Dee Ann Sonntag speaks out

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Dee Sonntag's eyes were opened to new perspectives. The power of choice gives her confidence in her dreams.

Dee Ann SonntagDee Ann Sonntag has received the honor of being the student speaker at UW Tacoma's 23rd annual commencement ceremony. She is graduating magna cum laude with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, majoring in politics, philosophy and economics (the law and policy track) with a minor in human rights.

She entered UW Tacoma as a transfer student from Tacoma Community College. She dreams of being a lawyer in public service: in a prosecutor’s office or as a public defender. She looks forward to starting law school in the fall. Looking back, she realizes how far she has come, and the role UW Tacoma has played to get her here.

In her remarks at the commencement ceremony, Dee talks about some of the curveballs life has thrown her: how she didn’t get past her first year at University of Montana; how a family tragedy brought her back to Pierce County; how the end of a difficult first marriage led her to her loving husband Joey and beautiful step-daughter Jade.

She came to realize that, no matter how bleak things got, she had choices. There was no guarantee she would make the right choice. She might have to choose all alone. But the power of choice has been a potent tonic that has given her confidence in her dreams.

At UW Tacoma, her eyes were opened to new perspectives. She has been challenged by professors and classmates to consider different points of view and embrace diversity.

Recently, she completed an internship in the office of state senator Joe Fain, Republican from the 47th district, encompassing Auburn, Kent, Covington, Renton and other parts of south King County.

Dee is almost the first one in her family to go to college. Coincidentally, her twin sister, Mary, graduated from UW Tacoma three years ago. As her family and sisters, including her twin, look on, Dee will be wearing Mary’s robes as she receives her degree.

Written by: 
John Burkhardt / June 6, 2013
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, UW Tacoma Communications, 253-692-4536 or