Press Release

The Evergreen State College’s volleyball team will be hitting the courts this fall with a new head coach, Carissa Bounds.

Bounds has worked at Evergreen as part of the college’s recreation and athletics’ program and has been the assistant head coach for the team since 2020. Previously, she was the head coach for the Black Hills High School volleyball team during the 2019 season.

Bounds received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in Adult Education from Eastern Washington University.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Carissa into this new role in the department,” said Zeb Hoffman, Associate Director for Intercollegiate Athletics. “Her background in adult education, previous experience with the team, and knowledge of the game makes her a perfect fit. I’m very excited for the direction the team is headed.”

Evergreen’s volleyball team will have nine returning players and welcomes eight new players for Fall. To learn more about Geoducks Athletics, visit To learn more about The Evergreen State College, visit


Press Release

At the June Board of Trustees meeting for The Evergreen State College, members voted to approve the 2023-24 college budgets and adjust student costs in response to the prevailing economic climate.

Evergreen leadership proposed these adjustments at the Board’s May meeting.
“Evergreen has long been known for not only its academic excellence but for commitment to inclusive learning and so the decision to increase costs was one that was not taken lightly,” explained Dr. John Carmichael, President of Evergreen.

“We remain dedicated to fostering an inclusive and accessible learning environment,” added the college’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Dexter Gordon. “Even with these cost adjustments, Evergreen remains extremely affordable for our students.”

The board voted to approve the 2023-25 operating, capital, athletics and services and activities budget spending plans as well as  2023-24 tuition and housing, dining and service and activities fees increases. Tuition will increase by 3 percent – the same increase is being requested by the most of other four-year, public institutions in Washington. These increases will help the college adjust to the skyrocketing economic costs associated with food, goods and housing that are affecting people across the nation.

The college has resources for students who may struggle with the adjustments in fees including its Basic Needs Center which offers food, hygiene items and other basic needs at no cost. They also offer appointments to help students apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program better known as SNAP through the state’s Department of Social and Health Services and housing support consultation. 

The college’s Foundation is also amid its first-ever, college-wide fundraising campaign, Forever Green. The campaign has already raised $49.5 million of its $55 million goal to help students with financial resources so Evergreen can continue to put forth the diverse thinkers, doers and voices who can lead the future. 

College leadership is confident that the cost adjustments will enable the institution to navigate the current economic challenges and continue providing an exceptional experience for all students. Evergreen remains true to its interdisciplinary approach to education with its commitment to academic freedom, social justice and sustainability.  

For more information about The Evergreen State College, visit


Press Release

Commencement for The Evergreen State College’s class of 2023 will take place from 1-3 p.m. Friday, June 16. At the time of this release, more than 650 graduates had registered to take part in the ceremony that will be held rain or shine in the middle of Red Square at the college’s Olympia campus. 

This year’s commencement keynote speaker is Evergreen alum, Josh Blue, ’01. Blue’s quick wit and infectious laughter have helped him win competitions such as Last Comic Standing and captivated audiences in clubs and theaters across the nation, but it is his personal journey that truly sets him apart. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Josh is a catalyst for change, using his comedic talent to challenge stereotypes. His ability to find humor in the most unexpected places has made him a comedic sensation and a powerful advocate for disability rights. 

Other commencement speakers include Faculty Speaker, Dawn Pichón Barron (Chowanoke/Choctaw/Mexican-Chihuahua/Euro roots) who is the academic director/faculty of the undergraduate Native Pathways Program; Undergraduate Student Speaker, Onya Robertson and Graduate Student Speaker, Sarah Brady. 

“The Evergreen Class of 2023 have already proven to the world that they are resilient,” said Evergreen President, Dr. John Carmichael. “They have conquered the challenges of a worldwide pandemic while earning their degrees. Now they will go do what Greener grads do – go out into the world equipped with knowledge, resilience and the courage to make the world a better place.”

