Seattle council member Harrell named UW Bothell commencement speaker

Harrell is a UW political science and law school graduate and former Husky football player.

  • Thursday, May 16, 2019 1:30pm
  • Life

Bruce Harrell, a University of Washington political science and law school graduate, former Husky football player and current Seattle City Council president, has been selected to be the 2019 University of Washington Bothell commencement speaker.

Harrell will address graduates and their families June 16 at T-Mobile Park (renamed from Safeco Field) in Seattle. More than 2,200 graduates will receive diplomas at UW Bothell’s 28th annual commencement ceremony.

According to a press release, Harrell, who received his political science degree in 1981 and law degree in 1984, said college graduates today face a more competitive global economy — but he also believes “there’s an abundance of opportunity” for students who recognize they need specialized skills.

And UW graduates are well-prepared for those challenges, Harrell said in the release.

“Experience matters and other life experiences matter in job qualifications, but the degree from the University of Washington speaks volumes,” he said in the release.

Like almost half of all UW Bothell’s graduating students, Harrell was the first in his family to graduate from college, according to the press release. He also played for the 1978 Rose Bowl champion and 1979 Sun Bowl champion football teams and was a first team Academic All-American.

A member of the Seattle City Council since 2008, Harrell has served as council president since 2016 and briefly served as mayor in 2017. Harrell recently announced that he would not seek re-election when his term ends this year, but he will remain an engaged community leader.


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