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Graduation Speakers Set

Published: June 14, 2017

CHENEY, Washington - Eastern Washington University is pleased to welcome Maj. Gen. Kenneth Privratsky (retired) and former EWU trustee and tribal advocate Jo Ann Kauffman as speakers for the 2017 Commencement Ceremonies Saturday, June 17, at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.

This year, Eastern has 2,620 undergraduate (bachelor's) and 493 graduate (master's and doctoral) students who are eligible to attend commencement.

Privratsky, who will speak at the 10 a.m. ceremony to students from the College of Social Sciences and the College of Business and Public Administration, graduated from Eastern Washington State College in 1969 as a ROTC Distinguished Graduate. He served as an infantry platoon leader in combat in Vietnam and commanded units at all levels thereafter, including two worldwide joint organizations as a general officer. He spent 33 years in the U.S. Army before retiring in 2002 as a major general. Privratsky has been awarded the highest service decorations by the Department of Defense and U.S. Army and received personal recognition from the vice president of the United States for his revolutionary changes to military distribution operations. He was inducted into the Defense Logistics Agency's Hall of Fame in 2004.

Kauffman, who served on the EWU Board of Trustees from 2003-2015, will speak at the 2 p.m. ceremony to students from the College of Health Science and Public Health, the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and the College of Arts, Letters and Education. A prominent Nez Perce tribal member, she has been instrumental over the past year in helping the university create the Lucy Covington Center in support of Native American students at EWU. Described by many as a courageous entrepreneur, she also formed Kauffman & Associates in 1990 and has become a nationally recognized advocate for Indian health and justice. She has served on national boards and was honored with the "Free Spirit Award" by the Freedom Forum in 1998 for her longtime work as a community activist and advocate for First Amendment issues.

Kauffman, Privratsky and his wife, Kathy, ('69,'73) - who spent more than 20 years providing speech-language services to those in need - will be conferred honorary Doctor of Arts degrees during their respective ceremonies.

In response to feedback from graduates and their families, this will be the second consecutive year Eastern's graduation ceremonies will be at the Spokane Arena. It allows the university to provide a consistent, high quality family experience with greater efficiencies and without the yearly concerns about weather and logistics.

EWU is continuing to hold commencement-related activities, such as the various college honors ceremonies and receptions, on the Cheney campus for students and families the week preceding graduation.   For detailed information on each ceremony, parking and a map of the venue, please visit Eastern's Commencement webpage.

2016 Commencement at Spokane Arena                    


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