By Shirley Skeel
TACOMA – University of Puget Sound’s Class of 2013 will be presented with their college degrees at the liberal arts institute’s 121st Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 19. The ceremony, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. in Baker Stadium, is open to everyone. Tickets are not required.
This year 755 students will step up to shake hands with President Ronald R. Thomas and receive the delighted applause and cheers of their friends and families. The procession will include 639 seniors who are receiving four-year Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Music degrees. Another 116 graduate students will receive a Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, or a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
The Commencement address will be delivered by Philip Zimbardo, the internationally acclaimed psychologist, professor, and author, who gained acclaim for his Stanford Prison Experiment and PBS video series Discovering Psychology. Zimbardo will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Also being honored are the Hon. Norm Dicks, recently retired member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who championed Washington state for 18 terms, and Senator Debbie Regala ’68, who served with distinction in both of Washington’s state legislative chambers over 18 years. Each will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Also on stage will be student Commencement speaker Airiel Quintana ’13, a communication studies major, minoring in English and African American Studies, from Oakland, Calif. Her talk is titled “Pros Ta Akra and Other Puget Sound Prerequisites for Real Life.”Pros Ta Akra is the Greek inspiration on the university seal, meaning “To the Heights.”
Isaac Olson ’13, majoring in religion and minoring in politics and government, from Evergreen, Colo., will be the student Convocation speaker at Academic Convocation, which takes place 2–3 p.m., Saturday, May 18, in Schneebeck Concert Hall. His talk is titled “Everything’s Broken: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Love the World.”
Professor Mike Veseth ’72, Robert G. Albertson Professor in the International Political Economy program, will deliver the faculty Convocation address “The ‘SoWhat?’ Question.” Academic Convocation will feature the presentation of academic awards and recognition of graduate fellowship awardees, scholar athletes, and initiates into Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, among other honors.
Below are brief profiles of the Convocation and Commencement speakers.
Philip ZImbardo is a Stanford University professor emeritus who broke new ground during his decades-long exploration of the corrupting influence of power, the nature of shyness and heroism, and attitudes toward time. He has authored more than 400 professional publications and 50 books including Psychology and Life, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, and The Time Paradox. Zimbardo gained international fame for the Stanford Prison Experiment which explored the effects of personal power. More recently he launched the Heroic Imagination Project to encourage young people to strive for their beliefs. For more, visit:www.pugetsound.edu/
The Hon. Norm Dicks served Washington’s 6th Congressional District beginning in 1976 for a remarkable 18 terms, totaling 36 years. Throughout his career he was an influential force on issues of national security, the protection of national resources, and the advancement of education. He also was an ardent supporter of job creation. Dicks served as the ranking Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee and House Appropriations Committee, and pursued numerous environmental issues through his seat on the subcommittee for the interior and environment. His efforts helped spur the revitalization of downtown Tacoma and resolve land claims by the Puyallup Tribe. For more, visit: www.pugetsound.edu/
Sen. Debbie Regala ’68 served the people of the 27th district of Washington state for 18 years, first in the House of Representatives (1995–2000) and then in the state Senate. She spent much of her political career pursuing issues that make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable—using her experience and persuasive powers to win victories on multiple fronts. She served with distinction on numerous committees and boards including the Legislative Ethics Board, Correctional Industries Board, Office of Public Defense Advisory Committee, and the Council for Children and Families. She retired in 2012, a recipient of multiple honors from organizations as diverse as the Children’s Trust Foundation to the Washington State Bar Association. For more, visit: www.pugetsound.edu/
Isaac Olson ’13, from Evergreen, Colo., majored in religion and minored in politics and government. He volunteered for the All-City Race and Pedagogy Youth Summit, Long Elementary School Reading Buddies program, Youth Against Violence, Justice and Service in Tacoma club, and served as an interfaith coordinator and on the Academic Standards Committee. Olson interned at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University and received a Fred S. Wyatt Scholarship. He was awarded a Chism scholarship for summer research for a project titled “The Retreat of American Evangelicals from Partisan Politics.”
Airiel Quintana ’13, from Oakland, Calif., will graduate with a major in communication studies and minors in English and African American Studies. She has served as a resident assistant, a College Bound mentor, co-president of the Communication Studies Student Association, and as a member of the Black Student Union. She is a “Keep Living the Dream” awardee, and worked on projects including the theater play 1620 Bank Street, Campus Climate Check events, and Suzan-Lori Parks workshops. Airiel also is a member of the Ubiquitous They Sketch Comedy troupe.
Professor Michael Veseth is an authority on economic globalization and teaches international political economy classes including The Beautiful Game (about globalization and soccer) and The Idea of Wine. He is the author of books including Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists (2011); and Globaloney 2.0: The Crash of 2008 and the Future of Globalization (2010). Veseth writes about global wine for The Wine Economist (WineEconomist.com). Among his many honors and awards, he was named the 2010 Washington Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
For a program of events and more about the 121th Commencement Ceremony visit: www.pugetsound.edu/