Advisory: A short uplink featuring portions of Washington State University’s Fall Commencement with speaker U.S. Sen. Patty Murray will be available on Saturday, Dec. 14. Following are the news release are the coordinates.

PULLMAN, Wash. – “How are you going to respond to the world you now enter?” U.S. Sen. Patty Murray asked Washington State University fall graduates during Commencement today.

“I hope you will meet this challenging world with creativity and a sense of community. Your family and friends — who are watching you today with such pride — have prepared you to accept this challenge. Your university and you teachers have taught you what you need to know. Now, the choice is yours,” she said. “The world has changed. But what you do about it, and how you live your lives are still entirely up to you.

“I have always been very proud to be a Cougar, but today I’m especially proud to be part of this historic day in your life,” said Murray who missed her 1972 graduation ceremony to begin a job – at $1.60 per hour in Seattle.

“It’s a very personal honor for me to be part of your graduation ceremony and to be back here on this campus – which is also where I met my husband. I’m confident that your four years here have prepared you well for good jobs — hopefully jobs that pay more than $1.60 an hour,” Murray added

Murray said WSU has always been a special place for her. “…You may not know this, but WSU is also the place where I got my start as a political activist.”

The “mom in tennis shoes” told graduates it was a different article of clothing that sent her down the road of political success. Some 34 years ago she led efforts in changing a university policy in the residence halls that required women to wear dresses to dinner when the men were free to dress as they wished for the meal.

“My point is – you will find that WSU has prepared you for whatever you will face in life,” Murray said. “And the truth is — you’re going to need that preparation, because the world has changed dramatically during your time here.

“When you enrolled at WSU, our economy was strong, the world was relatively peaceful, and many folks were doing well. Today, as you graduate, you’re entering a far different world. Our economy is stalled. Many are out of work. Our country is fighting a war on terrorism, and the President is talking about war with Iraq. Normally, students graduate from college feeling they can do whatever they want. But today, there are challenges all around us.

“You walked onto this campus in one era and today walk off in another. Those changes have required Americans of all ages to adjust and to sacrifice. The question – again –for each of you is this: How are you going to respond to the changed world you now enter? That is a question only you can answer,” the senator said.

It is true that our times can shape our attitudes, Murray said. “When the economy is flying along, when everyone’s got a job, and people are getting rich, there’s a tendency to focus on personal success – on keeping ahead of your neighbor. But when the economy is bad and times are challenging, we’re reminded that we are all in this together. If your neighbor is out of work, he’s not buying the things your company makes – and soon you may be out of a job yourself. When everything’s going great, when everyone’s making a lot of money, people aren’t as creative. They don’t have to be. But when times are tough you can actually create some of the best opportunities – not just for you, but also for your family, your community and your country.”

Our attitudes can shape our times, too, she said. “I hope that out of the past few years, we’re starting to move away from asking ‘How well am I doing?’ so we can start asking ‘How well are we doing?’” That community attitude will help our country win the war on terrorism and will help our state develop a strong economy and a vibrant community.

“So take it from me – as someone who went from the CUB (Compton Union Building) to the Congress, your choices will shape your lives and will shape our times. And as a graduate of WSU — that gives me great confidence in our future,” Murray said.

More than 500 graduate and undergraduate degree recipients participated in the university’s second fall commencement ceremony.


Television Stations Advisory
WSU Fall Commencement Satellite Uplink Available

WSU Commencement/Patty Murray B-Roll
Saturday, December 14, 2002
2:45 – 3 p.m. (PST)


2:45 – 3p.m.

C band
Telstar 6
Transponder 11
Polarity: Horizontal
93 degrees W
Downlink frequ. 3920
Audio 6.2/6.8