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Photo by Jonathan Williams / WWU

Placed in the Old Main lawn this week were 152 flags in memory of 152 service members from Washington state who lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The flags are an annual tradition from the WWU Veterans Outreach Center.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 30.

Following Back 2 Bellingham, M.E.Ch.A. de WWU--an Ethnic Student Center Club--hosted its 16th annual Ridin' Low in the 3-6-0 lowrider show Sunday. The free event filled Red Square with customized cars, trucks, and bikes, bringing in visitors from all over the western United States and Canada.

According to M.E.Ch.A., the founders of the show "envisioned a community event that celebrated Chicanx culture through music, dance performances, community activism, hop contests, and food."

Photo by Jonathan Williams / WWU

The Ethnic Student Center at Western Washington University held its 25-year reunion on Friday, May 13, during Back2Bellingham.

The keynote speaker for the event was Jesse Moore, a WWU alumnus and current White House speechwriter.

Photos by Jonathan Williams / WWU

Back2Bellingham attendees enjoy lunch on the Old Main lawn at the annual event Saturday, May 14, 2016. Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Western Washington University held its 7th Annual Back2Bellingham reunion weekend for alumni, families, students, faculty, staff and the community this past weekend.

This year’s headliner was “Something Wonderful,” featuring Bellingham Circus Guild performers. Back2Bellingham’s 7th year also featured more than 100 reunions, tours, educational discussions, athletic events, recreational and entertainment opportunities and live music.

Attendees of the 2016 Women of Color Empowerment Dinner socialize and eat during the event. Photo by Amanda Raschkow / WWU Communications intern

On Friday, May 13, Student Outreach Services at Western Washington University held the 18th-annual Women of Color Empowerment Dinner and Silent Auction.

The dinner is designed to encourage women of diverse backgrounds to become leaders in the community. Through communication of the spoken word these women shared their stories and talents with other students, faculty, staff and community members.

The theme this year was Voices of Hope: A Beautiful Awakening. 

Youth enjoyed plenty of hands-onlearning at Western's first GEMS Academy event March 5 at the WWU Science Resource Center. File photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

Western Washington University Youth Programs will host girls of all ages in the GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) Fair from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, in Western’s Academic West building.

Families and friends are welcome to come and enjoy the event as well.

Scene from the 2016 Black Excellence Ball at Western Washington University. Photo by Simon Bakke / for Western Today

The Black Student Union at Western Washington University held its first Black Excellence Conference April 23 to 25 with the goal of empowering and cultivating community among black students in Washington.

Black Student Union members from universities throughout the state attended the weekend events.

The conference included four workshop options:

Photo by Rhys Logan / WWU

The 39th Annual Employee Recognition Ceremony was held Thursday, May 5, from 8:15 to 9:30 a.m. in the PAC Main Stage theatre. The ceremony recognized both faculty and staff for their service and exceptional efforts. In addition, recent retirees were invited to be recognized.

Attendees enjoyed a performance by Rebel Clef, part of Western's a'capella club.

This year's President's Exceptional Effort Award recipients included:

The Fellowships Office hosted a recognition ceremony for Western students who are candidates and winners of nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships May 5 at 4 p.m. in the Western Gallery. 

Provost Brent Carbajal and Dr. Tom Moore, director of the Fellowships Office, spoke in appreciation of the students as well as the faculty and staff who supported their candidacies. Candidates and winners were then invited to speak about their experiences pursuing scholarships and fellowships.

Rep. Rick Larsen speaks with Western students during a tour of the Shannon Point Marine Center Wednesday, May 4, in Anacortes. Photo by Matthew Anderson / WWU

Rep. Rick Larsen, a congressman for Washington's 2nd Congressional District, visited the Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes on Wednesday, May 4.

Showing him around was Erika McPhee-Shaw, the center's director. Becca Kenna-Schenk, Western's director of Government Relations, and Joe Timmons, Western's assistant director of Government Relations, also were on the tour.

While visiting the facility, Larsen spoke with a group of Western students and several WWU researchers.