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UAS Commencement May 1- 3, 2009

The public is invited to join the celebration at ceremonies in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.

Date of Press Release: April 27, 2009

The public is invited to join the celebration at ceremonies in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. The University of Alaska Southeast is honoring graduates from Summer and Fall 2008 and Spring 2009.

The UAS Juneau campus is conferring 300 degrees (Associates, Bachelors and Masters) and 48 certificates and endorsements.  More than 100 students are expected to participate in the ceremony. Thirty-four UAS Sitka and nineteen UAS Ketchikan students are receiving degrees and/or certificates. More than 38 Alaska Natives are graduating from UAS.

Katie Hurley is the speaker for the Juneau ceremony. Hurley was the first woman to win a statewide nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 1978. She also served as the chief clerk of the Alaska Constitutional Convention and as assistant to Governors Ernest Gruening and Bill Egan. Hurley is the 1995 recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from UAS.

Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams will address Sitka graduates. In December 2008, Scott was selected by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and Alaska Journal of Commerce as one of  “Alaska’s Top Forty Under 40.”  Scott is a graduate of Sheldon Jackson College, and works at the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka.

Rasmuson Foundation president Diane Kaplan will speak in Ketchikan. In 2001, Kaplan was named president of the Anchorage-based philanthropic Rasmuson Foundation. Her consulting company began administering the Foundation in 1995. She was previously president and chief executive officer of Alaska's 28-station public radio network.

In Juneau, Honorary Doctorate of Laws degrees will be conferred on Laraine Derr and Marlene Johnson. Derr is the current owner of Chez Alaska Cooking School and a UAS advisory board member, foundation trustee, community and civic volunteer. She is a former CEO of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, UAS School of Business Dean and Commissioner of Revenue.  Johnson is a current Huna Heritage Foundation board chair and former chairman of the Sealaska Corporation and the Rural Alaska Community Action program. In partnership with the National Park Service, Marlene organizes elder-youth heritage catamaran trips from Juneau and Hoonah to Glacier Bay.

Christa Kotrc will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Education at the Ketchikan commencement. Kotrc is a long time educator, mentor, international exchange advocate and scholar of many areas, including classical music, educational technology and democracy in emerging nations.

Herman Kitka will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the Sitka campus commencement. Kitka is an elder Kaagwaantaan leader, Alaska Native Brotherhood leader, Sitka Tribe of Alaska founding member, civil rights advocate, Native land rights activist, totem carver, scholar of Tlingit culture, language and tradition, seal hunter and boat captain.

The Juneau student speaker is the B.A. Social Science (emphasis: History) graduate Forest Kvasnikoff.  Forest has attended UAS with the help of a PITAAS (Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools) scholarship and plans to teach in rural Alaska. He is the Outstanding Graduate in Social Science award recipient.

At the Sitka ceremony, Master of Arts in Northern Studies recipient Lisa L. Busch will give the student reflection.

Katie Joe Parrot will receive an Associate of Arts degree and plans to earn her Bachelors of Liberal Arts. The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society President will give the Ketchikan student address.

The University of Alaska Southeast provides a wide variety of educational courses and programs that are available locally and via distance delivery.

Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 2:00 P.M.
Charles Gamble Jr. - Donald Sperl Joint Use Facility
12300  Mendenhall Loop Road (UAS Rec Center)
Speaker: Katie Hurley, Alaska Statehood Pioneer
Honorary Doctorate of Laws: Laraine Derr and Marlene Johnson

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:00 P.M.
Harrigan Centennial Hall,  330 Harbor Drive
Speaker: Scott McAdams, Sitka Mayor
Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters: Herman Kitka

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:00 P.M.
Ted Ferry Civic Center, Venitia Way
Speaker: Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation President
Honorary Doctorate of Education: Christa Bruce Kotre

Press Release Contact

Katie Bausler
Director, Public and Media Relations
(907) 796-6530