Simon Blackwell, vice president of Technology and Digital Gaming at Wizards of the Coast LLC and an alumnus of Western Washington University, addressed graduates and their families at Western’s fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 15, at 10 a.m. in Carver Gym.
Seattle art patrons Virginia Wright and her husband, the late Bagley Wright, received the President’s Award for their significant contributions to public art in the Pacific Northwest, particularly to Western Washington University and the nationally renowned Outdoor Sculpture Collection.
Graduating senior Brandi Widenmeyer, an Environmental Conservation major from Bellingham, gave the student commencement address.
Approximately 615 undergraduates and about 45 master’s candidates received degrees this quarter.
The ceremony’s main speaker, Simon Blackwell, is vice president of Technology and Digital Gaming at Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro and the home of Dungeons & Dragons, Magic: The Gathering and many other role-playing games. Blackwell graduated from Western in 1984 with a degree in Philosophy and in 2010 was named a Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The student commencement speaker, Brandi Widenmeyer, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Conservation. Widenmeyer, of Bellingham, also holds an Associate in Technical Arts degree from Skagit Valley College and hopes to incorporate her love of botany into her conservation work.