EVERETT, Wash. – May 13, 2017 – Today Washington State University Everett held the second commencement ceremony for students at the newest WSU campus. Chancellor Paul Pitre conferred degrees on 70 students in engineering, communications and business.

Students received their degrees in front of family, friends and WSU faculty and staff in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Xfinity Arena. Graduates were recognized for their academic achievement as well as personal achievements. These included military service, raising children or holding employment while earning their degrees.

WSU Everett student body president Hannah Lu Marie

“There are students here who drove miles or took ferries, all to be able to better themselves. Here in Everett – the little campus that could, and did. Full of students that could, and then did,” said Hannah Lu Marie, president of the student government and a first-generation college student. “As students at this specific campus, we had – and continue to have – the unique opportunity to better ourselves regardless of whatever situation landed us here in the first place.”

A committee of faculty, staff and students selected Michael Austin, who earned his degree in electrical engineering, as the student speaker.

“I am giving this speech, because I wanted to present myself as an example of hope. The hope that has drawn many of my WSU Everett friends to pursue degrees later in life than a traditional student. The hope that has driven WSU Everett veterans to try to further their lives with new career paths,” Austin said. “I have to thank all WSU Everett staff and faculty for making this school an environment where students don’t feel like a statistic. Be sure to retain this attribute as you grow into the future, because WSU Everett right now is a place of hope.”

Austin concluded, “I hope you all continue to redefine your success, by growing and adapting with new conflicts and moments of peace. For those of you who find yourself hopeless as we go forward, summon any bit of hope you can. Fight on to be the most triumphant you.”

Three students were selected to carry gonfalons, which are tall banners that represent each of the colleges at WSU Everett, based on their academic excellence. Those students included:

  • Chelsea Long, business
  • Rebecca Boehm, communications
  • Grant Anderson, engineering

After students received their degrees, the presidents of the Snohomish County and Skagit Valley chapters of the WSU Alumni Association and special guest Butch T. Cougar led students and their families in a loud rendition of the WSU Fight Song, punctuated by crimson and gray streamer cannons.

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Contact: Randy Bolerjack

Washington State University Everett campus graduation on May 13, 2017, in Everett, Washington. (TJ Mullinax)