Theme & Speakers

Each year, graduating students vote for a class theme and guest speaker.

2014 Graduating Class Theme

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”Unknown

2014 Graduating Class Theme is reflected in the graduation program. Designers may use it in their t-shirt design submissions. The guest speaker, faculty and student speakers may choose to use it to guide their speeches. 

2014 Guest Speaker: Winona LaDuke

The graduating students chose Winona LaDuke as this year’s guest speaker.  We are happy to announce that she has accepted the college’s invitation.

Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) is a Native American economist, land rights activist, author, and two-time vice presidential candidate for the Green Party. An advocate for Native environmental issues, she is the executive director of Honor the Earth, an organization she co-founded to raise public support and funding for Native environmental groups.

LaDuke lives and works on the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota, where she established the White Earth Land Recovery Project, an organization devoted to issues of culturally based sustainable development strategies, renewable energy, and food systems. She also helped establish the Indigenous Women’s Network, which works to increase the visibility of Native women and empower them to participate in political, social, and cultural processes.

A graduate of Harvard and Antioch universities, LaDuke has written six books, including The Militarization of Indian Country, Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming, All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life, and the novel Last Standing Woman.

In 2007, LaDuke was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She was named Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine in 1998 and recognized by Time Magazine in 1994 as one of the country’s fifty most promising leaders under the age of 40. Her honors include the Thomas Merton Award, the Ann Bancroft Award for Women’s Leadership Fellowship, and the Reebok Human Rights Award. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA. Learn more about Winona La Duke.

Faculty Speaker

Sam Schrager has been a Member of the Faculty at Evergreen since 1988. Sam completed his Bachelor of Arts in Literature at Reed College, and his Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife at University of Pennsylvania.

Earlier this academic year, Sam and three colleagues established The Evergreen State College Press, which serves as a medium to showcase student writing. The Press’ inaugural publication, Writing American Cultures: Studies of Identity, Community and Place, is a book edited by Sam and comprised of eight ethnographic essays written by students in a yearlong program that he taught with two other faculty. This text represents one of many important examples of Sam’s work, as one colleague recently put it, to provide a “model [that] at once reinvigorates team teaching and provides students with unique opportunities to pursue advanced studies within a community of peers involved in common inquiry.”

Undergraduate Student Speaker

Gabrielle Brokaw entered Evergreen as a transfer student from Everett Community College in the Fall of 2012 with junior standing. What initially drew Gabrielle to Evergreen was an interest in film and theater. However, her journey through Evergreen has led her to focus more on social justice issues, an interest that was fueled by a linguistics program, her two years working as a Resident Assistant at Evergreen, and the people she has met on campus. Gabrielle is a first-generation student and has been involved as a representative on the Student Activities Board as well as performing in the 2013-14 production of The Vagina Monologues. Gabrielle plans to take a year off and return to Evergreen to complete the Masters in Public Administration program with a focus on public policy, with the eventual goal to work in government and then ultimately return to the college sphere as a professor in the Humanities.

Master of Public Administration Tribal Program Graduate Student Speaker

Lexie Tom is a member of the Lummi Nation. She graduated from Northwest Indian College in 2007 with a degree in Native Studies; and went on to Western Washington University to attain a degree in Anthropology in 2011. She was an inter-year student in the Masters of Public Administration Tribal Governance program at The Evergreen State College, class of 2014.

Lexie has been working at Northwest Indian College for 12 years. After working various positions throughout the institution, she is now a faculty in the Native Studies Leadership degree.

In the fall she will be starting a whole new journey at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where she has been accepted into the Indigenous Education doctoral program.