Microsoft Founder Paul Allen; Commencement Speaker

April 26, 1999
MEDIA CONTACT: Hugh Imhof 509/334-4528


PULLMAN, Wash. --Washington State University will award its highest honor to Microsoft co-founder and WSU alumnus Paul Allen at this year's commencement in Beasley Coliseum on May 8. Allen will receive the Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award. The award is presented to WSU alumni who have made significant contributions to society and, through their accomplishments, brought attention to the quality of an education at WSU. Allen is the 29th recipient of this award that has, among others, also honored, Edward R. Murrow, Leo K. Bustad, Melvin Hein, Philip and Neva Abelson, Keith Jackson and Gary Larson.

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for two sessions. Allen will receive his award at both ceremonies and will address the graduates with a brief response. Other speakers will include Jamie Kern, an Honors College senior who represents the 150,000 graduate in WSU's 103-year history. Kern graduates with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and will receive a degree in business administration with highest honors. It is anticipated that there will be some 2500 graduates who walk through spring commencement at the Pullman campus. This academic year WSU will award an estimated 3,999 bachelors, 631 masters and 163 doctorate degrees.

Graduates of the colleges of Liberal Arts with 1,043 May graduates, Sciences with 218, and Education with 137 will be recognized at an 8 a.m. program. Agriculture and Home Economics (288), Business and Economics (549), Engineering and Computer Science (197), Architecture (119), Pharmacy (37), and Veterinary Medicine (76) graduates will be honored at a 1 p.m. ceremony. Nursing (94) students will attend ceremonies in Spokane.

Branch and off-campus commencements include the WSU Seattle Center for Hotel and Restaurant Administration, 7 p.m., Thursday, May 6, Madison Renaissance Hotel in Seattle; WSU Spokane and the WSU College of Nursing/ICNE, 2 p.m., Friday, May 7, the Spokane Opera House in Spokane; WSU Tri-Cities, 6 p.m., Friday, May 14, Tri-Cities Coliseum in Kennewick; and WSU Vancouver, 1 p.m., Saturday, May 15, WSU Vancouver Campus Plaza in Vancouver.

Note: The Pullman commencement ceremonies will be aired live on Cable 8 television. News organizations wishing to obtain videotape or arrange for a satellite uplink using WSU's facilities, should contact Warren Wright at 509/335-6588 no later than Friday, May 7.