Seattle Center Director and Central Washington University alumnus Robert Nellams will give the commencement address at the class of 2019’s graduation, according to a news release.

Nellams, who is also the vice-chair of the CWU Board of Trustees, earned his accounting degree from CWU in 1982, and will give both the morning and afternoon address.

“I’m going to tell the story of my journey, how it brought me to and through Central — what prepared me before I got there, what happened to me once I got there — and how that foundational piece and pillars of my upbringing and my education have propelled me throughout my life,” he said in the release. “Then I’m going to try to sum up that journey with some lessons learned and share those with the students.”

After graduating from Seattle’s Franklin High School, Nellams enrolled at Bellevue Community College, where he earned his associate in business degree. He was also a two-year star for the school’s men’s basketball team during the 1977-78 and 1978-79 seasons. For his athletic success, in 2007 Nellams was inducted into the Northwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.

Transferring to CWU, he played for the Wildcats during the 1980-81 season, helping the team win the District 1 championship and advance to the 1981 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics 44th National Championship Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri.

Following graduation, he worked as an accountant for the city of Seattle, then was hired by the Seattle Center in 1996, where he worked his way up to the permanent director position in 2006.

The CWU Ellensburg commencement ceremonies are at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 8 at Tomlinson Stadium.


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