Julian Bond, a participant in movements for civil rights, economic justice and peace for nearly 40 years, will be the speaker at the University of Washington’s 124th Commencement ceremonies, held at 2 p.m. June 12 in Husky Stadium.
This is the second year the UW will hold its graduation ceremonies in the stadium rather than in Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Officials moved to the stadium when they found that holding two ceremonies in Hec Ed on the same day could not satisfy the demand for tickets. While Hec Ed can hold only 9,000, the stadium can hold as many as 74,000. Last year about 35,000 attended.
The UW graduates more than 9,000 students during the academic year and all are invited to participate in commencement. This year’s star attraction may be the stadium’s scoreboard. Its video screen will show live images of the event, including each graduate’s trip to the stage to receive his or her diploma. UWTV will also broadcast the event. It can be found on Channel 27 of most local cable systems.
Bond is used to being on stage and on camera. He currently is chairman of the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also is a scholar in residence at the American University in Washington, D.C., and a professor at the University of Virginia.
During the Civil Rights Movement, Bond was one of several hundred students from across the South who helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960. Despite his election victories in the mid-’60s, the Georgia State Legislature refused to seat him three times. It took a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to finally force lawmakers to accept Bond into their ranks. Bond ended up serving four terms in the Georgia house and six in the senate. During his service in the Georgia General Assembly, Bond was sponsor or co-sponsor of more than 60 bills which became law, including a pioneer sickle cell anemia testing program, authorization of a minority set-aside program for Fulton County, and a statewide program providing low-interest home loans to low-income Georgians.
UW Tacoma ceremonies will be held 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 11, in the Tacoma Dome. The speaker will be Tacoma native Audrey Edwards, ’69, currently senior editor at MORE magazine and a member of the Columns Advisory Committee. UW Bothell will hold commencement at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellvue. The speaker will be Constance Rice, ’70, ’74, former president of North Seattle Community College and a member of the UWAA Board of Trustees.