JUNEAU, SITKA, KETCHIKAN – On the first weekend in May, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) will celebrate student achievement and success at commencement activities on its three campuses in Sitka, Ketchikan, and Juneau. UAS expects to award 399 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees, 97 certificates and professional licensures, and 223 occupational endorsements. Commencement in Sitka takes place Friday, May 3, Ketchikan on Saturday, May 4, and Juneau’s event is Sunday, May 5.
UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield, Provost Karen Carey, and UA regents Dale Anderson and John Bania will travel to the campuses to celebrate the success of graduates in the three communities. Dr. Paul Layer, UA Vice President for Academics, Students, and Research, will attend all three ceremonies.
The UAS Sitka Campus ceremony will take place on Friday, May 3 at 7 PM on campus and the UAS Ketchikan Campus ceremony is set for Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 PM at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.
The 48th UAS Juneau Campus Commencement ceremony is on Sunday, May 5, at 2 PM at the Charles Gamble Jr.-Donald Sperl Joint Use Facility, 12300 Mendenhall Loop Road (REC Center). Earlier that morning, the UAS Native & Rural Student Center hosts its annual Alaska Native Graduation Celebration at 11 AM in the Egan Library on the Auke Lake campus. The Juneau commencement ceremony is followed immediately by a catered reception in the Lakeside Grill in the Mourant building on the UAS Auke Lake Campus. Shuttle service will be available from the main campus parking area to the REC center. The event is be live streamed on YouTube Live from the channel “University of Alaska Southeast.”
The following weekend, a celebration of UAS Alaska College of Education graduates living elsewhere in Alaska will be held in Anchorage on Saturday, May 11.
UAS is pleased to announce that UAS graduate Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson will deliver the Juneau Commencement Address. Davidson has served as Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services and served as the first Alaska Native female lieutenant governor in the final weeks of the Walker administration. The speaker for Sitka will be local veterinarian and Meritorious Service Award recipient Burgess Bauder. The Ketchikan Campus commencement speaker will be Assemblymember Amanda “AJ” Pierce.
At the Juneau Commencement, graduating senior Nick Bursell will address his fellow graduates. Bursell serves as the Student Government President at UAS and the University of Alaska’s Coalition of Student Leaders Chair. He is from Juneau and is completing a degree in English with a Creative Writing emphasis. He has completed the Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program at UAS and has participated in National Student Exchange.
Several community members will be honored this year. In Juneau, Richard Carstensen will be recognized with an Honorary Doctorate of Science. Meritorious Service Awards will be presented in Juneau to Alison Browne, Sally Smith, Cheryl Samuel, and Kathy Kolkhorst Ruddy, and in Sitka to Burgess Bauder.
UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield commented: “We are enormously proud of our graduates at all three UAS campuses. Many of our students are first-generation college students and are completing their degree while raising a family and working one or two jobs. Every one of them chose to advance their skills and education at UAS as a pathway to improving their lives and that of their family and community. They’ve put in a lot of hard work, and now it is time to celebrate their accomplishments! Well done, all!”