2023 School of Social Work Graduation Celebration

The 2023 graduation was held Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The program included welcoming remarks from outgoing Dean Eddie Uehara and incoming Dean Michael Spencer, recognition awards, student performances, conferral of student degrees, and an inspiring presentation from our keynote speaker, Raquel Montoya-Lewis, a Washington State Supreme Court justice and youth advocate. 

Watch the full event here 

An inspirational speaker: Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis 

The day’s keynote speaker was Raquel Montoya-Lewis, the first Native American justice appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court and a 1996 MSW graduate from the UW School of Social Work. In her remarks, Justice Montoya-Lewis invited graduates to join the struggle for justice. “Together we are building the stories that those who follow will learn from. Together, we are building a legacy of justice.”  

Listen to her graduation day speech here. 

“We produce leaders” 

In a joint message by outgoing Dean Eddie Uehara and incoming Dean Michael Spencer, graduates were reminded that: “At UW, we are not just producing social workers, we are producing tomorrow’s leaders. As a graduate of the School of Social Work and a Husky, you will be a leader in the field. We express gratitude for the solid foundation that has been established, which will serve as the basis of growth in the coming years. Impact, innovation, and social justice will continue to guide our educational, research and service mission with a goal toward equity, anti-bigotry and decolonization.” 

Dean Uehara Steps Down  

Graduation 2023 was Eddie Uehara’s last graduation celebration as dean of the School of Social Work. Read more about her distinguished career

 “In just a few days, I will step down from the deanship after 17 wonderful years. It has been the deepest honor and greatest joy to serve as your dean—and I have cherished every day I’ve served in this post. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the privilege!" 

--Eddie Uehara, Ballmer Endowed Dean in Social Work