CHENEY, Wash. - Graduating students at Eastern Washington University weren't the only ones to receive their degrees during the 2013 Commencement ceremonies at EWU on Saturday, June 15. The university bestowed honorary doctorate degrees to the keynote speakers, which included the first Native American national news correspondent as well as an alum who created the famous Spawn comic book series.
Hattie Kauffman and Todd McFarlane '84 were each presented with an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters during their respective ceremonies.
Kauffman is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, and was the first Native American to ever file a report on a national network news broadcast. She spent more than two decades as a correspondent for CBS News, after spending three years at ABC's Good Morning America. She was the keynote speaker for the ceremony for students in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Social Work and the College of Business and Public Administration.
An alum who once played baseball at EWU, McFarlane is now a creative force who oversees an entertainment company, a toy company and a gaming studio. He is the founder of McFarlane Toys and McFarlane Entertainment and one of the most creative minds in the comic book industry. McFarlane was the keynote speaker for the ceremony for students in the College of Science, Health and Engineering and the College of Arts, Letters and Education. While working with Marvel/Epic Comics, McFarlane worked his way to the top and was assigned the job of creating a modern look for the iconic Amazing Spider-Man series. He would later be a co-founder of Image Comics, where he introduced his own character, Spawn, which launched a diverse career that included action figures, film, animation and the web.
Among the criteria for the university to consider someone for an honorary degree, the individual must have a national or international reputation that merits the awarding of such a degree from EWU.
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