“I’m so thrilled to watch what is now my second commencement as Executive Vice President,” said Dr. Dexter Gordon. “These graduates all have potential that knows no limits. I challenge them to embrace the unknown, unleash their creativity and let their passion guide them toward a future where their dreams become reality. “

In addition to the main ceremony on Friday, June 16, Evergreen is hosting many distinguished graduation celebrations throughout the week to honor its graduates including graduate program hooding ceremonies, celebrations for graduating students who are veterans, in the Paths of Study Program, Evening and Weekend Studies and Lavender and Multicultural Advising graduations. 

Both Evergreen’s Tacoma campus and Native Pathways Programs will have ceremonies for graduates from those programs on Saturday, June 17. For times and locations of all graduation celebrations, visit the graduation webpage.

Because of the higher-than-normal number of visitors to The Evergreen State College for graduation festivities this week, parking will be free from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, June 13, 14 and 15 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, June 16.  

Carpooling and use of Intercity Transit is encouraged. Graduates and their guests are encouraged to park in lots B and C. A shuttle will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to take guests from the F Lot to Red Square and again from 3 to 5 p.m. to take people back to their vehicles. 

Motorists traveling on Evergreen Parkway near the college can expect closures to inbound traffic from 2-4 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 17, Evergreen will host South Puget Sound Community College’s commencement exercises 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 


Press Release

The public is invited to a vibrant and meaningful celebration of Juneteenth at The Evergreen State College’s Tacoma campus from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. 

This year’s celebration will feature Evergreen’s Executive Vice President, Dr. Dexter Gordon as keynote speaker, and music by Owour Arunga. 

The event celebrating freedom is occurring a week before the actual Juneteenth holiday and will honor the day in 1865 when Union troops finally freed enslaved African Americans from Galveston Bay and across Texas, two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  

“This celebration will serve as a platform for community connection, celebration and education,” explained Dr. Dexter Gordon. “We hope that community members will come and help us as we honor the past, celebrate the present and work towards a future that’s rooted in equality and justice for everyone.”

Washington state passed legislation in 2021 to make Juneteenth a legal state-paid holiday – in 2007, the state’s legislature had designated Juneteenth as a day of remembrance. After years of advocacy, President Biden signed legislation, also in 2021, that made Juneteenth a federally recognized holiday. Both landmark pieces of legislation signify a crucial step in recognizing the long struggle for freedom and equality endured by African Americans in the U.S.

Evergreen’s Tacoma Campus is located at 1210 6th Avenue in the heart of the Hilltop Neighborhood. For more information about the Tacoma campus and its programs, visit


Press Release

Governor Jay Inslee has appointed Pamela MacEwan to Board of Trustees for The Evergreen State College. 

MacEwan recently retired from her role as CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange where she helped lead the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Washington state, standing up a unique health exchange for consumers and making health care available for thousands of previously uninsured Washingtonians. Under her leadership, the Exchange launched the first public option health insurance program in the nation and won federal permission to use the Exchange to cover undocumented workers.

“I’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to reinvest some of what Evergreen invested in me as a student,” MacEwan said. “Enrollment numbers are continuing to move in the right direction and serving on the Board during such a time of reawakening for not only the college but everywhere, is an honor.”

“Pam is the epitome of who Evergreen students are,” said Dr. John Carmichael, “She took what she learned during her days as a student at the Olympia campus and turned it into a lifetime of public service – a service that continues even after her retirement. We are excited to have her return to the college as a Board of Trustee member.”

She was previously Senior Vice President for Public Affairs and a member of the executive leadership team at Group Health Cooperative for 16 years, where she led policy, governmental relations, communications, media relations, consumer governance, and government programs strategy. Her prior roles in health care included serving as a Commissioner on the State Health Services Commission and leading a statewide coalition effort to pass comprehensive health reform legislation.  
She is a proud graduate of the Evergreen State College, class of 1976.  She has a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University and studied public administration in the MPA program at the University of Washington.  She lives in Seattle with her husband, John (Spider) Burbank, a 1977 Evergreen graduate. They enjoy biking and cross-country skiing and spending time with their two adult children - Megan, a journalist, and Owen, a software engineer.

For more information on Evergreen's Board of Trustees, visit the college's Board webpage.

Press Release

The Evergreen State College announced they have been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees' access to undergraduate degrees. 

