Commencement Speaker

Frank Blethen, Publisher, Seattle Times/Seattletimes.com

Commencement Speaker Frank Blethen Frank Blethen is publisher of the Seattle Times/seattletimes.com, the second largest newspaper/website on the West Coast.

The Times is known for its strong local coverage and its aggressive investigative reporting. The Times has won eight Pulitzer Prizes and has been a Pulitzer finalist 15 other times since 1990. The Times was most recently awarded the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

The Seattle Times is one of America's last independent and locally owned newspapers. It is a values-based journalism/community service family business in its 117th year of Blethen family stewardship.

Frank is a member of the fourth family generation. Currently, there are ten members of the family's fourth and fifth generations active in the journalism company's management and governance.

He is a strong advocate for independent journalism, family-owned businesses and a longtime active participant in the national grass-roots movement in opposition to newspaper and media ownership consolidation. In 2011, in recognition of Frank's leadership on behalf of quality journalism, he was the first publisher to be awarded the American Society of News Editors' News Leadership Award.

Frank, together with the entire Blethen family, is a longtime, passionate advocate for high quality public education for all school children, across income and racial barriers. One expression of this deep commitment was the creation of the two-year Greater good Campaign, which catalyzed a movement against the state Legislature's defunding of public higher education, ultimately resulting in not only preserving existing funding in 2012, but additional funding in 2013 for higher education. Frank Blethen and The Seattle Times are also the proud recipients of the 2013 TACTC (Trustees Association of the Community and Technical and Community Colleges) Partner of the Year Award.

Frank has frequently received significant recognition for his leadership on diversity, inclusion and gender equity, including in 2011 receiving the Asian American Journalists Association's Special Recognition Award and the Northwest Journalists of Color Diversity Award.

The Blethen family and the Seattle Times are known as advocates for diversity, education and community service. They also own the Yakima Herald-Republic, the Walla Walla Union–Bulletin and several Seattle-area weeklies, including The Issaquah Press.