Honorary Degree Recipients


David L. Warren, Ph.D., Doctor of Human Letters
President, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Commencement Speaker


Michael Mirra, Doctor of Laws
Executive Director, Tacoma Housing Authority


Sally Jewell, Doctor of Science
U.S. Secretary of the Interior, 2013–17; former president and CEO of outdoor retailer REI
Commencement Speaker


Timothy Egan, Doctor of Humane Letters
Writer, Reporter, Columnist
Commencement Speaker


Fred D. Gray, Doctor of Laws
Civil Rights Activist and Attorney


Georgiana Kautz, Doctor of Science
Natural Resource Manager for the Nisqually Indian Tribe


Derek Kilmer, Doctor of Laws
U.S. Representative, Washington's 6th Congressional District
Commencement Speaker


Carla Santorno, Doctor of Humane Letters
Superintendent of the Tacoma Public Schools


Jeffrey Brotman, Doctor of Business
Chairman of the Board, Costco Wholesale Corporation


Carolyn Hessler-Radelet, Doctor of Humane Letters

Director of the Peace Corps

Commencement Speaker


Theresa Pan Hosley, Doctor of Humane Letters

President of the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation


Steven C. González, Doctor of Laws

Washington Supreme Court Justice


Rachel Martin ’96, Doctor of Humane Letters

Host of National Public Radio Weekend Edition

Commencement Speaker


Amitav Ghosh, Doctor of Humane Letters



Mark C. Pigott, Doctor of Fine Arts

Business Leader and Philanthropist


James L. Walton, Doctor of Laws

Civil Rights Activist and past Tacoma City Manager


Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., Doctor of Humane Letters

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford University

Commencement Speaker


Norman Dicks, Doctor of Laws
Former Washington State Representative


Debbie Regala ’68, Doctor of Laws

Washington State Senator


Jane Lubchenco, Doctor of Science
Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Administrator of NOAA
Commencement Speaker

Ruth Purtilo, Doctor of Humane Letters
Professor Emerita in Ethics, MA General Hospital Institute of Health Professions

Dennis Flannigan '61, Doctor of Laws
Citizen Activist, Former WA State Representative


Cecilia Muñoz, Doctor of Laws
Deputy Assistant to the President and White House and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Commencement Speaker


Helen Engle, Doctor of Science
Co-founder of the Tahoma Audubon Society and Tacoma Mountaineers

Thelma Gilmur, Doctor of Science
Co-founder of the Tahoma Audubon Society and Tacoma Mountaineers


Scott Jackson '80, Doctor of Humane Letters
Vice President, PATH
Commencement Speaker


Barrie F. Wilcox '62, Doctor of Business
Co-owner, Wilcox Farms

James T. Wilcox '59, Doctor of Business
Co-owner, Wilcox Farms

Preston L. Singletary, Doctor of Arts
Artist, Sculptor


Philip Mangano, Doctor of Humane Letters
Executive Director, Interagency Council on Homelessness
Commencement Speaker


Japanese American Students of 1941-42, College of Puget Sound,
Bachelor of Arts

Harold Moss, Doctor of Laws
Civil Rights Leader, Former Mayor of Tacoma & Chair of the Pierce County Council

2008 Gifford Pinchot III, Doctor of Laws
President, Bainbridge Graduate Institute
Commencement Speaker

Irshad Manji, Doctor of Humane Letters
Author, Scholar

Gordon Klatt, Doctor of Humane Letters
Founder, Relay for Life, Surgeon

Elizabeth M. Cousens '87, Doctor of International Affairs
Vice President of the International Peace Academy in New York
Commencement Speaker


Sheila Evans Widnall, Doctor of Science
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993 appointed Secretary of the Air Force.

Kathleen Ross, Doctor of Education
Current and founding president of Heritage University

David L. Nicandri, Doctor of History
Director of the Washington Historical Society

2006 William H. Neukom P'94, Doctor of Laws
Chair of Preston Gates & Ellis LLP, president-elect nominee of the Am. Bar Assoc., former chief legal counsel for Microsoft
Commencement Speaker

Wilbur H. Goss '32, P'63, Doctor of Science
Scientist & Ret. Dir. of John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Dr. Goss died one week before he was awarded this Honorary Degree. His son, Barry Goss accepted on his behalf.

