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The simple answer is: they’re chosen carefully. The more complicated answer is that they’re chosen by the officers of the senior class, in consultation with the Office of the Chancellor. The senior class officers have, over time, included a flexible roster of people. Currently the group includes the president; vice president; events director; communications director; and diversity, equity, and inclusion director. In past years, officers have also included a second vice president, secretary, treasurer, publicity director, historian, sergeant at arms, and pipe custodian. (Arlene Rasmussen ’44 was the last pipe custodian of a UW senior class; since the end of World War II, the pipe has had to take care of itself.) The class officers submit names to the chancellor’s office, and the chancellor then gives final approval. Speakers are usually (though not always) prominent, and they often (though not always) have some connection to the UW. This year’s address will be given by Linda Thomas-Greenfield MA’75, the U.S. ambassador to the UN.

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