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April 25, 2018

WGU Washington Celebrates Largest Graduating Class at 2018 Commencement Ceremony

KENT — On Sat., April 28, WGU Washington will honor its seventh graduating class during the university’s commencement ceremonies at Seattle’s KeyArena. With more than 3,000 individuals earning their bachelor or master’s degrees, the class of 2018 marks WGU Washington’s largest graduating class since the university’s founding in 2011.

What: WGU Washington Commencement Ceremonies

When: Sat., April 28, 2018; Master’s Ceremony: 9:30 a.m.; Bachelor’s Ceremony: 1:45 p.m.

Where: KeyArena at Seattle Center; 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, Washington 98109

Keynote Speaker: Bill Stainton, Emmy Award-winning executive producer and motivational leadership speaker

Graduates from all over the state will attend the ceremony to celebrate their achievements. This year’s class represents 39 counties and 270 cities across Washington state. Additionally, an impressive 33 percent of the individuals from the class are the first in their family to earn a degree.

“Congratulations to WGU Washington’s graduating class of 2018! We could not be prouder of our graduates,” said Dr. Tonya Drake, Chancellor of WGU Washington. “Our students are incredibly hard-working, self-motivated, and dedicated. WGU Washington graduates continue to make a large impact on our state and prove the transformative power of a high-quality education.”

WGU Washington’s unique online, competency-based model, increases flexibility and eliminates barriers, such as location and rigid schedules. The university is also committed to providing affordable education alleviating financial burdens often associated with traditional institutions. This year’s graduates earned more than 400 scholarships, amounting to nearly $775,000 in awards. Also, on average, students paid less than $16,000 for a bachelor’s degree and less than $10,000 for a master’s degree.

Addressing WGU Washington’s graduates at the ceremony is Bill Stainton, an Emmy-winning TV producer, writer and performer, and one of the minds behind Seattle’s own Almost Live! Now serving as a leadership coach and speaker, Bill is adept at delivering thoughtful and engaging remarks that strike the perfect balance between information and entertainment.

“I actually dropped out of college after about two years,” said Bill. “I realized that I was attending simply because it was what you did after high school — but I didn’t know why I was attending. After a year and a half, I returned to college and graduated magna cum laude. I have so much admiration and respect for the graduates of WGU Washington,” Stainton continued. “It’s wonderful when people choose to return to school and continue their journey of life-long learning. I’m excited to be a part of that special day and help them celebrate their accomplishments.”

If you would like more information about commencement, would like to attend the ceremony, are interested in scheduling an interview with Bill Stainton or a graduate in your area, please contact Janae Frisch at 206-282-4923 ext. 125,, or Jake Riddell at 206-512-0025,

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