Friday afternoon in Jane Russell Commons faculty, staff, and students came out to celebrate graduates at the 4th annual Multicultural Celebration. After a warm welcoming by Assistant Chancellor of Equity and Diversity Dr. Sharon Parker, students approached the podium to tell their personal stories of success. A slide show of the students being recognized was played in the background listing all of the multicultural students who provided information. The students recognized in the slideshow were Marissa Veroza, Alishia Agee-Cooper, Sabrina Cannon, Richard (Ricky) Goetz, Tiawania (Tia) Harris-Dalton, Khanh Nguyen, Francisco Nogales, Corasia Smith, Cynthia Parrot, Alexander Somers, and Margit Moore.
Marissa Veroza, Senior, Communication Major and STEPS mentor kicked off the student speeches. Following Veroza was Alishia Agee-Cooper who gave a beautiful speech of the kind of legacy she wants to leave. The next speaker was Richard (Ricky) Goetz who spoke of his journey coming from a small town and struggling with never truly being himself. Coming to UWT helped Goetz in his journey as he said, “I don’t know who I’d be if I hadn’t come to UWT three years ago.” Goetz was followed by Alexander (Xander) Somers a member of the Yakama Tribal Nation and also a graduating student of UWT. Following the planned speakers Parker said in regard to all the students present, “What an inspiration you are…I am very enriched for the time we have had together.”
After the speakers were done a coin presentation was held where each graduate present was presented with a “token of esteem.” Each student spoke briefly such as Tiawania (Tia) Harris-dalton who gave a tearful and heartful mini speech about being a first generation graduate. This was a beautiful event and a great celebration of the diversity on our campus and the amazing people that grace this campus and leave their mark on heart.