Gov. Inslee to speak at Bates Technical College's commencement ceremony

Gov. Jay Inslee will deliver remarks to graduates and guests at Bates Technical College’s 75th anniversary commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 26 at the Tacoma Dome’s Exhibition Hall.

A fifth-generation Washingtonian, Gov. Inslee worked his way through college, and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in economics before earning his law degree at Willamette University.

Prior to becoming governor, Inslee served in the United States Congress— first representing areas around Yakima, and then representing northern suburbs in King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties.

“We are honored that Gov. Inslee has chosen to speak at this year’s historic commencement,” said Bates Technical College President Ron Langrell.

In addition to the governor, graduate Anthony Hickonbottom and instructor Mary Ann Keith will speak at the ceremony.

Hickonbottom earned his Associate in Applied Science in heating, vVentilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, and was the college’s transforming lives award nominee. Growing up in an unstable home and making dangerous life choices, Hickonbottom faced seemingly insurmountable challenges in his life. Learning from his past experiences, he chose a new life path and has committed to giving back to his community through service.

Hickonbottom recently began a career in the college’s Facilities and Maintenance Department, and volunteers at the Rescue Mission in his free time.

Keith has been the administrative medical assistant instructor at Bates Technical College since October 2013. She received statewide recognition as the winner of the prestigious Anna Sue McNeill Assessment, Teaching and Learning Award. Recently tenured, she is inspired by her students’ journey as they learn to find a work-life-school balance.

Annually more than 800 students complete their education at Bates and leave to begin careers throughout the year. On Thursday evening, approximately 300 graduates will return to celebrate their educational achievements and participate in the ceremony.

Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in nearly 50 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs.