Gov. Chris Gregoire to speak at WWU commencement June 12
Also to address graduates: Trustee Ralph Munro ('66), former Secretary of State, and former Trustee Kevin Raymond ('80), clean technology entrepreneur
Gov. Chris Gregoire will speak at the first of three Commencement ceremonies at Western Washington University June 12.
Former Secretary of State Ralph Munro (’66) will speak at the second ceremony and Kevin Raymond, director of external affairs for two green technology companies, will address graduates and guests at the third ceremony.
Gregoire is Washington state’s 22nd governor and the second woman to hold the state’s top elected office. Since taking office in 2004, Gregoire has wrestled with the largest state budget deficits in history while promoting economic growth, expanding health care coverage to more low-income children and launching a plan to clean up Puget Sound. Before serving as governor, she was Washington state’s Attorney General for nearly 12 years and served as head of the state’s Department of Ecology.
Munro earned an education/political science degree from WWU in 1966 and now serves on Western’s Board of Trustees. He was elected five times as Washington’s Secretary of State from 1980 to 2001. Known for promoting voter participation, Munro remains involved with the Ralph Munro Institute for Civic Education at WWU, which encourages civic literacy among secondary-education teachers and the public at large. Western also recognized him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 1989.
Raymond, who graduated from WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment in 1980 and served on WWU’s Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2009, has served in leadership positions in environmentally-oriented nonprofit organizations and business start-ups. Currently, he is director of external relations for Pacific Coast Canola LLC, which is gathering financing to build a factory in Eastern Washington to produce canola oil for use in both foods and renewable fuels. He serves the same role for McKinstry Reklaim LLC, whose Boardman, Ore., plant uses an earth-friendly process to recycle rubber tires.
Almost 1,700 undergraduate and 180 master’s students are expected to graduate June 12. Admission is by ticket only, and each graduate will be allowed four tickets. Overflow seating also will be available on campus.
The 9 a.m. ceremony will include candidates from the College of Business and Economics, the College of Fine and Performing Arts, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies and Huxley College of the Environment. At 12:30 p.m., candidates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Humanities Division) will graduate along with those from Woodring College of Education. At 4 p.m. will be the ceremony for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Social Sciences Division) and the College of Sciences and Technology.
For those without tickets, the ceremonies will be broadcast in the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) building and in Arntzen 100 on large viewing screens. Off campus, the ceremony will be broadcast live on Whatcom County’s Comcast cable service channel 26.
In addition to the keynote speaker, a WWU student will speak at each commencement ceremony. Sarah Ishmael, a member of WWU’s board of trustees, will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Ishmael, graduate of Gig Harbor High School, majored in Inclusive Political Advocacy and Higher Education Policy and will speak about how education prepares graduates to make a difference. The 12:30 p.m. speaker will be Courtney Cline, who majored in Language, Literacy and Culture and earned a K-8 teaching certificate. Cline, a graduate of John R. Rogers High School in Puyallup, will speak about how education gives graduates the tools to change the lives of others. Finally, Daniel Gifford, a Physics major, will speak at 4 p.m. The graduate of John R. Rogers High School in Puyallup will speak about how experiences in college helps graduates face the challenges of tomorrow.
Following WWU tradition, graduates will proceed to the walk in front of Old Main after the completion of each ceremony, where they will pass through a corridor of faculty and deposit their Western identification cards in a box that is later cemented into Memory Walk.
There will be additional commencement-related ceremonies and gatherings during the afternoon. Fairhaven College will hold an additional ceremony at 1 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall, followed by a reception in the Fairhaven College Lounge. There will also be a celebration for Huxley graduates at 2 p.m. in the PAC Mainstage Theatre, with a reception in the PAC plaza. A reception for Woodring graduates will take place in the Wilson Library Reading Room from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Guest parking is free on Commencement day and available in most lots. Visitors must observe regulations for handicapped and individually reserved spaces. Guests are advised to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and to allow for travel time between the parking lots and gym. Shuttle bus service will be available from the 12A parking lot off Bill McDonald Parkway near Fairhaven College, but the buses cannot accommodate wheelchairs. The shuttle service begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m. or until there is no demand. Guests in wheelchairs may park in Lot 17G on East College Way. 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) 650-3985.