2023 William H. Baarsma '64, P'93, Doctor of History
37th Mayor of Tacoma
Commencement Speaker

G. Helen Whitener, Doctor of Laws
Washington State Supreme Court Justice
Commencement Speaker

Miriam Barnett, Doctor of Humane Letters
CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County YWCA and director of the Fund for Women and Girls for the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation

2021 Karen P. Thomas, Doctor of Music, Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica
2020 Deborah Bial Doctor of Humane Letters; founder and president of the Posse Foundation, Commencement speaker

David L. Warren, Ph.D., Doctor of Humane 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