RICHLAND – Football star and entrepreneur Drew Bledsoe will be the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony for WSU Tri-Cities.
More than 300 graduates will participate in commencement, which is at 4 p.m. Friday, May 13, in the Toyota Center, 7016 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick. Family, friends, and community members are invited — admission is free. The ceremony starts promptly and lasts about 90 minutes.
 
Drew McQueen Bledsoe, 39, graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1990 and attended WSU Pullman on a football scholarship. As the starting quarterback for the Cougars, he tallied 7,373 yards, 532 completions and 46 touchdowns. He was the number one overall draft pick in 1993, signing on with the New England Patriots. The quarterback had multiple Super Bowl appearances during his 14-season career.
 
Since retiring from the NFL in April 2007, Bledsoe has been actively involved in many business ventures, including the Walla Walla Valley wine project called Doubleback — a collaboration with his long-time childhood friend and consulting winemaker, Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar.
 
Among Bledsoe’s philanthropic activities is the Drew Bledsoe Foundation, which supports the Parenting With Dignity parent-education organization developed by his parents, Mac and Barbara Bledsoe.
 
Bledsoe lives in Bend, Ore., with his wife, Maura, and their four children. More information on Bledsoe can be found at www.drewbledsoe.com.