Approximately 600 Western Washington University undergraduates and about 42 master’s candidates received degrees during fall commencement on Saturday, Dec. 14, in Carver Gymnasium on the Western campus.
Jack Cullen, a member of Foster Pepper PLLC Attorneys at Law, addressed graduates and their families at the ceremony. Cullen is a 1973 Western graduate with a degree in political science. He has 35 years of experience in business law and specializes in complex financial matters. In 2013, “Best Lawyers in America” named Cullen the “Lawyer of the Year” in Seattle for work related to bankruptcy, insolvency and reorganization law. He recently represented an investment group led by actor Patrick Dempsey to purchase Tully’s Coffee. Cullen is also an experienced skydiver who was a member of the U.S. team that won a world championship in 1976. Cullen earned his law degree from the University of Puget Sound. Today, he is a member of the Western Foundation board of directors.
The ceremony’s student commencement speaker was Natalie Boles, who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in geography. Boles, who attended high school and community college in Cincinnati, completed a minor in disaster risk reduction and studied the Japanese post-tsunami recovery effort with Associate Professor Scott Miles. She hopes to attend graduate school and explore career options in the nonprofit or government sector.