WSU News

Gov. Gregoire will speak at 8 a.m. commencement May 5

Student models new WSU doctoral gowns featuring crimson with gunmetal gray velvet accents and matching velvet tams. 
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire will speak at the College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony at Washington State University at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 5, in Beasley Coliseum.
WSU President Elson S. Floyd will confer degrees at all WSU Pullman ceremonies that day. All will be held in Beasley Coliseum and are free to the public; tickets are not required.
“It will be a pleasure for us to welcome Gov. Gregoire to our commencement ceremonies,” Floyd said. “She has led our state through extremely difficult economic times, maintaining a hopeful vision even in the face of daunting challenges.
“Her intelligence and candor are central to her leadership style,” he said. “I am certain that her message will be a memorable one for our graduates, their families and friends.”
Live videostream available
Floyd will give remarks at the 11:30 a.m. (College of Business, College of Education and College of Communication) and 3 p.m. (College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences, College of Engineering and Architecture, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine (B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. candidates)) ceremonies.
About 2,600 students are expected to participate in the Pullman ceremonies.
Ceremonies will be videostreamed for live viewing online at The videostream will be archived for viewing after the fact at the same Web address.
Doctoral regalia introduced
WSU will debut a distinctive commencement gown for students earning graduate Ph.D. and Ed.D. degrees.
“WSU has never had a custom Ph.D./Ed.D. gown, and it is exciting to finally have something that will distinguish the upper level students,” said Teri Hansen, Pullman commencement coordinator for WSU events and outreach. “It has been in the works for many years and it’s a really beautiful gown.”
The doctoral gowns are crimson with gunmetal gray velvet accents and matching velvet tams. 
A rental gown will be ready for spring commencement. A “custom” gown for purchase (since many doctoral graduates will work in academics and have need of their regalia again) is expected to be available by late this summer. It will have additional embellishments.  
Other WSU commencement ceremonies:
  • WSU Spokane, 2 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the INB Performing Arts Center.
  • WSU Tri-Cities, 1 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Toyota Center, 7000 W. Grandridge Blvd., Kennewick.
  • WSU Vancouver, 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12, location to be announced.
  • College of Veterinary Medicine DVM, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in Beasley Coliseum.
  • College of Pharmacy, 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 4, at the Spokane Masonic Temple.
More about Gov. Gregoire
As Washington’s 22nd governor, Gregoire has worked to look beyond the recession and prepare the state to emerge strong. She proposed investments in the aerospace sector, including funding slots in public universities to educate more engineers so Washington would remain competitive.
She improved roads, bridges and ferries needed to get workers to the job and products to market. Her innovative Life Sciences Discovery Fund is helping turn cutting-edge research into jobs for the future.
Gregoire faced a $2.2 billion budget shortfall in 2005 when she was sworn in. She balanced the budget as she expanded health care coverage to low-income children, created an Early Learning Department and expanded college and university enrollments and the branch campus network.
In 2007, she proposed, and voters passed, a constitutionally protected rainy day fund to prepare the state for economic downturns.
She authored a package of reforms to save $1.1 billion over the next four years in the state’s workers’ compensation system. She sponsored a set of reforms to the unemployment insurance system that saved businesses $300 million in the first year.
Gregoire worked to improve the affordability and quality of health care. Her reforms included the use of evidence-based medicine, to ensure patients receive health care that works, and expansion of chronic care management, to better serve the 5 percent of patients who use 50 percent of health care resources.
She brought together environmentalists, local government, sportsmen and women and tribal and business leaders to restore and preserve the health of Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Partnership is actively implementing an action agenda to protect and restore the sound by 2020. 
Her work also has helped the state reduce global warming emissions, lower its dependence on foreign oil and increase energy production from renewable sources such as wind power.
Gregoire biography
Chris O’Grady was raised in Auburn, Wash., by her mother, who worked as a short-order cook to support the family. After graduating from Auburn High School, she entered the University of Washington, where she earned a teaching certificate and bachelor of arts degree in speech and sociology.
She met her husband, Mike Gregoire, in September 1971 when they both worked for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. She received her law degree in 1977 from Gonzaga University. The Gregoires have two daughters, Courtney and Michelle. Courtney, an attorney, is married to Scott Lindsay. Michelle is attending law school.