Photos: Spring commencement 2016
About 2,030 students graduated from Western Washington University in two spring Commencement ceremonies at Bellingham’s Civic Stadium June 11.
About 1,825 undergraduate and 205 master’s students were expected to graduate from Western June 11. Spring Commencement ceremonies were held off campus at Civic while the Carver Academic Building undergoes major renovation.
Main speakers were Bellingham attorney and former WWU Trustee Phil Sharpe and Skullcandy President and CEO Hoby Darling (’97).
In addition, WWU President Bruce Shepard honored Mariners’ CEO Howard Lincoln and former REI Inc. CEO Dennis Madsen with President’s Awards for their service to Western and to the community.
Sharpe, the speaker at the 9 a.m. ceremony, is an attorney and partner in the law firm of Adelstein, Sharpe and Serka in Bellingham. His extensive community service includes 10 years on the Western Washington University Board of Trustees and another decade on the Whatcom Community College Board of Trustees. He has also served on the Whatcom County Ethics Commission and on the boards of the Bellingham Public Facilities District and the Whatcom Community College Foundation.
Also at the 9 a.m. ceremony, former REI CEO Dennis Madsen received the President’s Award. After spending nearly 40 years at REI, Madsen is a business consultant who serves on the boards of Alaska Air Group and West Marine as well as two nonprofit organizations, IslandWood and Forterra. He served on Western’s Board of Trustees for nearly a decade, was president of the Western Foundation and continues as a co-chair for the Western Stands for Washington campaign.
Darling, the speaker at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony, is president and chief executive officer of Skullcandy, Inc., which includes the Skullcandy and Astro Gaming audio brands. Prior to joining Skullcandy, Darling served in multiple leadership positions at Nike and Volcom. Darling also serves on the board of directors for Skullcandy, Ragnar Relays and Special Operations Forces Warrior Outdoor Leadership for the Future (WOLF).
Howard Lincoln, CEO of the Seattle Mariners, received the President’s Award at the 1:30 p.m. ceremony. Lincoln, who recently announced his plans to retire as the Mariners’ top executive, served on Western’s Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2010 and was an honorary chair of the Western Stands for Washington campaign. He has also devoted his time and resources to such organizations as United Way of King County, the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Chief Seattle Council of Boy Scouts of America.
The 9 a.m. ceremony included candidates from the College of Science and Engineering, the College of Business and Economics, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Huxley College of the Environment, Woodring College of Education and the Graduate School. At 1:30 p.m., candidates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences graduated along with those from the College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Graduate School.
In addition to the keynote speaker, a WWU student spoke at each commencement ceremony.
Jordan Jacobsen spoke at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Jacobsen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a major in Early Childhood Special Education. She is a student teacher in Kirkland and a graduate of Bellevue Christian School.
The 1:30 p.m. student speaker was Stephen Ateser, who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and a minor in User Experience Design. Ateser, this year’s Outstanding Design Graduate, is a graduate of Henry M. Jackson High School in Bothell and Shoreline Community College.