Ruckelshaus to speak at Dec. 9 commencement

PULLMAN-– Williams D. Ruckelshaus will speak at Washington State University’s fall 2006 commencement set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum.

Ruckelshaus is well known for his service at the highest levels of federal government by presidential appointment. In the 1970s, he was the first head of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the 1980s, he again led the EPA. He has been acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Deputy Attorney General.

Last month, WSU and the University of Washington, the state’s two research universities, renamed its joint policy consensus center, created in 2004, to honor Ruckelshaus. The William D. Ruckelshaus Center addresses hard-to-resolve social, economic and environmental issues. Ruckelshaus chairs the center’s advisory board. The center is housed jointly at WSU Extension and the UW Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.

WSU President V. Lane Rawlins notes “the high respect Bill Ruckelshaus has received for public service, corporate leadership, and help on community issues.”

Ruckelshaus is an attorney in the Seattle office of the Perkins Coie international law firm. He is a strategic director in the Madrona Venture Group and a principal in Madrona Investment Group LLC, a Seattle-based investment company. He is a former senior vice president for law and corporate affairs for Weyerhaeuser Co., headquartered in Federal Way.

An Indiana native, Ruckelshaus is a Princeton graduate and earned his law degree from Harvard. His background includes having served on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and on the United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development. He was U.S. envoy for the implementation of the Pacific Salmon Treaty. He currently chairs the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board and co-chairs the Puget Sound Partnership to clean up Puget Sound.

About 700 students – about 580 undergraduate students and about 120 graduate students – are expected to participate in the ceremony, said Teri Nelson, WSU commencement coordinator. In recent academic years, more than 5,000 undergraduates and more than 950 graduate students have earned degrees from WSU.

Rawlins will preside at the event, the sixth fall commencement ceremony in the university’s history since its founding in 1890.

Shuttle bus and Disability Resource Center van service from the parking lot of Lewis Alumni Centre to the coliseum parking lot will be available for those attending the commencement ceremony, Nelson said.

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