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Commencement is just around the corner, and graduating seniors have many important dates to keep in mind until they walk across the stage of the Tacoma Dome in June to receive their recognitions.

The first major event has already happened: The deadline for submitting the application for graduation has already passed. These applications were due by April 19, and students should have already been in contact with their advisor about graduating.

Students who have both registered to graduate and also registered for Commencement have the opportunity to attend two information sessions on April 26 and April 29 to answer any questions about the upcoming events. The April 26 session will be held in BHS 106 from 12:30–1:30 p.m., and the April 29 session will be held in the Carwein Auditorium in the Keystone building also from 12:30–1:30 p.m.

For students wondering when they can register for Commencement, online forms open starting May 1 and will remain open until May 24. During this registration period, students will also be able to order their cap and gown. In order to participate in Commencement, students must purchase the cap and gown as approved by the university. Last year, the price of the gown was $54. Students can also request and reserve a maximum of 10 tickets for guests during the registration process, and are able to request more at a later date.

Offices around campus have the opportunity to make a sign for the graduating class of 2019. Signs are due by May 2, and will be put outside lining the central university staircase from May 6 until Commencement.

This year, Grad Week starts May 6, with events going on through June 13 — making it more of a Grad Month. In this time, students will have the chance to review resumes, take photos for their online job profiles, get assistance on finances with help from Human Resources specialists and the opportunity to receive loan literacy counseling. On May 8, the class of 2019’s photo shoot by the Steel W will take place from 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. To wrap up Grad Week, graduates will be able to spend happy hour at the Pine Room from 6–8 p.m. on June 13.

During Grad Week, students will also be able to explore different ways they can give back to the UW Tacoma community. Information about how to join and the benefits of joining the University of Washington Alumni Association will be also made available. Associate Director for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Thomas Duke explained one reason to become a UWAA member.

“It is my hope that many of our Class of 2019 seniors will see the value in staying connected to UW Tacoma and the UW as a whole through a UWAA membership,” Duke said.

In becoming a UWAA member, alumni receive discounts for museums, Husky sports games, and even dining and online orders from specific retailers. Alumni also retain access to EBSCOhost. Matt Bone, intern for the Office of Advancement, explained another reason to become a UWAA member.

“The UWAA is a network of 60,000 UW graduates, so that’s a network of 60,000 people you get to be a part of,” Bone said. “It’s an amazing networking opportunity. They try to host many events, like public lectures. So, if you’re still curious about current ideas and a lot of new discoveries in research [after graduation], then the UWAA can help facilitate that.”

Graduating Huskies can also give back by donating to the 2019 Senior Class Gift. This year, UWT’s graduating class is establishing the UW Tacoma Lushootseed Language Revitalization Fund. The goal of this fund is to increase and infuse the Lushootseed language, which is spoken in several of the Coastal Salish Native American Tribes, on and around the UWT campus. Instillation of signs and markers will be placed around the campus.

Dr. Michelle Montgomery, an assistant professor in American Indian and Ethnic, Gender and Labor Studies and member of the Haliwa-Saponi and East Band Cherokee Nations, explained the importance of incorporating the Lushootseed language onto campus, as well as what it means to decolonize and Indigenize space.

“The inclusion of Lushootseed language is one step towards decolonizing and Indigenizing the lived realities of Indigenous peoples, in particular acknowledging the University of Washington Tacoma campus as the traditional lands of the Puyallup Tribe,” Montgomery said. “Our experiences as Indigenous peoples within western academic institutions are shaped by the physical environment of campuses.”

“Physical erasure of Indigenous peoples occur systematically by the non-acknowledgement of traditional Indigenous landscapes and languages that are interconnected to our identities,” Montgomery continued. “It is important to demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by decolonizing the settler-colonial narratives for ‘who decides for whom’ the meaning and value of Indigenous identities.”

April 26: Commencement info session, BHS 106, @ 12:30–1:30 p.m.

April 29: Commencement info session, KEY 102, @ 12:30–1:30 p.m.

May 1– 24: Register for Commencement.

May 2: Office and RSO signs for the central staircase are due.

May 6: Grad Week kick-off, WPH, @ 9:30 a.m–1:30 p.m.

May 7: Photos, resumes and finance help, WPH, @ 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

May 8: Class of 2019 photo shoot, Steel ‘W,’ @ 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

June 11: Cap and gown class photos, Court 17 Green, @ 12:30 p.m.

June 13: 2019 Grad Night happy hours, The Pine Room, @  6–8 p.m.

June 17: Commencement Purple Ceremony for SIAS, Social Work & Criminal Justice and Urban Studies majors, Tacoma Dome, @ 10 a.m.

June 17: Commencement Gold Ceremony for Milgard School of Business, School of Education, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership and School of Engineering and Technology majors, Tacoma Dome, @ 2:30 p.m.

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