The University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus holds its 43rd annual commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. today at the Charles Gamble Jr.-Donald Sperl Joint Use Facility, 12300 Mendenhall Loop Road (UAS Rec Center). The Wooch.een club is hosting the annual Alaska Native Graduation Celebration at the Egan Library on the Auke Lake campus at 11 a.m. The public is invited to attend the celebrations.
UAS is honoring graduates from Summer and Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 and expects another record breaking year. Exactly 685 UAS students have already graduated or applied to receive 787 occupational endorsements, certificates, degrees or licensures. In 2013, UAS conferred 625 awards to 557 students.
“We are thrilled with the quantity of graduates,” said Chancellor John Pugh. “But we are even more impressed with the quality of UAS students, who are more engaged with the community than ever. From acting with Perseverance Theatre to advocating for Alaska Native languages at the Alaska Legislature to scientific research in Southeast Alaska, UAS students are making a difference.”
The youngest UAS graduate is 17, the oldest is 70. About 9 out of 10 graduates are from Alaska and nearly 12 percent of UAS graduates are Alaska Native/American Indian.
The top ten programs are Associate of Arts, OEC Law Enforcement, MAT in Secondary Education, BLA Interdisciplinary Studies, AAS Business Administration, Graduate licensure Elementary Education, BBA Accounting, MPA and the MED and graduate
licensure in Reading. The majority of the awards are in the schools of Education and Management.
Juneau playwright and screenwriter Dave Hunsaker will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and give the commencement address.
Dave Hunsaker fills a unique role in the State of Alaska, using his creative expertise to link Native story and tradition to Western literature. His insights and perspectives have brought respect to Alaska’s indigenous people throughout Alaska, nationally and internationally. “Mostly my work has always been about exploring the myths and oral literature of the world,” Hunsaker writes.
Emily Rose King is the student speaker. King is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Spanish. She started going to UAS in high school with the Dual-Enrollment Program. “My committed and passionate professors that first semester were the reason that I decided to stay in Juneau to attend university,” wrote King.
In the fall semester of her senior year she designed an extremely rigorous internship called “Healing through Poetry” in which she went into multiple communities in Juneau to teach poetry, including the Lemon Creek Correctional Facility, the AWARE shelter and the alternative high school.
The commencement ceremony is immediately followed by a catered reception in the Mourant Cafeteria on the Auke Lake campus. Shuttle service will be available from the main campus parking area to the REC center. The event is simulcast on UATV Cable Channel 11 and live streamed at http://uatv.alaska.edu/.
Outstanding Graduates are selected by faculty from the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Management, Career Education and Education. To meet these graduates and learn about their UAS experiences, please see the website: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/celebrating-grads/