Fall commencement 2011
Jane Lubchenco, chief administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a celebrated marine scientist, received Western Washington University’s first honorary doctorate degree at fall commencement Dec. 10 in Carver Gymnasium.
Entrepreneur Chase Franklin (’86) gave the commencement address, and graduating senior Lauren Squires gave the student commencement address.
Approximately 600 undergraduates and about 40 master’s candidates received degrees this quarter.
The ceremony included the presentation of an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Jane Lubchenco, who has been the chief administrator of NOAA since 2009. Lubchenco is also a widely respected environmental scientist and marine ecologist who was named “2010 Newsmaker of the Year” by the scientific journal “Nature.” Earlier this year, Western was given authority by the Washington State Legislature to grant honorary doctoral degrees in recognition of outstanding achievement in arts, letters, sciences, or the professions, or for service in education, government or humanitarian endeavors. Lubchenco’s accomplishments as a scientist, her advocacy for improved dialogue between scientists and the public, and her leadership on environmental policy at the national level qualify her for the honor on multiple levels.
The ceremony’s main speaker, Chase Franklin, has been a successful entrepreneur, executive and innovator for 25 years. He co-founded and led a technology startup company through the boom-and-bust cycles of the 90s and early 2000s until it was acquired in 2006 for $275 million. Franklin also advises other entrepreneurs and is on the verge of launching another company of his own. Franklin and his wife, Teri, endowed the College of Business and Economics’ Allette and Cayden Franklin Excellence in Teaching Award, named for the Franklins’ two children.
Lauren Squires, the ceremony’s student commencement speaker, graduated with a degree in Urban Planning and a minor in Sustainable Design. She is “passionate about creating places that enable people to live well.” She served as an advocate for sustainability issues while at Western, serving as Associated Students Director of Environmental and Sustainability Programs and working in Western’s Office of Sustainability. The daughter of Alan and Valaree Squires, Lauren Squires grew up in Longview and is a graduate of Mark Morris High School and Lower Columbia College.