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Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: December 6, 2011 1:53:29 PM PST
WWU Fall Quarter Commencement Set for Dec. 10
NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco to receive Western's first honorary doctorate

Contact: Office of University Communications, (360) 650-3350

BELLINGHAM – Jane Lubchenco, chief administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a celebrated marine scientist, will receive Western Washington University’s first honorary doctorate degree at fall Commencement 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in Carver Gymnasium.

Entrepreneur Chase Franklin (’86) will give the Commencement address and graduating senior Lauren Squires will give the student Commencement address.

Approximately 600 undergraduates and about 40 master’s candidates will receive degrees this quarter. Fall commencement includes all majors, and only one ceremony will take place.            

Admission into the gymnasium will require a ticket. Each undergraduate and master’s candidate who has signed up to participate in the ceremony will be issued six tickets. Tickets are not required for guests who wish to watch the live televis­ed ceremony in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) building room 150. The ceremony will also be streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1.

The ceremony will include the presentation of an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Jane Lubchenco, who has been the chief administrator of NOAA since 2009. Lubchenco is also a widely respected environmental scientist and marine ecologist who was named “2010 Newsmaker of the Year” by the scientific journal “Nature.” Earlier this year, Western was given authority by the Washington State Legislature to grant honorary doctoral degrees in recognition of outstanding achievement in arts, letters, sciences, or the professions, or for service in education, government or humanitarian endeavors.  Lubchenco’s accomplishments as a scientist, her advocacy for improved dialogue between scientists and the public, and her leadership on environmental policy at the national level qualify her for the honor on multiple levels.

The ceremony’s main speaker, Chase Franklin, has been a successful entrepreneur, executive and innovator for 25 years. He co-founded and led a technology startup company through the boom-and-bust cycles of the 90s and early 2000s until it was acquired in 2006 for $275 million. Franklin also advises other entrepreneurs and is on the verge of launching another company of his own. Franklin and his wife, Teri, endowed the College of Business and Economics’ Allette and Cayden Franklin Excellence in Teaching Award, named for the Franklins’ two children.

Lauren Squires, the ceremony’s student commencement speaker, is graduating with a degree in Urban Planning and a minor in Sustainable Design. She is “passionate about creating places that enable people to live well.” She served as an advocate for sustainability issues while at Western, serving as Associated Students Director of Environmental and Sustainability Programs and working in Western’s Office of Sustainability. The daughter of Alan and Valaree Squires, Lauren Squires grew up in Longview and is a graduate of Mark Morris High School and Lower Columbia College.

Following commencement, graduates will proceed toward the stage, where they will pass through a corridor of faculty and the President’s party to deposit their Western identification cards in a box to be buried beneath a “2012” paver in the walkway in front of Old Main.

Commencement parking is available at no cost in most lots. Visitors must observe regulations for handicapped and individually reserved spaces. Lot 14G will be reserved for faculty and staff.  A shuttle service to Carver Gym will be available from the tent in lot 12A off Bill McDonald Parkway near Fairhaven College. The shuttle cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Guests in wheelchairs may park in Lot 10G and 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) 650-3701.

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