Contact: Office of University Communications, (360) 650-3350
BELLINGHAM – Vini Samuel, an attorney in Grays Harbor and former member of the Montesano City Council, will address Western Washington University graduates and their families at Western’s summer Commencement ceremony, which starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 in Carver Gymnasium.
Approximately 340 undergraduates and about 70 master’s candidates will receive degrees this quarter. Summer Commencement includes all majors, and only one ceremony will take place.
Tickets are not required, but seating will be on a first come, first served basis. Additional viewing will be available in the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) building. Off campus, the ceremony will be broadcast on Whatcom County Comcast Cable Channel 26, and streamed live at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wwu-live-events1.
Samuel is a 1994 graduate of Western, an attorney with a solo practice in Grays Harbor and a political leader in the community. In 2000, the Washington State Democratic Party named Samuel a Rising Star at the party’s Warren G. Magnuson Awards. The former chair of the Grays Harbor Democrats, Samuel was an official delegate for Barack Obama at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and continues to work in local political campaigns. She also served nine years on the Montesano City Council. Today, she is on Western’s Alumni Association Board of Directors as part of the legislative committee.
The ceremony’s student Commencement speaker will be Geoffrey Briggs, who will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree Saturday in Philosophy. Briggs, of Bellingham, served as a teacher’s assistant and tutor in an introductory philosophy course. His paper that explores the relationship between mirror neuron theory and the philosophy of fiction was selected for Western’s Student Philosophy Conference. Briggs now plans to attend law school and is particularly interested in international human rights.
Following the ceremony, graduates will have the opportunity to follow WWU tradition and deposit their Western identification cards in a box that is later cemented into Memory Walk in front of Old Main.
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 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The shuttle busses cannot accommodate wheelchairs; 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.