“The Evergreen State College is excited to become a part of Amazon’s career choice program,” said Evergreen's President John Carmichael. “This program removes barriers to education and provides pre-paid tuition for Amazon employees to learn new skills for career success. Providing a pathway for expanding an employee’s educational path is an amazing investment.”

The Evergreen State College is a place dedicated to empowerment, collaboration, creative problem solving and making unlikely connections that change the way we see the world. It is a place flexible enough to adapt to society’s challenges and prepares people to confidently meet their futures. The college offers unique programs and schedules for adult learners as well as internships, individual learning contracts, the Professional and Continuing Education Program and a new Early Childhood Education program at the Tacoma campus.

Amazon’s Career Choice program is an educational benefit that empowers employees to learn new skills for career success at Amazon or elsewhere. The program meets individual learners where they are on their education journey through a variety of education and upskilling opportunities including pre-paid college tuition, industry certifications designed to lead to in-demand jobs, and foundational skills such as English language proficiency, high school diplomas, and GEDs. In the U.S., the company is investing $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. 

Amazon’s Career Choice program has a rigorous selection process for third-party partner educators, choosing partners focused on helping employees through their education programs, assisting them with job placements, and offering education that leads to career success. 

“We’re looking forward to The Evergreen State College coming on board as an education partner for Career Choice, adding to the hundreds of best-in-class offerings available to our employees,” said Tammy Thieman, Global Program Lead of Amazon’s Career Choice program. “We’re committed to empowering our employees by providing them access to the education and training they need to grow their careers, whether that’s with us or elsewhere. We have intentionally created a partner network of third-party educators and employers committed to providing excellent education, job placement resources, and continuous improvements to the experience. Today, over 130,000 Amazon employees around the world have participated in Career Choice and we’ve seen first-hand how it can transform their lives.” 

For more information on Evergreen’s partnership with Amazon’s Career Choice, visit

Press Release

On Thursday, May 4, 2023, as part of its college-wide Forever Green fundraising campaign, champions of The Evergreen State College gathered on Tacoma’s waterfront for the annual Art of Giving Gala and Auction where together they gave $395,000 to support the college’s scholarship fund. 

This year’s event-themed “Reasons to Believe,” launched with a four-week virtual scholarship drive including a $10,000 dollar-for-dollar match donated by Evergreen parents Betsy and John Donnelly and concluded with the gala on May 4. Gifts to the Art of Giving benefit the Evergreen Scholarship Fund which provides renewable scholarships that increase in size as students near graduation. In addition, the funds raised will move Evergreen closer to its $55+ million-dollar campaign goal. To date, the five-year campaign which concludes on June 30, 2024, has raised more than $49 million dollars.

“Evergreen serves students who go on to lead, to serve, to solve problems, and to build more just communities,” said Dr. John Carmichael, President of The Evergreen State College, who addressed more than 200 gala goers. “We need these students regardless of their family or economic circumstances. We need them. And they need some help from us.” 

Almost 35 percent of Evergreen students identify as low-income, and 22 percent are the first in their family to attend college. One of the goals of the Forever Green campaign is to double the amount of scholarship support provided to students. Onya Robertson a senior at Evergreen’s Tacoma campus shared, “This Evergreen education has allowed me to rebirth my dreams I thought I left behind many years ago. I learned with Evergreen that I get to decide the life I want, I get to show my children and everyone else watching, that they do not have to give up on their dreams. Because of Evergreen, I know the world is mine.” 

“At the recent public launch of Evergreen’s inaugural college-wide $55 million-dollar fundraising campaign,” shared Dr. Dexter Gordon, Executive Vice President for Evergreen. “I noted that Evergreen has touched all our lives…students, alums, professors, community members…we all benefit from Evergreen's commitment to inclusive excellence. As I survey my years as an educator in higher ed, Evergreen continues to stand apart as the place of learning most alive to its responsibility to democracy as part of its larger public policy.”

From the stage, leading sponsor Washington State Employees Credit Union, spoke of the value of partnerships with organizations like Evergreen, “Washington State Employees Credit Union is a proud partner with The Evergreen State College in areas of financial education, student support, and scholarships.” said Suzanne Klenk, Financial Educator and Coach with Community Relations for WSECU. “It’s partnerships like this that allow us to do more….to be more. Through this partnership, we are not just a financial institution. We are a community partner and advocate for equity in education.” 

