BELLINGHAM – Alaska attorney Mark Choate, a Western Washington University alumnus, will address WWU graduates and their families at the fall commencement ceremony Dec. 15 at 9:45 a.m. in Carver Gymnasium.
About 758 undergraduate and 32 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.
Choate, the ceremony’s main speaker, is a tort attorney based in Juneau, Alaska. He practices law in Alaska, Washington, California and Hawaii and specializes in personal injury law. Choate says he’s drawn to difficult cases that provide opportunities to redress imbalances of power. He attended Western as a VISTA volunteer, working as a paralegal for low-income clients. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in human services in 1977 and graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 1980.
Also speaking at the ceremony will be Candice Trusty, who is earning a Bachelor of Science in environmental science with a freshwater ecology emphasis. Trusty grew up in Minnesota and completed an associate degree at Portland Community College. While at Western, she gathered data for Olympia oyster restoration and monitored shellfish beds on public lands for the Skagit County Marine Resources Committee’s Salish Sea Stewards Program. She also interned with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and collected data in Idaho for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration biologists.
Overflow seating for the ceremony 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 http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1.
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 at 9 a.m. and all guests should be seated five minutes before the scheduled start. When the ceremony begins, the procession will start and all guest entrances are closed. Doors will reopen when the procession is complete.
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 noon 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 or 11G, 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 or email Commencement@wwu.edu.