certified Financial Planner Professional and the Certified Investment Management Analyst designation.

The 9 a.m. ceremony’s student Commencement speaker will be Brooks Kochman, who is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting. Kochman, a graduate of Sehome High School in Bellingham, is the recipient of the WWU Accounting Department’s Gail Bornhoeft Outstanding Service Award and completed internships at Amazon and Dawson Construction.

The student Commencement speaker for the noon ceremony will be Chloe Pearson, who is receiving a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. A graduate of Lake Stevens High School, Pearson was a student leader involved in Campus Christian Fellowship and Relay for Life. Her work was also included in Communication Studies’ Top Paper Panel during Western’s Scholars Week.

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.

All guests should be seated 20 minutes before the posted time of the ceremony. Doors open an hour before each ceremony. No food or drink is allowed in the Performing Arts Center.

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

Shuttle bus service will be available from the C parking lot off South College Drive from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or until there is no demand. One of the shuttle buses will be ADA-equipped and accommodate two wheelchairs. Guests who use wheelchairs may also park in lot 11G, adjacent to the Performing Arts Center, 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.

Office of University Communications and Marketing, (360) 650-3350

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Thursday, August 18, 2016 - 10:10am