Contact: Office of University Communications, (360) 650-3350
BELLINGHAM – Former Gov. Gary Locke will receive an honorary doctorate and address Western Washington University graduates and their families at one of three spring Commencement ceremonies in Carver Gymnasium on June 14.
The other main speakers will be scholar Douglas Massey (’74), the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, and Jerry Thon (’75), vice president of Astoria Holdings.
About 1,935 students are expected to graduate from Western June 14, including 1,775 undergraduate and 160 master’s students. Admission is by ticket only, and each graduate will be allowed four tickets. Overflow seating also will be available on campus.
Locke, the speaker at the 9 a.m. ceremony, recently completed two years as the U.S. ambassador to China. He also served in President Obama’s Cabinet as the secretary of commerce. Born and raised in Seattle, Locke is a two-term governor of the state of Washington and a former member of the Washington House of Representatives. Locke will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Western for his distinguished career of public service at the state, national and international levels.
Thon, the speaker at the 12:30 p.m. ceremony, is the vice president of Astoria Holdings, a fish processing plant in Astoria, Oregon. He’s also the former owner of New West Fisheries in Bellingham and the immediate past president of the Western Foundation. A longtime supporter of Western, Thon is chairman of the Western at Home committee, which works to help Bellingham community leaders get more acquainted with the university.
Massey, the speaker at the 4 p.m. ceremony, is a sociologist specializing in international migration and socioeconomic stratification. At Princeton University, Massey directs the Office of Population Research and oversees the Mexican Migration Project and the Latin American Migration Project, two long-term studies exploring the complex causes and consequences of migration. Massey also received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1990 to write “American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass,” one of his many comprehensive studies of how inequality is produced in the U.S.
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., the ceremony for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Social Sciences Division) and the College of Sciences and Technology will take place.
For those without tickets, the ceremonies will be broadcast in the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) building on large viewing screens. Off campus, the ceremony will be broadcast live on Whatcom County’s Comcast cable service channel 26 and streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1.
In addition to the keynote speaker, a WWU student will speak at each commencement ceremony.
Brian O’Sullivan will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony. O’Sullivan will graduate with a self-designed concentration from Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies that incorporates his interests in art and psychology. He hopes to study art therapy in graduate school. O’Sullivan is a graduate of Juneau Douglas High School in Juneau, Alaska.
The 12:30 p.m. speaker will be Christina Van Wingerden, who will graduate with a Master of Education in Continuing and College Education. Van Wingerden is administrator to the dean of students at Western and earned her bachelor’s degree from Western in 2011.
Twins Anne and Andrea d’Aquino will speak at the 4 p.m. ceremony. Anne is receiving a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry while Andrea is receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. They have excelled at research, scholarship and community service and are both recipients of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. They are Bellingham residents and graduates of Squalicum High School.
Following WWU tradition, graduates will proceed to the path 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 graduation celebration at 1 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. There will also be a celebration for Huxley graduates at 2 p.m. in the PAC Mainstage Theatre.
Guest parking is free on Commencement day and available in most lots. Visitors must observe regulations for disabled parking 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 7:30 a.m. and ends at 6:30 p.m. or until there is no demand. Guests in wheelchairs may park in designated lots behind Miller Hall and Arntzen Hall. 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.