More than 1,200 graduate from UAA this spring

by Michelle Saport  |   

The University of Alaska Anchorage will celebrate the spring Class of 2018 graduates at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 6, 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. Together, they join the nearly 1,100 UAA students who graduated in the fall.

"We are tremendously proud of our graduates," UAA Interim Chancellor Sam Gingerich said. "Education is the foundation on which they will build their lives and careers and continue to make positive contributions to our city, state, nation and world. We applaud their hard work and persistence, which has brought them to this important milestone."

Lyndea Kelleher will speak on behalf of graduating students. Kelleher will graduate with a degree in economics and a minor in philosophy. She worked as the USUAA Assembly business manager while holding down two internships - one with the Anchorage Assembly and another at the state's Department of Revenue, Tax Division.

Kelleher served as president of the Economics Club and as scholarship chair for the sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha. She also joined a student delegation to Juneau to lobby for legislative support. She is interested in continuing her work in public service with plans to use her education to help contribute to Anchorage's growth.

During the ceremony, UAA will award Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters to Johnny Ellis for his dedicated support of public education and advocacy for Alaskans who experience developmental disabilities, and Fran Ulmer in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments in public service. UAA also will award an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts to Randall Fleischer for his contributions to Alaska's arts community.

The university will also recognize Sharon Gagnon and Marc Langland with Meritorious Service Awards. Gagnon is recognized for her years of service in higher education and Langland for his service to the Alaska business community and his work to build a prosperous economy.

Retiring faculty and staff will also receive awards: Kristine Crossen, professor emerita of geological sciences; Frank Jeffries, professor emeritus of business administration; Heidi Mannion, professor emerita of medical laboratory science; Chris Turletes, associate vice chancellor emeritus of facilities and campus services; and Mark Wolbers, professor emeritus of music.

The Alaska Airlines Center now 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

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