Rosa G. Franklin '68, Doctor of Public Service
First African-American woman elected to the WA State Senate

William J. Bichsel, S.J., Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Catholic priest, social activist

Gary Locke, Doctor of Laws
Former governor, State of Washington
Commencement Speaker


Lyle Quasim '70, Doctor of Humane Letters
Public servant, volunteer, and activist


Robert E. Craves, Doctor of Humane Letters
Washington Education Foundation


Steven W. Boutelle, Doctor of Laws
General, United States Army


Denis A. Hayes, Doctor of Humane Letters
Founded the first Earth Day in 1970, President of the Bullitt Foundation
Commencement Speaker


Billy Frank, Jr., Doctor of Laws
Elder of the Nisqually Indian Tribe, Chairman of the NW Indian Fisheries Commission


Ellsworth C. & Nancy Alvord, Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Professor emeritus, UW School of Medicine


James Mackenzie Fallows, Doctor of Humane Letters
National Correspondent , The Atlantic Monthly
Commencement Speaker


William Masami Kaneko '83, Doctor of Laws
President & CEO, Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs


Janet Bogue '75, Doctor of Laws
U.S. Foreign Service; speechwriter for Secretary of State


Lee Cullum, Doctor of Humane Letters
Author, journalist, columnist; foreign relations
Commencement Speaker


Ronald Rau '41, Doctor of Humane Letters


Marie Helmer '31, Doctor of Education
Teacher for 40 years


Sam and Nathalie Brown, Doctors of Humanitarian Service
Community volunteers; co-founders/trustees Charles Wright


A. Richard Turner, Doctor of Humanities
Paulette Goddard Professor Emeritus of Art and Humanities New York University


Freda Amelia Herseth '77, Doctor Humanitarian Service
Associate Professor of Voice, University of Michigan


William H. Gates, Sr., Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Co-Chair and CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Shashi Tharoor, Doctor of Letters in International Affairs
Director of Communication and Special Projects, Office of the UN Secretary-General
Commencement Speaker


Ramona Bennett, Doctor of Public Affairs
Director, Rainbow Youth and Family Services


Dennis W. Bakke '68, Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Co-founder, President and CEO, The AES Corporation


Roberta A. Katz, Doctor of Laws
Senior VP, Secretary, General Counsel of Netscape Communications Corporation
Commencement Speaker


Robert B. Pamplin, Jr., Doctor of Public Service
President, R. B. Pamplin Corporation Lake Oswego, Oregon


Ralph W. Franklin '59, Doctor of Humane Letters
Director, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University


Franklin D. Raines, Doctor of Laws
Director, Office of Management, The White House Former Puget Sound Trustee
Commencement Speaker


William W. Philip, Doctor of Public Service
President and Chief Executive Officer, Columbia Bank, Tacoma, WA


Terry J. Castle '75, Doctor of Humane Letters
Walter A. Haas Professor in Humanities and Chair of the English Dept., Stanford University


Freeman J. Dyson, Doctor of Humane Letters
Professor Emeritus of Physics, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
Commencement Speaker


Darryl N. Johnson '72, Doctor of Laws
U.S. Ambassador, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan


Mutsuko Miki, Doctor of Arts
Wife of the late Takeo Miki, Prime Minister of Japan United Nations Woman Association


William B. Blakemore, Doctor of Humane Letters
ABC News Correspondent
Commencement Speaker


Daniel J. Evans, Doctor of Liberal Arts
Former Washington Governor, Evergreen State College President, and U.S. Senator


Ahmad Rashad, Doctor of Journalism
Former Minnesota Viking football player, NBC Sports Broadcast Journalist


Bishop Calvin D. McConnell, Doctor of Laws
Resident Bishop, Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church


Judith Hagerty Arron, Doctor of Music
Executive Director and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, New York, NY


Leon E. Panetta, Doctor of Humane Letters
White House Chief of Staff
Commencement Speaker


Frank H. Russell, Doctor of Humanitarian Service
President/CEO, Professional Services Unified, Inc.


Guzver Yildiran '69, Doctor of Philosophy
Professor and Chair, Dept.of Educational Business, Bogazici University in Istanbul


Stanley N. Katz, Doctor of Humane Letters
President, American Council of Learned Societies
Commencement Speaker


Elbert W. Baker, Doctor of Public Service
Publisher Emeritus, The News Tribune


Charles W. Johnson, '76 J.D., Doctor of Laws
Justice of the Washington Supreme Court
Commencement Speaker


Karen Brazell, Doctor of Literature
Professor of Japanese Literature and Theatre, Cornell University
Commencement Speaker


Robert and Genevieve Trimble '37, Doctors of Philosophy


Cecilia Svinth Carpenter, Doctor of Humane Letters
Northwest writer, historian, and cultural preservationist


Dr. William J. Campbell, Doctor of Science
Chief of the Ice and Climate Project, U.S. Geological Survey at UPS
Commencement Speaker


Ruth M. Adams, Doctor of Liberal Arts
President Emerita of Wellesley College


Speight Jenkins, Doctor of Music
General Director of the Seattle Opera


Gwen Phibbs, Doctor of Humane Letters
Wife of President Emeritus Phibbs


Betty Jeanne Hash, Doctor of Humanitarian Service
Former Director, Pierce County United Way Volunteer Center


Gerard Schwarz, Doctor of Music
Seattle Symphony Music Director


J.R. Simplot, Doctor of Science in Commerce
Founder/Chairman J.R. Simplot Co., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Administrator of NOAA