Record breaking graduating from WSU-Tri-CitiesPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Football star and entrepreneur Drew Bledsoe was the keynote speaker at the Washington State University Tri-Cities commencement ceremony at 4 p.m Friday, May 13.
About 300 graduates walked in the commencement ceremony at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Family, friends, and community members will the auditorium.
In total, WSU Tri-Cities is conferring 438 degrees — the largest graduating class to date with 354 bachelor's, 83 master's, and one doctoral degree.
The program includes the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award; comments from Zixu Ha, the outgoing student body president; and inspirational words from Bledsoe.
Bledsoe graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1990 and attended WSU Pullman on a football scholarship. As the starting quarterback for the Cougars, he tallied 7,373 yards, 532 completions, and 46 touchdowns. He was the number one overall draft pick in 1993, signing on with the New England Patriots. The quarterback had multiple Super Bowl appearances during his 14-season career. Since retiring from the NFL in April 2007, Bledsoe has been actively involved in many business ventures, including the Walla Walla Valley wine project called Doubleback — a collaboration with his long-time childhood friend and consulting winemaker, Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar. Among Bledsoe's philanthropic activities is the Drew Bledsoe Foundation, which supports the Parenting With Dignity parent-education organization developed by his parents, Mac and Barbara Bledsoe.
Bledsoe lives in Bend, Ore., with his wife, Maura, and their four children. More information on Bledsoe can be found at www.drewbledsoe.com.
WSU Tri-Cities is located along the scenic Columbia River in Richland, Wash. Established in 1989 with upper division and graduate programs, WSU Tri-Cities expanded in 2007 to a full four-year undergraduate campus offering 17 bachelor's, 13 master's, and seven doctoral degrees. Applications for freshman and transfer students still are being accepted for fall 2011. Learn more about the most diverse campus in the WSU system at www.tricity.wsu.edu