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鶹Ƶɰ汾 honors ‘resilient’ Class of 2024

by Paul McKean,

On May 19, 2024, nearly 500 graduates representing the College of Arts & Sciences, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, College of Law, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and the School of Computing and Information Sciences received their degree at 鶹Ƶɰ汾’s annual commencement ceremonies.

If there was one common theme during the day’s celebrations it was resilience. In his remarks, University President Steve Thorsett acknowledged that, for many graduates, their 鶹Ƶɰ汾 experience began in the depths of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

PNCA students celebrating

“When most of us first met, back in August 2020, there was no big tent and there were no big crowds. Most of you did not experience a traditional high school graduation ceremony, though to be sure your friends, families, and high schools did everything they could to show that COVID could not take anything from your accomplishment,” Thorsett said. “Still, I am so happy that we can be here together, in a raucous, noisy crowd, to cheer you in the traditional way.”

Weeks of celebrations for graduates

Students at Black & Brown Joy
Students celebrating at Black & Brown Joy

The commencement ceremonies came at the end of a series of events on the Salem and Portland campuses. The College of Arts & Sciences held a celebratory senior week featuring a wine and cheese party, a final performance for music majors, and more. MBA students braved the annual Brownwater regatta as they floated down the Mill Stream. After a successful Focus Week, graduating PNCA students celebrated and displayed their work at the final First Thursdays event of the academic year.

Both campuses held their annual Black & Brown Joy and Lavender Graduation ceremonies. 鶹Ƶɰ汾 also held its inaugural First in Family Graduation, which honored students who were the first in their immediate family to attend college and acknowledged the faculty and staff who helped them along the way.

Ultimately, the graduates of this year overcame disruptions, social distancing, extreme weather events, and other extraordinary challenges — in addition to the rigors of a 鶹Ƶɰ汾 education — to earn their degree. After crossing the commencement stage, these new 鶹Ƶɰ汾 alumni will be ready to take on any challenge as they begin a lifelong journey to turn their knowledge into action.

  • Atkinson Graduate School of Management Commencement
    Atkinson Graduate School of Management Commencement
  • Atkinson Graduate School of Management Commencement
    Atkinson Graduate School of Management Commencement
  • Atkinson Graduate School of Management Commencement
    Atkinson Graduate School of Management Commencement
  • College of Law Commencement
    College of Law Commencement
  • College of Law Commencement
    College of Law Commencement
  • College of Law Commencement
    College of Law Commencement
  • Salem Undergraduate Commencement
    Salem Undergraduate Commencement
  • Salem Undergraduate Commencement
    Salem Undergraduate Commencement
  • Salem Undergraduate Commencement
    Salem Undergraduate Commencement speaker Oregon Attorney General Ellen Roseblum.
  • Salem Undergraduate Commencement
    Salem Undergraduate Commencement
  • Salem Undergraduate Commencement
    Salem Undergraduate Commencement
  • PNCA Commencement
    PNCA Commencement
  • PNCA Commencement
    PNCA Commencement
  • PNCA Commencement
    PNCA Commencement
  • PNCA Commencement
    PNCA Commencement

Commencement speakers

Salem Undergraduate Ceremony

Ellen Rosenblum, Oregon Attorney General

Atkinson Graduate School of Management Ceremony

Jessica Getman, Retail Vice President at Brown & Brown

College of Law Ceremony

JoAnne Brandes JD’74, founder of the Leadership Excellence Center; former S.C. Johnson Executive Vice President

Pacific Northwest College of Art Ceremony

Anita Kunz, award-winning writer and artist

commencement-body.jpg


By the numbers

Salem Undergraduate

Awarded degrees to 256 students

  • 178 Bachelor of Art
  • 76 Bachelor of Sciences

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Awarded degrees to 40 students

Master of Business Administration

  • 39 Master of Business Administration for Business Government and Not-for-Profit Management

Master of Business Administration for Professionals

  • 1 Master of Business Administration awarded May 2024
  • 28 Master of Business Administration awarded August 2023 and January 2024

College of Law

Awarded degrees to 100 students

  • 99 Doctor of Jurisprudence
  • 1 Master of Law

School of Computing & Information Sciences

Awarded degrees to 100 students

  • 27 Master of Science awarded August 2023 and January 2024
  • 1 Certificate in Data Science awarded May 2024

Pacific Northwest College of Art

Awarded degrees to 84 students

  • 49 Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • 9 Master of Arts
  • 26 Master of Fine Arts

鶹Ƶɰ汾 Academy

  • 29 students, 7 of whom will attend 鶹Ƶɰ汾
  • 2 Ford Family Semi-Finalists
  • 7 Academy alums graduated from 鶹Ƶɰ汾

commencement-body-2.jpg


Emeriti Faculty

Marva G. Duerksen
Associate Professor of Music; Women’s and Gender Studies Coordinator
22 years of service

Susan L. Smith
Professor of Law; Director of the Certificate Program in Sustainability
35 years of service

Yvonne A. Tamayo
Professor of Law; University Counsel
26 years of service


Photo credits: Naomi Luhn Photography, Mario Gallucci MFA'14, Malique Pye BFA'27

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