May 2019

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Two women face the camera and smile, sitting atop a sculpture of stacked loggs.

Sophomores Kayla Fugami, a chemistry major from Renton, and Mariah Crawford, a biology major from Freeland, relax during a break between classes. | Photo by Alaena Fletcher, WWU Marketing and Communications Intern

Important Dates

Learn about Summer Session: Monday, May 6

Summer Session registration opens: Tuesday, May 7

Drop-In Advising Lab: Wednesday, May 8

AmeriCorps and Peace Corps Panel, Wednesday, May 8

Last day to apply to graduate spring quarter: Friday, May 10

Last day to apply to attend spring commencement without a late fee: Friday, May 10.

Drop-In Advising Lab: Tuesday, May 14

WWU Alumni Weekend: Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19.

Double Major featuring Death Cab for Cutie and Odesza: Saturday, May 18

Drop-In Advising Lab: Tuesday, May 14 and Monday, May 20

Reel World Film Series presents "Albatross: The Midway Project": Wednesday, May 29

Final exams: Monday, June 10 to Friday, June 14

Move Out Madness donation drive and garbage collection : Friday, June 14

Spring commencement: June 14 and 15

Summer Session begins, tuition and fees due: Tuesday, June 25

Summer commencement: Saturday, Aug. 24

Add WWU events, dates and deadlines to your own calendar: Event listings in Western's online calendar offer an "Add to my calendar" feature to download the event information in an .ics file, which works with most standard calendar apps. Open the .ics file and the event will automatically be added to your calendar on your phone or computer desktop.

Lakewood offers a local lakeside escape

sun filters through treetops overlooking the boathouse on the shore of Lake Whatcom, as two people in a canoe paddle toward shore

Lakewood, a waterfront recreation center owned by the Associated Students of WWU, is a gorgeous spot to enjoy the warmer weather. Located on beautiful Lake Whatcom, Lakewood includes a boat house, watercraft rentals, picnic tables, barbecues, hiking trails and more.

Lakewood is open to Western students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the WWU Alumni Association -- bring a Western Card or Alumni Association membership card.

If students don’t have their own wheels, the 512 bus from Bellingham Station will get them there in just under 30 minutes.

Learn more at

Graduation and commencement deadlines are coming

A graduation cap with stuck-on letters spelling 'there's just no telling how far I'll go' with stuck-on pictures of ocean waves and palm trees

Students have until Friday, May 10 to apply to graduate spring quarter.

May 10 is also the last day for students to apply to attend spring quarter commencement without a late fee.

Spring commencement now includes four ceremonies:

  • College of Business and Economics and the Graduate School: Friday, June 14 at 4:45 p.m.
  • Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Huxley College of the Environment and College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Humanities Departments): Saturday, June 15, 8:45 a.m.
  • College of Fine and Performing Arts and College of Humanities and Social Sciences (Social Sciences Departments): Saturday, June 15 at 11:45 a.m.
  • College of Science and Engineering, Woodring College of Education: Saturday, June 15, 2:45 p.m.

Move Out Madness June 14 prevents sad, abandoned street furniture

an abandoned armchair with floral upholstry sits outside at the bottom of some steps. Two large googly eyes are stuck to the top of the chair and the seat cushion is askew, giving the chair a sad-faced look

Zero Waste Western, the city of Bellingham and WWU's Off Campus Living will once again partner on a year-end event to help students sort and get rid of their unwanted materials when they move out -- and maybe find a new treasure or two.

Bins for reusable household items, clothing, non-perishable food, recyclable materials, and landfill waste will be available at three “sorting stations” in neighborhoods near campus.

Three neighborhood locations will be available around WWU on Friday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Harriet Spanel Park in the York Neighborhood (400 block of Whatcom Street)
  • Laurel Park in the Sehome Neighborhood (Laurel & Billy Frank Jr. streets)
  • 26th & Douglas in the Happy Valley Neighborhood.

The schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students can drop off and take items
  • 3 to 4 p.m. Non-profits can pick up donations.
  • 4 to 5 p.m. Anyone can take the leftovers.

If students can’t make the event, Zero Waste Western will come and make a pick up for only $20. Contact to schedule.

Learn more on the Moving Out page on Western’s Off Campus Living Website:

Students can learn about Summer Session May 6 in Red Square

graphic with the words 'Free Cookies. Summer @ Western.'

Summer Session is an excellent opportunity for students to get ahead or stay on track for graduation. Check out this Western Today article on the top 10 reasons your student should register for Summer Session.

You are welcome to join your student, along with Summer Session staff, for free cookies and conversation on Monday, May 6 from noon to 1 p.m. in Red Square to celebrate the opening of registration for Summer Session courses.

