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Sherman Alexie to address Gonzaga’s class of 2017


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By Hannah McCollum

Gonzaga University’s commencement events for undergraduate, graduate and law students of the class of 2017 will be held on the weekend of May 12 through 14. The commencement ceremonies as well as the special masses will be open to the public and will not require tickets. The full schedule is available online.

The undergraduate commencement address will be delivered by Sherman Alexie,  a prominent Native American poet, novelist and filmmaker who has won numerous awards and honors for his work. Alexie attended Gonzaga University as an undergraduate before transferring to Washington State University.

The speaker at the graduate commencement will be Stephanie Russell, Ed.D., the vice president for mission integration for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). Russell has worked in Jesuit ministries for over 30 years, co-created the Ignatian Colleagues Program and is an expert on Ignatian pedagogy.

The law commencement address will be delivered by trial attorney Thomas W. Hillier II, a Gonzaga Law School alumni. He served for over 30 years as a federal public defender in Western Washington. Hillier’s long history of public service has been recognized with many awards, most recently with the Terence F. MacCarthy Award given by the Association of Federal Public Defenders.

The schedule for Gonzaga commencement events that are open to the public is:

Friday, May 12
5:30-6:30 p.m. Law Mass in University Chapel, College Hall.

Saturday, May 13
9-10:15 a.m. Law Ceremony in McCarthey Center; 10:15-11:45 a.m. Reception, Law School.
12-2 p.m. Graduate Commencement in McCarthey Center; 2-3:30 p.m. Social on Quad Lawn.
3:30-5 p.m. Commencement Mass in  McCarthey Center; 5-6 p.m. Social on Quad Lawn.

Sunday, May 14
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Undergraduate Ceremony at Spokane Arena.
12:30-2 p.m. Undergraduate Champagne Social on Quad Lawn.

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