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Fort Lewis College fall commencement set for next week; local CEO to give keynote address

Graduates can bring up to six guests; ceremony will be streamed online
About 200 Fort Lewis College graduates throw their mortarboards at the 2015 fall commencement ceremony. (Durango Herald file)

The 2021 fall commencement ceremony for Fort Lewis College graduates is just a week away, and soon enough, a new batch of young adults will start the next chapter of their lives.

Gillian Hardy and Rachel Lee are the fall commencement ceremony’s student marshals, who are chosen based on highest GPA and diversity of degrees. Hardy pursued a degree in anthropology, and Lee studied for degrees in writing and philosophy.


La Plata Electric Association CEO Jessica Matlock will attend the commencement ceremony to address the graduating class, according to a news release from FLC.

Matlock is LPEA’s first female CEO since the cooperative was incorporated in 1939. She was formerly the assistant general manager of customer, energy services and external relations at Snohomish County Public Utility District in Everett, Washington, from 2006 to 2019.

As assistant general manager, Matlock directed legislative and policy strategy for Snohomish County PUD and was responsible for developing and applying solar, electric vehicle and demand response programs. Matlock has also served as an energy expert to the U.S. Senate and worked at the Bonneville Power Administration.

“Our graduating students are ready to do great things with their degrees from FLC, and as an institution we are already so proud of what they’ve accomplished and look forward to supporting them as alumni,” said FLC President Tom Stritikus in a news release.

COVID-19 precautions at ceremony

The college is taking COVID-19 precautions that include mask-use indoors on campus regardless of vaccination status, the restriction of food and drinks during the ceremony and limited indoor gathering ahead of the ceremony.

Only six guests per graduate will be allowed into the ceremony. A news release from the college says guests and graduates are expected to self-assess for symptoms of COVID-19 and must be able to “verbally assert that they are symptom-free.”

For people who aren’t able to attend the ceremony in person, the college is hosting a livestream of the event on its Facebook page at facebook.com/fortlewis.

The college is also encouraging friends and family of graduates, along with the general public, to follow commencement ceremony happenings on social media by searching for the hashtag #FLCclassof2021.

FLC’s fall commencement ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Whalen Gymnasium.


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