Ready to explore offerings now? Visit

Important things to know about declaring a major at Western

Majors at Western vary in the prerequisite coursework and requirements to declare. Students are encouraged to learn the steps specific to their intended major and incorporate them into their academic planning. The Programs of Study in the University Catalog and majors websites are essential resources to learn more about and apply for majors at Western.

It is okay to be undecided about a major and students are encouraged spend time considering all of the possibilities available. Resources are available to help students explore and declare a major through Academic Advising, Career Services, and Student Outreach Services.

The general timeline for major declaration is below. Students interested in a pre-healthcare plan of study or majors in natural sciences, engineering, languages or fine and performing arts should begin appropriate coursework in their first year to graduate in four years.

  • By 60 credits students should meet with the academic department where their major of choice is housed, for individual major advising.
  • Apply to their major of choice by 90 credits (if not already done).
  • Students who have not declared a major or pre-major by the time they complete 105 or more credits (including transfer credits) are required to communicate with an advisor prior to registering.

There are several benefits to declaring a major early, some of which include:

  • Advising by the academic department specific to the major
  • Gain access to major-restricted courses
  • Find out about major-related opportunities within the department such as scholarships, clubs, internships, and more
  • Graduating in a timely manner

New residence hall scheduled to open by fall 2021; WWU also planning new buildings for science instruction and academic support services

an architectural rendering of a residence hall building in two parts, located among trees on the Ridge.

The new residence hall will be where Highland Hall and Highland Lounge currently are located at the Ridgeway complex of WWU residence halls. The Highland buildings will be demolished, starting in late September, followed by construction of the new facility, which is slated to be complete and open before fall quarter of 2021.

Click here to learn more.

Networking is a powerful tool for students launching their careers

Some statisticians estimate that upwards of 85 percent of open positions are filled through networking.

Most employers use their own networks first (LinkedIn, Twitter, staff, friends) to identify potential candidates for their positions. The WWU Career Center website includes resources that your student can use to build their own networks, secure an informational interview and score job opportunities:

Students can also make an appointment to see one of our career counselors to learn more.

New University Catalog is online

WWU university catalog cover, depicting the arch-topped windows in Wilson Library

The 2019-2020 University Catalog will publish on Wednesday, May 1. With fall registration coming soon on May 14, make sure to check out the University Catalog at The catalog will include:

  • All curriculum available for the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Useful information on University Academic Policies, etc.
  • New programs of study, such as Energy Science and Technology, BS and Latin American Studies, BA
  • More than 140 new courses, from Art and Art History, Environmental Science, History and more.

The Western Washington University catalog website is the official source for academic programs and courses.

Second-year students must complete sexual assault refresher training before they register for winter quarter

Text reads 'Sexual Assault Prevention Ongoing Education'

Second-year undergraduates must complete Sexual Assault Prevention Ongoing Education by Oct. 25 to avoid a hold on their winter quarter registration.

Western is committed to creating a campus community that supports healthy relationships and fosters a safe environment for everyone, which is why we have partnered with EverFi to provide baseline sexual violence prevention education for all students.

Sexual Assault Prevention Ongoing Education, or SAPO, is a refresher training with information about creating healthy relationships, the importance of consent in sexual situations, and the many ways students can help foster a safe, positive campus environment for all identities.

For more information, visit

Now is the time for students to begin their applications for big national scholarships

Western recently ranked third nationally in the number of student Fulbright Scholars in the '18-'19 academic year. 

Western's Fellowships Office helps students identify and apply for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those for travel abroad, such as Fulbright, Rhodes, Gilman, Mitchell and Marshall scholarships.

The Gilman International Scholarship, for example, is for Pell Grant-eligible students. 

Several programs have deadlines in the fall, but applications can take some significant time to compile. Potential candidates should get in touch with the Fellowships Office for advice and to start planning.

Join us for WWU Alumni Weekend

graphic for 'WWU Alumni Weekend May 17-19, 2019, Bellingham, WA'with a grid of several photos showing WWU students and alumni from different eras

WWU Alumni Weekend offers a full schedule of reunions, tours and on-campus events. Learn more at

Your support means a lot

Graphic 'WWU GIVE DAY 05.30.19 A percentage of every gift will be matched' accompanied by a photograph of a person holding a clear glass jar up to the night sky. The jar is positioned to look like the stars are falling into the jar.

Join us on Thursday, May 30, 2019 for our 4th Annual WWU Give Day and support your favorite department, program, club or team. A percentage of every gift will be matched. Learn more at

WWU news from Western Today

Western Today banner

Western Today is WWU's daily news source. Visit at or click here to have it delivered to your in-box.

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Effie Eisses Hired as Director of the Career Services Center at WWU

WWU to Host Paula Stone Williams for Presentations May 6-7