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CWU Commencement

CWU Commencement Speakers

The commencement address speaker is selected to congratulate the graduates and impart the speaker's experience, values, and advice to the graduating class. This year's commencement speaker is:


Justice Mary YuEllensburg
Mary Yu
Washington Supreme Court Justice

Mary Yu was appointed to the Washington Supreme Court in 2014, and subsequently elected for the remainder of a two-year term. Justice Yu joined the Supreme Court after more than 14 years as an accomplished trial court judge in King County Superior Court where she presided over a wide variety of criminal, civil, and juvenile cases, and presided over hundreds of adoptions and other family law matters.

Prior to becoming a judge, Justice Yu served as Deputy Chief of Staff to King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng and as a deputy in the Criminal and Civil Divisions. Before attending law school, Justice Yu worked in the Peace and Justice Office for the Archdiocese of Chicago first as staff, and later appointed by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin as Director of that Office.

Justice Yu has a deep record of service both on and off the bench, mentoring young attorneys, law clerks and students, co-chairing the Court’s Minority and Justice Commission, teaching at Seattle University School of Law and serving as Jurist in Residence, co-chairing the Washington State Bar Association/University of Washington Law School Leadership Institute, serving on the board of FareStart and the advisory board for the University of Washington School of Law’s Gates Public Service Program.

Justice Yu was raised in Bridgeport, a south side neighborhood in Chicago, by immigrant parents; her mother came from Mexico and her father from China. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. She received her B.A. from Dominican University, M.A., Religious Studies from Mundelein College of Loyola University in Chicago, and J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.


In addition, three students have been selected to speak, one at each of the Commencement ceremonies:

Ellensburg Commencement Ceremony One
Ms. Autumn Gust, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Physiology and a minor in Athletic Training

Ellensburg Commencement Ceremony Two
Ms. Kayla Schaffroth, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts and graduating from the William 0. Douglas Honors College

Kent Commencement Ceremony
Mr. Nathan McWalters, received a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management