The Evergreen State College will move its graduation ceremony to a new venue in Tacoma because of safety issues, college officials confirmed Tuesday.
In an email sent to graduating students and faculty obtained by The Olympian in a public records request, college president George Bridges wrote: “Evergreen’s commencement is a celebration of achievement, and a high point of the year for our graduates, their families, and our whole community. In consideration of recent events, and in consultation with the Evergreen Board of Trustees, I have decided we will celebrate commencement at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, on Friday, June 16.”
Evergreen traditionally has an outdoor commencement ceremony on campus in its Red Square. It is about 35 miles from Cheney stadium.
“The stadium is a great, central venue, which is secure and offers plenty of seating and parking to accommodate our community,” Bridges wrote. “Our coordinating team is in action now to plan and prepare for what will be a meaningful day of celebration. They will soon share with you important details about times and the program.”
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Evergreen spokesman Zach Powers said college officials are still working out the details so he didn’t know how much it would cost to hold the ceremony at the new venue.
Aaron Blank, a spokesman for the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium, said he couldn’t confirm anything about the graduation ceremony at this time, and referred media inquiries to the college.
The 4,000-student liberal arts college has been shut down three times during the past week due to threats. It has been getting national attention after a May 24 student-led protest over race relations between some of its students and college employees.