The Evergreen State College Holds 34th Commencement Ceremony

Published: June 07, 2005

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 will take that long-awaited walk down flashbulb alley, with 1,191 undergraduates and 82 graduates expected to pick up their degrees.

Commencement is scheduled for Friday, June 10 on Red Square at the Olympia campus, starting at 1 p.m., rain or shine. Award-winning author, Derrick Jensen, is the keynote speaker at the event, which is free and open to the public.

Evergreen will award 1,036 bachelor of arts, 105 bachelor of science, 50 bachelor of arts and science combined, 33 master of teaching, 23 master of environmental studies and 26 master of public administration degrees.

Speaker Jensen was selected by the Class of 2005. Jensen, in his own words, shares his multi-dimensional teachings about the nature of injustice - of what civilizations do to the natural world and how civilized human beings create intricate systems of denial, silence, abnegation, deception and self-hatred in order to keep the consequences of such injustice at bay. He is the author of The Culture of Make Believe and A Language Older Than Words. Jensen has taken his education and activism to incredible heights. He serves as associate editor for Transitions magazine, is co-founder of the Railroads and Clearcuts Campaign and sits on advisory boards for the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness and the Native Forest Network. He also is a member of the drafting committee for the articulation of a new food production ethic, sponsored by the Center for Respect of Life and Environment.

Graduation addresses also will be given by Evergreen faculty member Caryn Cline (film and media studies); Vanessa Schweizer, Master of Environmental Studies; and Dolly England, Bachelor of Arts.

While completing her Masters degree at Evergreen, Schweizer worked full time as a faculty and staff member at Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom. In the winter of 2005 she worked as a Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow in Washington, D.C., at the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council. She has been admitted to Carnegie Mellon University's doctoral program in Engineering and Public Policy.

England is a first generation student and has attended Evergreen all four years. In her time at Evergreen, she was a Cultural Diversity Award recipient, a First Peoples' Scholar and a Resident Assistant. She served also as coordinator of Umoja, Evergreen's Black Student Union.

The Class of 2005 has chosen the theme, "Everything changes, nothing remains without change," by Shakyamuni Buddha. On behalf of the graduating class, proceeds from the sale of graduation announcements and T-shirts will be donated to Safeplace, an Olympia shelter for women and children.

Evergreen's 34th Commencement ceremonies are dedicated to former Evergreen Trustee and life-long champion of education, civil rights and social justice; Frederick "Fred" Haley. Haley, who passed away last April, served on The Evergreen State College Board of Governors and as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1991 through 1997. He is remembered at Evergreen for his integrity, his deep commitment to civil rights and his steadfast support of the college. His work at Evergreen is just one example from a long life in public service. He participated in the 1963 March on Washington and, as a member of the Tacoma School Board, fought for desegregation and to protect the civil rights of teachers. In his professional life, he was CEO of the candy manufacturing company Brown & Haley.

Former state senator and gay and lesbian rights advocate Cal Anderson also will be honored at Friday's Commencement, where an Honorary Bachelor of Arts degree will be posthumously bestowed. Anderson will receive the distinct honor in recognition of his tireless efforts as a deeply committed public servant, a champion of civil rights and an accomplished legislator. Anderson was appointed to the Washington state House of Representatives in 1987, where he was elected to three full terms after completing his original appointment. In 1994, Seattle's 43rd district elected him to the state Senate where he served until his death in 1995. A Vietnam-era veteran, Anderson was awarded two Bronze Stars and four U.S. Army Commendation Medals. Anderson labored for campaign finance and regulatory reform, motor-voter registration, veterans' issues, environmental protection and open access to government. He introduced many bills related to AIDS programs and led the on-going battle for equal civil rights protection for gay and lesbian citizens.

Commencement will be carried live on KAOS Community Radio at 89.3 FM and online at www.kaosradio.org. The event also will be streamed via live Webcast at www.evergreen.edu/media/live.

Graduates of The Evergreen State College - Tacoma will be honored at a celebration on Saturday, June 11 starting at 1 p.m. at downtown Tacoma's Rialto Theater (9th and Broadway). Retired Evergreen-Tacoma faculty member Dr. Willie L. Parson will be the featured speaker. This year, 101 Tacoma Program students will receive their bachelor degrees during Commencement ceremonies at Evergreen's Olympia campus.

The Evergreen State College, a public, four-year college of arts and sciences, annually enrolls more than 4,100 students. Evergreen opened its doors in 1971. Since then, it has become a national leader in the development of interdisciplinary learning communities that combine and coordinate several academic subjects that are traditionally taught separately.

Contact

Todd Sprague Executive Director of Marketing, Communications and College Relations
The Evergreen State College
(360) 867-6042
spraguet@evergreen.edu