Kamiak grad named a University of Washington gonfaloniere

Jun 25, 2014
Shangé Purnell

A Kamiak High School grad earned a place as a gonfaloniere in this year’s University of Washington commencement ceremony.

Shangé Elizabeth Purnell, of Everett, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, had the honor of carrying a College of Arts and Sciences gonfalon, a banner that hangs down from a crosspiece and bears her college’s name and symbol.

The University of Washington’s 139th commencement ceremony was held June 14 at the Husky Stadium and honored 5,000 new graduates.

Each year, UW’s schools and colleges select a student or students to lead their degree candidates in the procession at the commencement ceremony.

The gonfaloniere was a prestigious post in Italian medieval and Renaissance communities.

Each gonfaloniere was selected because he or she has a record of outstanding achievement at the university and was deemed worthy of special recognition.

Purnell graduated from Kamiak in 2010. She was the first one in her family to graduate from college.

While at UW, Purnell was involved in several student organizations on campus and with the Ethnic Cultural Center.

Purnell was also named to the Dean’s List every quarter she attended UW and membership to Phi Betta Kappa.

Of her achievements, she is most proud of working with the Students for Diversity Coalition to establish a diversity credit requirement.

Purnell said she plans to earn a Ph.D. in English literature and theory and teach at the college-level.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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