PHOTO BY ALLISON PHAM

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.

PHOTO BY ALLISON PHAM
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