The Evergreen State College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building an outstanding future for students. To learn how you can make a difference with a gift, visit the Forever Green webpage or email


OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College’s two-day Equity Symposium took place on April 19th and 20th. Each year, this event brings the Evergreen community together with speakers, performances, workshops and social events to inspire, teach and celebrate.

Students, staff and faculty attended sessions over the two days to continue building a vision of equity, belonging and social justice across the college’s two campuses and beyond. This year’s theme was “You Are Enough: Healing Towards Belonging and Collective Liberation.” 

Check out photos from this year's Equity Symposium below! 




























Stay tuned for additional photos from ALOK's Keynote Address. See you next year at the Equity Symposium!

The Washington state legislature ended its 2023 session on April 23, passing robust operating and capital budgets that will strengthen Evergreen and enhance our support for students. 

The budgets reflect Evergreen’s energetic advocacy on behalf of our students, staff and faculty. Many of them, along with Evergreen alumni and board members, engaged directly with legislators over the session. The budgets are also strong evidence of appreciation and respect for the work Evergreen is doing to raise enrollment and improve service to students.

A few budget highlights: we received funding for positions to help students with federal and state financial aid, administer the Native Pathways program, support underrepresented students and coordinate the Early Childhood Education program at Evergreen Tacoma.

Additional funds are earmarked for helping students meet basic needs, overhauling our student-facing IT systems and further developing our corrections education programs. A long-needed renovation of the SEM I building is fully funded, as well as minor works and maintenance accounts that pay the salaries of some staff. We received funding for increases in faculty and staff compensation, and another allocation for represented student workers.

In personal visits and public testimony over the four-month session, President John Carmichael, Director of Government Relations Sandy Kaiser and others made sure to let legislators know about our progress and ambitions for Evergreen.

Senators Mark Mullet, Yasmin Trudeau (a Greener), Emily Randall and Sam Hunt, who represents Evergreen in the 22nd Legislative District offered special support. Representatives Vandana Slatter and Mari Leavitt, along with our local representatives Beth Doglio and Jessica Bateman (a Greener) worked on our behalf throughout the session.  There are many others who also helped us along the way.

Over the interim, we will be continuing to meet with key legislators to update them on the college and hear their views on higher education and Evergreen.

Press Release

OLYMPIA – The Evergreen State College’s two-day Equity Symposium takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, April 19 and 20. Each year, this event brings the Evergreen community together with speakers, performances, workshops and social events to inspire, teach and celebrate.

This year’s theme is “You Are Enough: Healing Towards Belonging and Collective Liberation.” Students, staff and faculty will have the opportunity to attend sessions over the two days that symposium planners aim to continue building a vision of equity, belonging and social justice across the college’s two campuses and beyond. 

The symposium starts at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 19 with Dr. Leticia Nieto who will lead an interactive plenary session until noon at the House of Welcome. Then for the next two days, Greeners will have their choice of several different sessions on topics from how to heal our relationship with the community post-pandemic, disability justice, how to engage some of the tensions around anti-racism work, to an Evergreen beach walk and aquarium activity. 

Wednesday’s events conclude with the screening of the film Rhythms of the Land about Black farmers in the United States. At the end of the viewing, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with film director Dr. Gail P. Meyers. 

The keynote event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, in the auditorium, is open and free to the public and features author, poet, comedian and public speaker, ALOK. They are internationally acclaimed, and their work explores themes of trauma, belonging and the human condition. In recognition of their work, they have been honored as the inaugural LGBTQ Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and awarded a GLAAD Media Award and Stonewall Foundation Visionary Award. Over the past decade, they have toured in more than 40 countries, most recently selling out their runs at the Soho Theatre in London, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Kennedy Performing Arts Center.

Although this event is free, tickets are required for entry. Ticket availability is limited as most of the 1,000 tickets have already been claimed. 

For more information about Evergreen’s Equity Symposium, please visit the website.