More than 1,300 UAA graduates prepare to make their mark on the world

Commencement at 1 p.m. Sunday in Alaska Airlines Center

April 25, 2016

The University of Alaska Anchorage celebrates the spring class of 2016 graduates at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 1, in the Alaska Airlines Center. This ceremony honors the accomplishments of more than 1,300 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students, about 750 of whom are walking in the ceremony.

Jonathon Taylor speaks on behalf of graduating students. Taylor was born and raised in Anchorage, where he was home-schooled and studied to become a classical pianist. Taylor has worked full time in airport operations at Holland America Princess Cruises while earning a political science bachelor’s degree (and three minors) at UAA. As president of UAA’s student government, he championed students’ concerns to university administration and the state legislature. He’s also a leading member of UAA’s lauded Seawolf Debate team, winning several titles and competing internationally.

At commencement, UAA recognizes Janie Leask of Homer with an honorary doctor of humane letters for her work to improve cross-cultural communication in Alaska. Longtime Anchorage municipal employee Jewel Jones receives UAA’s Meritorious Service Award for her work to empower Alaska’s minorities and young people.

Also during commencement, retiring faculty and staff members are receiving awards:

  • Stephen Colt, Professor Emeritus of Economics
  • Claudia Dybdahl, Professor Emerita of Elementary Education
  • George Geistauts, Professor Emeritus of Business Administration
  • Elizabeth Graber, Professor Emerita of English
  • Michael Hawfield, Associate Professor Emeritus of History and Political Science
  • Bruno Kappes, Professor Emeritus of Psychology
  • Gunnar Knapp, Professor Emeritus of Economics
  • Helen Liu, Professor Emerita of Civil Engineering
  • Melodee Monson, Staff Emerita, College of Health

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