Gov. Gregoire to speak at UW Tacoma Commencement

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Gov. Chris Gregoire will deliver the commencement speech for the University of Washington Tacoma's graduating class of 2009. The 19th Annual Commencement exercises will be held Friday, June 12, 10 a.m., at the Tacoma Dome. In 2005, Gregoire signed the legislation making UW Tacoma a four-year university as part of the state's effort to expand access to bachelor's degrees in Washington.

"It is an honor to be a part of this year's graduation ceremony at UW Tacoma," Gregoire said. "UW Tacoma has grown from a small branch campus to a center of excellence for education and research in the South Sound region. And this year's graduation is especially exciting, as we get to recognize some of the first students that began as freshmen and are now graduating with a UW bachelor's degree at the Tacoma campus."

UW Tacoma began enrolling freshmen in 2006. Two members of that class will march with this year's graduating class.

"It's inspiring to see the graduates and know everything they've accomplished. It's wonderful to know that UW Tacoma is doing what it was put here to do, raising the level of educational attainment and contributing to the economic development of the South Puget Sound," said Chancellor Patricia Spakes. "Governor Gregoire has been a great advocate for higher education and economic development in Pierce County. She signed the legislation that gave us four-year status here in Tacoma on the UWT campus. That makes her an ideal commencement speaker when members of our first freshmen class receive their degrees."

Members of the 2009 graduating class, more than 850 strong, their families and the UW Tacoma community will attend commencement ceremonies. No tickets or reservations are necessary. Paid parking is available on site.

UW Tacoma serves the South Puget Sound region with affordable access to high-quality education. Located in the Union Station Historic District, the university has been a major catalyst for economic development in downtown Tacoma since its founding in 1990.

April 24, 2009