Saint Martin’s University announces 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian

April 24, 2014

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University has announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the Class of 2014.

Valedictorian Alexander Anatoliy Anderson, of North Bend, Washington, received his Associate of Science degree and high school diploma simultaneously, with highest honors at age 16, in 2012 from Green River Community College, in Auburn, Washington. He is graduating summa cum laude from Saint Martin’s University, where he majored in mechanical engineering. A National Merit Scholar, Anderson received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Scholarship; Chancellor’s Scholarship; Zaverl - Cebula Engineering Scholarship; Benedictine Heritage Scholarship; Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship; Union-Plus Scholarship and the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship. He is the recipient of the 2013 Puget Sound Energy Efficiency and Conservation Grant to optimize augmented wind turbines. Anderson received a 2014 American Public Power Association grant to develop an A-PEGASUS airborne electric generation system with the sponsorship of Tacoma Power and Puget Sound Energy. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Anderson was the principal investigator of an international engineering service project to design and install a rainwater harvesting and distribution system for Papua New Guinea. He executed the project under the mentorship of Isaac Jung, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor of mechanical engineering at Saint Martin’s, and Robert Wubbena, president and chief executive officer of Economic and Engineering Services, Inc., of Olympia. Wubbena is also president of the Rotary Club of Olympia. Anderson additionally has two pending patents in tethered, unmanned aerial systems. He was a presenter at the 2014 Pacific Northwest American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Technical Symposium. Anderson was a guest speaker at the 2014 Pacific Northwest Weather Workshop conference held by the Western Region National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. His memberships include the Saint Martin’s Society of Fellows; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; IEEE Power and Energy Society; American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Society of American Military Engineers; Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honors Society.

Salutatorian Benjamin Gerrit Shilman, of Centralia, Washington, graduated with highest honors in 1999 from Shelton High School. He came to Saint Martin’s University with an Associate of Arts degree, earned in 2012, from Centralia College, in Centralia. Shilman, who works as a carpenter, is graduating summa cum laude from Saint Martin’s with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education. He serves on the elder board at Calvary Chapel Centralia, where his responsibilities include working in concert with the other elders and the pastor to make financial and ministerial decisions concerning the present and future endeavors of the church. Shilman is the overseer of home groups within the church, which involves helping to organize new groups as they evolve, staying in contact with home group members and sharing the church’s vision with home groups. Shilman leads the youth group at Calvary Chapel Centralia, serving as mentor and counsel to young people as they mature into adulthood. Shilman worked in 2013 with a local pastor to teach and assist young people, many of whom were coping with issues such as abuse, drug use in their homes and depression. He additionally worked as a mathematics tutor. Married with two sons ages 2 and 5, Shilman spends most of his free time with his family. He is also an active member of his local gym, where he enjoys making connections with a variety of people within his community, as well as providing life advice to some of the younger members who are considering college or who are planning to attend a post-secondary institution.

The Saint Martin’s University 2014 Commencement Exercises will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, at Marcus Pavilion on the University’s Lacey campus, 5000 Abbey Way S.E. Tickets are required for attendance.

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Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 23 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 400 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 300 more undergraduate students to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Centralia College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at

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Alex Arceneaux

Meg Nugent Dwyer
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