OLYMPIA—The Evergreen State College’s commencement ceremony happens from 1-3 p.m. this Friday, June 10, rain or shine, at its Olympia campus right smack dab in the middle of Red Square. This is the first in-person graduation since 2019 and will honor the 51st class to graduate from the college.
More than 50 years ago, when The Evergreen State College was created, and was seen as an experiment of sorts by some – the creation of a four-year college without majors and grades signaled that people were ready to explore new possibilities in higher education – to see what would happen if people were given more freedom to pursue what they were most passionate about. The results have been more spectacular than anyone ever predicted. Over the decades, Greeners have done amazing things. They have contributed to groundbreaking research, become industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs, elected officials and artists,and made countless imprints on both underground and mainstream culture.
This year’s keynote speaker is Lynda Weinman, ’76. After receiving her BA with an emphasis on humanities at Evergreen, she worked in retail, which culminated in owning and operating her own store in her mid-20s. She got her first computer in 1982, six years after graduating from college and an unexpected encounter with a PC clone and the early Macintosh computer changed the direction of her life. She began a computer graphics career, first working on animation for film, television and industry and then becoming a computer graphics instructor and adjunct faculty at the Art Center College of Design, American Film Institute and San Francisco State Multimedia Studies. She has authored many how-to books and instructional videos and is best known for co-founding one of the world’s first online video course websites called Lynda.com in 1995. The company sold to LinkedIn in 2015 and is now called LinkedIn Learning. Weinman retired early and now has a full-time art practice where she combines her technical skills with pottery using 3-D clay printing.
Also speaking are undergraduate student speaker, Abigail Green, ’22, and graduate student speaker, Levi Harter, ‘22. There will also be a special presentation for Evergreen grad, Dylan Kuehl. Dylan is the first student at Evergreen to graduate with their bachelor’s degree and to have Down Syndrome.
The 2022 Evergreen Commencement also marks the first year with President, Dr. John Carmichael and Executive Vice President, Dr. Dexter Gordon at the helm of leadership for the school.
“As an alumnus and longtime employee of the college, I look forward each year to Evergreen’s joyous graduation celebration,” said Carmichael. “For 50 years now, Evergreen has been sending graduates into the world who are adaptable, collaborative, and determined to make better lives for themselves and their neighbors. We need Greener graduates now more than ever.”
“Evergreen, for the past 50 years, has been making education available to those typically underserved,” adds Gordon, who joined Evergreen’s leadership in August 2021. “I first encountered Evergreen in community … not in the institution itself. Evergreen and its graduates show up in the broader community. Community is central to what this college is. Also, we are ‘community,’ and we celebrate these students who are moving onto the next chapter of their lives knowing that we have given them an education dedicated to the public good. We are committed to the kind of education through which we continue to prepare graduates who are empowered to better their lives and who are equipped with the tools they need to go make the communities where they live better.”
This is a full week at both the Olympia and Tacoma campuses of The Evergreen State College. Information about dates and times of other events such graduate hooding ceremonies and program ceremonies like, Lavender Graduation, Multicultural Advising Graduation, Native Pathways Graduation Celebration and The Tacoma Graduation Celebration can be found on the commencement website. Additional information for graduates and ways for people to live stream the main commencement ceremony can be found on the graduation page.
Because of the higher-than-normal number of people visiting The Evergreen State College for graduation festivities this week, parking will be free from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, June 8 and 9, and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 10.
Carpooling and use of Intercity Transit is strongly encouraged. Graduates and their guests can park in lots B and C and there will be an overflow lot at Driftwood Meadow, which is located on Driftwood Road. A shuttle will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to take guests from the overflow parking to Red Square and again from 3 to 5 p.m. to take people back to Driftwood Meadow.
Motorists traveling on Evergreen Parkway near the college can expect closures to inbound traffic from 2 to 4 p.m. to allow for guests departing the commencement ceremony. Expect delays and avoid the area if possible.
From 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 11, Evergreen will host South Puget Sound Community College’s commencement activities and a brief closure of Evergreen Parkway will again occur shortly after noon to allow for people to leave the campus grounds.
For more information about The Evergreen State College, please visit its webpage at evergreen.edu.