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Alumna, graduate speak at commencement

May 16, 2008

Alumna, graduate speak at commencement

More than 700 undergraduate and graduate students will participate in Spring Commencement 2008 at the Tacoma Dome on Sunday, May 25 at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony features a keynote address by career diplomat Joyce Barr ’76, as well as a speech by graduating senior Candice Hughes. Hughes was selected to speak by faculty and staff.

A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Hughes came to PLU as a freshman in 2004, and is the first graduate of the university’s recent agreement program with the University of the West Indies.

Hughes will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in geosciences. She spent over a year as an environmental intern for the Port of Tacoma. At PLU, she’s been active in numerous student organizations, and received the Leaders of Distinction and Inspirational Woman awards.

A former U.S. Ambassador to Namibia from 2004 to 2007, Barr is currently the executive director of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the State Department. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1979, Barr has served in posts around the world, in Europe, Africa, Asia and the United States.

In addition to speaking at commencement, she will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Barr graduated magna cum laude from PLU with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She earned two master’s degrees from Harvard University and the National Defense University, and speaks Swedish and Russian.

This year marks the third time commencement has been held off campus at the Tacoma Dome. The larger venue allows students to bring an unlimited number of friends and family to the ceremony, and tickets are not required.

The Tacoma Dome opens at 1:30 p.m. the day of commencement. Garfield Book Company at PLU will have PLU gear and gifts available for purchase at the Tacoma Dome.

Parking at the Tacoma Dome is abundant and free for the ceremony. For driving directions and information on Tacoma Dome policies, click here.

A complete list of commencement weekend activities can be found on the registrar’s Web site. For additional information, contact the Office of the Registrar at or 253-535-7131.