Date of Press Release: 4-30-15
The University of Alaska Southeast Juneau campus celebrates the 44th annual commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 3, 2 p.m. at the Charles Gamble Jr.-Donald Sperl Joint Use Facility, 12300 Mendenhall Loop Road (UAS Rec Center). The Native & Rural Student Center is hosting the annual Alaska Native Graduation Celebration in the Mourant Café Saturday, May 2 at 3 p.m. on the Auke Lake campus.
This year UAS honors 603 graduates from the Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka campuses with 693 associates, bachelors and masters degrees as well as occupational endorsements, certificates, and licensures.
"I love that our students are really interesting individuals," said Chancellor John Pugh. "When they find their passion they can follow it at UAS. We engage students in the classroom, as well as in outside instruction and throughout the community."
Programs with the most graduates include Business Administration, Elementary Education, Bachelor of Liberal Arts Interdisciplinary Studies and Health Science.
"Alaska Native Languages and Studies has six graduates which is really remarkable," said Pugh. One of those graduates, Heather Burge, is the Outstanding Bachelor of Liberal Arts graduate.
"I've had an incredibly unique opportunity to learn, engage, and change within the context of the Lingít thought world on Lingít aaní," wrote Burge. "I owe my personal and academic growth to the faculty that has shaped my experiences, and the mentorship from staff members at UAS that have helped me build a positive and supportive community."
Burge also studied in China through the UAS academic exchange program. She is going on to a graduate program in linguistics at the University of British Columbia.
Nearly 12% of UAS graduates are Alaska Native/American Indian. The gender breakdown of the graduating class is 63.8% women and 36.2% men.
Juneau philanthropist Bill Corbus will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. Mr. Corbus is best known for his connection with Alaska Electric Light and Power in management, as a major shareholder and board member 1970-2006. When AEL&P was sold in 2014, Mr. Corbus donated 90 percent of his shares — about $40 million — to the Juneau Community Foundation. As Rasmuson Foundation President Diane Kaplan wrote in one of many letters of support for Mr. Corbus, "His high ethical standards, his service above self and his belief in Alaska epitomize the very qualities that all University of Alaska graduates should aspire to."
Andre Bunton is the student speaker and singing the national anthem at Sunday's commencement ceremony. He is also the outstanding graduate in mathematics for his exemplary academic record (GPA 3.93) and participation in a summer intensive research experience that resulted in an award-winning presentation at a national mathematics conference. Name an activity or event: Alaskapella, Humans vs. Zombies, Polar Plunge, dances and more, Andre is involved. He graduated from Juneau Douglas High School in 2011.
The commencement speaker is Alaska Air Group Chief Executive Officer Brad Tilden, who was named one of the Top 50 People in Business by Fortune in 2014. He has also been recognized by The Puget Sound Business Journal as its CFO of the Year, and by the Boy Scouts of America as a Distinguished Eagle Scout. A Seattle native, Tilden grew up a few miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where he would watch Alaska jets take off and land. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys cycling and flying his Cessna 182.
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 other locations in Alaska. It will also be live streamed on UATV.
Outstanding Graduates: Outstanding Graduates are selected by faculty from the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Management, Career Education and Education. Meet these graduates and learn about their UAS experiences on the Outstanding Graduates website.