CWU News

CWU Graduates Encouraged to Empower Others

2018 Graduates taking selfies

Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib told Central Washington University’s graduates on Saturday they have overcome challenges of their own, and it is vital for them to go and empower others.

“I want you to use your imagination not just to conquer your own fears, but to help conquer others,” he said. “We need you more than ever ... to chart the way.”

Habib, who has been blind since he was 8, knows first hand the challenge of overcoming obstacles and fear from his own life experience.

His parents immigrated to the United States from Iran before he was born, and he is both the first and only Iranian-American official to hold statewide elected office in the U.S. He is a graduate of Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School.

“I’m shocked that I’m standing up here and here’s why because it’s not that often a three-time cancer survivor and blind gets to be an official in the state of Washington,” Habib said.

Habib spoke at two CWU ceremonies Saturday in Ellensburg — the colleges of education and professional studies and the business in the morning, and arts and humanities and sciences in the afternoon at Tomlinson Stadium. The rain held off, but it was cold and windy.

More than 3,000 CWU students received degrees this year. Nathan Brown, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science at the morning ceremony, already has a job offer as a personal trainer in Vancouver.

Read the article in its entirety online at the Daily Record.