UAA to graduate more than 1,200 students this spring

Commencement May 5 at 1 p.m. in the Alaska Airlines Center

April 25, 2019

The University of Alaska Anchorage will celebrate the spring Class of 2019 graduates at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 5, in the Alaska Airlines Center. The ceremony honors the accomplishments of more than 1,200 undergraduate, graduate and professional school students from the Anchorage campus.

“We are proud of our students and honored to be part of their academic journey,” UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen said. “Commencement is a tribute to their hours of hard work and study as they have juggled family commitments, jobs and many other activities. UAA graduates are a tenacious group, and we are so pleased to welcome them to our family of Seawolf alumni — more than 55,000 strong.”

Geser Bat-Erdene is this spring’s student commencement speaker. Originally from Erdenet, Mongolia, Bat-Erdene set his sights on the United States to pursue his college education and selected UAA upon the recommendation of friends. He has been heavily involved in USUAA, the university’s student government organization, and served as student body president his senior year. He founded the Mongolian Students Society, which hosted a visit with the U.S. ambassador to Mongolia. Bat-Erdene was also instrumental in establishing a memorandum of understanding between UAA and the National University of Mongolia in November 2017.* He will graduate with a bachelor’s in finance and a minor in French.

During the ceremony, UAA will award Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to award-winning journalist Sheila Toomey and longtime Alaska Public Media program director and morning show host Barbara “Bede” Trantina. The university will also recognize Barbara Hood, attorney and founder/former co-owner of Great Harvest Bread Co., and Tom Nighswander, physician and leader in Alaska rural health, with Meritorious Service Awards for their volunteerism and community contributions. Retiring faculty and staff who have received emeritus status will also be honored at commencement.

The Alaska Airlines Center has mandatory security screening by walk-through metal detectors. Doors to the arena will open at 11:30 a.m. and general admission seating will begin at noon. Guests should only bring essential items for the event. Leave backpacks and bags larger than 4.5-by-6.5 inches at home. Noisemakers and weapons will be refused at the screening stations. More information is available at

*Correction: Geser Bat-Erdene was involved in advocacy efforts surrounding the development of a memorandum of understanding between UAA and the National University of Mongolia in November 2017, but was not involved in the establishment of the MOU agreement itself. Geser and fellow students in the Mongolian Students Society served as representatives of UAA and were willing to be involved in the process in support of the creation of the MOU.

Additional resources:

Media contact

Austin Osborne
Director of Public Relations
(907) 786-1296 office