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Commencement Speakers Set

Published: May 21, 2013

CHENEY, Wash. - Eastern Washington University will welcome the first Native American national news correspondent as well as an alum who created the famous Spawn comic book series for its 2013 Commencement ceremonies, to be held on Saturday, June 15, at Roos Field, on the Cheney campus.

Hattie Kauffman will be the keynote speaker at the first ceremony, which begins at 9 a.m. and will include students from the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work and the College of Business and Public Administration.

Todd McFarlane '84 will be the keynote speaker at the afternoon ceremony, which begins at 2 p.m. and includes students from the College of Science, Health and Engineering and the College of Arts, Letters and Education.

Hattie Kauffman is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, and was the first Native American to ever file a report on a national network news broadcast. She spent more than two decades as a correspondent for CBS News, after spending three years at ABC's "Good Morning America." Kauffman is proud of the fact that as a journalist she was able to use her background to report on important cultural issues. Kauffman is now a sought after speaker who shares her inspirational stories on topics such as poverty, cancer survival, women's empowerment, military families, Native American Rights and the environment.

An alum who once played baseball at EWU, Todd McFarlane is now a creative force who oversees an entertainment company, a toy company and a gaming studio. He is the founder of McFarlane Toys and McFarlane Entertainment and one of the most creative minds in the comic book industry. While working with Marvel/Epic Comics, McFarlane worked his way to the top and was assigned the job of creating a modern look for the iconic Amazing Spider-Man series. He would later be a co-founder of Image Comics, where he introduced his own character, Spawn, which launched a diverse career that included action figures, film, animation and the web.

This year, Eastern has 2,651 undergraduate (bachelor's) and 729 graduate (master's and doctoral) students who are eligible to attend commencement. Students will begin lining up about a half-hour prior to each ceremony in the central mall area before the procession into Roos Field.

Graduate and undergraduates attend ceremonies together based on their colleges. This commencement format was implemented last year with great success, as it improves the student and family experience at the event.

All university parking lots will be available for free parking on graduation day. Attendees should prepare for heavy traffic and backups, as many people will be coming in from Spokane off Interstate 90.


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