By Meagan Walker, Cascadia Community College Director of College Relations.
Hundreds of graduating students, trustees, faculty, and staff formed a processional to mark the beginning of Cascadia Community College’s 14th commencement ceremony on Friday, June 13, 2014. The processional was led by a Duwamish tribal drummer.
The ceremony took place under a tent on the college’s lawn. Student Tarah Drouin sang the national anthem, chemistry instructor Dr. David Reighgott was granted emeritus status, and approximately 200 students received their diplomas degrees at the ceremony.
Class of 2014 Valedictorian Gabrielle Robert, a graduate of Bothell High School, encouraged her peers to be open to new people and new ideas, and to serve as an inspiration to others.
“While we share this accomplishment today, chances are we are all in very different phases of our lives,” Robert said.
“In one class I was grouped with high school Running Start students, in another class everyone in my group was in their 40s. I love that about this school; everyone is welcome, and we have all had an opportunity here to further our education regardless of our background. Cascadia's faculty has done a phenomenal job of incorporating everyone from all walks of life and giving us an even playing field to learn on together.”
The commencement address was delivered by Cascadia Board Chair Louis Mendoza. He was accompanied by Cascadia President Dr. Eric Murray, who quickly swapped out of his academic regalia and began painting a self- portrait.
Their address was a play on Cascadia’s learning outcomes: think critically, creatively, and reflectively; learn actively; interact in diverse and complex environments; and communicate with clarity and originality.
About Cascadia Community College: Cascadia is repeatedly recognized as one of the top 25 community colleges in the nation. It has a reputation for its small class sizes, focus on integrated learning, and high academic transfer rates to four-year programs. For more information, visit www.cascadia.edu.