Waking up every morning, seeing Dook’o’ooslííd
400-plus Native Americans earn degrees at Northern Arizona University
By Krista Allen
Special to the Times
Wearing a dress made from a beacon print fleece blanket she bought for $10 from the Gallup Flea Market and her late grandmother’s squash blossom necklace, Jennifer Hudson last Thursday evening received a coveted, ivory-colored graduation sash that only Native American degree candidates get a day before commencement at Northern Arizona University.
Hudson, originally from Gallup, celebrated her accomplishment with her family and friends during NAU’s 24th annual Indigenous Convocation at the Audrey Auditorium on May 9 and graduated with a bachelor’s in public health at the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome over the weekend. Hudson is one of the 400-plus Native students who earned a degree this academic year, according to NAU President Rita H. Cheng.
“And we’re inspired by your success and how each of you has made the NAU experience unique and valuable,” Cheng told the students inside the packed auditorium. “Native American, indigenous students have always been vital to this university and today we serve students from more than 110 tribal nations.”