Class of 2023: Talented, courageous, accomplished

The University of Washington Bothell’s Class of 2023 numbers more than 2,100 and includes graduates who hail from as close as Bothell to as far away as South Africa.

Nearly 1,900 undergraduates and 215 master’s students — along with 12 students receiving their teaching certificates — were celebrated in a Commencement Ceremony at T-Mobile Park on Sunday, June 11.

The crowd of approximately 15,000 family, friends, faculty and staff leapt to their feet as the students marched onto the field and then cheered in support as the students walked across the stage, one by one, school by school, as their names were read aloud. Several hundred more people also watched the livestream video from across the globe.

“Looking back over the last few years, I know there was nothing that could have prepared you for what you would face in addition to the already challenging goal of getting your degree,” said UW Bothell Chancellor Kristin G. Esterberg as she addressed the students. “Dealing with the uncertainties of a pandemic while also navigating so many social and political upheavals and injustices.

“You are graduating today despite these historic challenges. You persevered when circumstances were anything but simple and easy. I can’t emphasize enough how extraordinary that is, how extraordinary you are.”

A time to honor achievements

In her remarks, keynote speaker Priya Frank, director of equity, diversity and inclusion at the Seattle Art Museum, acknowledged that the students’ learning experience during the coronavirus pandemic was filled with “Zooms, pajama bottoms, racial reckoning, isolation, fear and grief.”

She also recognized that this day was a time to acknowledge and honor the students’ courage and resilience for completing their education and graduating with their degrees.

Frank went on to share that her work and greatest successes are shaped by her values — authenticity, vulnerability and joy — and encouraged the students to center their own values as they move into the next phase of their lives.

“Our values,” she said, “are the beacon of light that gives us hope, brings us back to the core of who we are and provides protection.”

UW Bothell Chancellor Kristin G. Esterberg addresses the Class of 2023.

The ceremony also included inspiring remarks by Associated Students of UW Bothell President Isabeau Rosen and UW President Ana Mari Cauce as well as presentations of the President’s Medal to student Hithem Ghadamsi and the Chancelor’s Medal to student Mandy McCaslin. Additionally, Dr. Sharon A. Jones, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, recognized Dr. Yusuf Pisan, associate teaching professor in the School of STEM, as the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award, and Dr. Karam Dana, associate professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, as the recipient of the Distinguished Reasearch, Scholarship & Creative Activity Award.

After the UW regents officially conferred the degrees, the students were asked to follow the commencement tradition of moving the tassels on their mortarboard caps from the right to the left, signifying their new status as UW graduates. This Class of 2023 joins more than 30,000 alumni who have graduated since UW Bothell was established in 1989.

Photo gallery: 2023 Commencement Ceremony

2023 Commencement Ceremony

On Saturday, June 10, 170 graduate-level students participated in the annual Graduate Hooding Ceremony on the UW Bothell sports field. Faculty presented them with master’s hoods bearing the colors of their programs as other mentors, family members and friends applauded their academic achievements. View the Commencement Ceremony photo gallery in Flickr.

Photo gallery: 2023 Graduate Hooding Ceremony

2023 Graduate Hooding Ceremony

On Friday, June 2, hundreds of seniors enjoyed UW Bothell’s first Graduating Senior & Family Celebration under sunny skies. The festivities across campus included tours, games, refreshments, giveaways and photo opportunities with Dubs, the UW mascot. View the Graduate Hooding Ceremony photo gallery in Flickr.

Photo gallery: 2023 Graduating Senior Celebration

2023 Graduating Senior & Family Celebration

View the Graduating Senior & Family Celebration photo gallery on Flickr.

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