Mayor Strickland will join faculty and other speakers at this year’s ceremony

TACOMA, Wash. –Tacoma’s Mayor Marilyn Strickland will deliver remarks to graduates and guests at Bates Technical College’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 1, 6 p.m., at the Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall.

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland will serve as the college’s keynote speaker at the Commencement Ceremony.

Now in her second term, Strickland’s pro-growth agenda focuses on creating family-wage jobs through improving education and workforce training, promoting entrepreneurship, investing in transportation and attracting international investment. Prior to elected office, Strickland worked in both the private and public sectors. Born in Seoul, Korea, she is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds an MBA from Clark-Atlanta University.

In addition to the Mayor, graduate Britany Green and Fire Service program instructor Pat Piper will speak at the ceremony.

Dental Assisting graduate Britany Green will serve as student speaker.

Green, a Dental Assisting program graduate, left home at age 13. After living on the streets, she changed her situation and entered the workforce. Because of difficulty advancing in her career, she enrolled in the High School 21+ program with just three credits. Through dedication and the structure of the self-paced program, she earned her diploma within six months. She then enrolled in the Dental Assisting program because she was drawn to the healthcare field. Earning her degree means everything to Green. “It’s not just going to college—it’s life-changing,” she said.

Fire Service Chief Pat Piper will serve as faculty speaker.

Piper has been a full-time faculty member at Bates for more than 15 years. He is also a graduate of the fire service program. Prior to his teaching career, he served as a fire captain at Naval Base Kitsap at Bangor for 20 years. Piper also holds a bachelor’s degree in history and education from the University of Puget Sound, and a bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Administration from Western Oregon University.

Annually, more than 700 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.

To learn more about the commencement ceremony, visit, or call 253.680.7000.

About Bates Technical College

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. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.

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