(Olympia, Wash.) More than 1000 students from a wide cross section of Washington, the nation and beyond will fulfill a dream by receiving a bachelor’s or master’s degree on June 10 as The Evergreen State College celebrates its 45th commencement. The event starts at 1 p.m. in McCann Plaza/Red Square.
While Evergreen has earned a reputation as one of the best colleges in the nation, distinguished by its challenging liberal arts and sciences curriculum and its uniquely interdisciplinary approach, it also stands out for the extraordinary access it provides to higher education; an essential part of its mission as a public institution. This year, an estimated 90% of Evergreen graduates belong to at least one group traditionally under-served in higher education: federal low income (76%), disability (10%), first-generation baccalaureate (32%), veteran (7%), non-traditional age (56%) and students of color (28%).
Three-quarters of Evergreen’s students are Washington residents. The remainder represents nearly every state and many foreign countries. Commencement speakers this year include Maxine Mimms, emerita faculty member, longtime education leader and founder of Evergreen’s Tacoma Program; faculty member Phyllis Esposito from Evergreen’s Master in Teaching program and co-chair of the college’s Diversity and Equity Committee; undergraduate student speaker Penka Jane Culevski; and graduate student speaker Danae Presler, Master of Environmental Studies. The celebratory music will be provided by the Artesian Rumble Arkestra and the Evergreen Singers. Event information and speaker biographies are available at evergreen.edu/graduation.
In addition to serving undergraduates in Olympia, Tacoma, Grays Harbor and through a Reservation-Based program, Evergreen offers three master’s degree programs: Master in Teaching, Master of Public Administration (including a distinctive Tribal Governance concentration) and Master of Environmental Studies. The college has more than 40,000 alumni, the majority of which live and work in Washington. Approximately 15 percent of all bachelor’s degree holders in Thurston County earned their degree at Evergreen.