TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Washington State University Tri-Cities will honor its 12th graduating class Friday, May 18, at the Tri-Cities Coliseum in Kennewick. The program begins at 6 p.m.

WSU will present undergraduate and graduate degrees to 401 students. The Class of 2001 is the second largest in campus history, surpassed only by the 412 graduates of 1997.

WSU President V. Lane Rawlins will be the commencement speaker. Larry James, dean and campus executive officer at WSU Tri-Cities, will preside.

This will be the first WSU Tri-Cities commencement for President Rawlins. He took office as the university’s eighth president on June 8, 2000, and was inaugurated March 28.

Ray Eldridge, first vice president of the WSU Alumni Association, will deliver the alumni greeting.

The graduating students earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the state’s land-grant university in a variety of academic disciplines, including biology, business administration, chemical engineering, computer science, elementary education, liberal arts, nursing and social science.

The 2001 commencement marks the first Master of Education graduates who will also be receiving their school principal’s certification. A group of 14 students have completed the new Field-Based Principal’s Certification Program at WSU Tri-Cities.