CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University will graduate a record 6,807 students during its 148th commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 17, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.

Gates will open at 9 a.m. for the event, which is free, open to the public and held rain or shine. Tickets are not required.

The 6,807 graduating students will receive 7,097 degrees, according to OSU Registrar Rebecca Mathern. (There will be 276 students receiving two degrees and seven who will receive three degrees.) They will add to the ranks of Oregon State alumni, which have earned 243,081 degrees over the university's history.

The commencement address will be given by Hüsnü M. Özyeğin, who arrived at Oregon State in 1963 with only $100 in his pocket. He graduated and went on to become a highly successful business leader and philanthropist in Turkey and Europe. He also will receive an honorary doctorate in civil engineering.

Özyeğin has made significant contributions to the global community with extensive work in social entrepreneurship, education, women's rights, equity, child and youth development, and arts and cultural preservation.

 Some facts and figures about OSU's Class of 2017:

  • Of the 7,097 degrees that will be awarded, 5,590 will go to students receiving baccalaureate degrees; 1,066, master's degrees; 311, doctor of philosophy degrees; 76, doctor of pharmacy degrees; 51, doctor of veterinary medicine degrees; and three doctor of education. (The doctor of pharmacy and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees are awarded at separate ceremonies.)
  • OSU's 2017 graduates represent all 36 Oregon counties, all 50 states and 68 countries.
  • The oldest graduate is 74 years old; the youngest is 19 years old.
  • The graduating class includes 159 veterans of U.S. military service.
  • Nearly 1,000 Oregon State distance students completed degree requirements online this year through OSU Ecampus, the university's online education division. The graduates hail from nearly all 50 states and more than a half-dozen countries.

Each OSU graduate has a compelling story. For example:

  • Justyn Jacobs, a political science, pre-law major in the College of Liberal Arts is graduating magna cum laude. A rare and aggressive form of dyslexia left her illiterate until she was diagnosed in fifth grade. She was a member of the women's rowing team, helped OSU's Hillel grow from five individuals to more than 60 active participants in two years and was a writer for Her Campus, a publication which educates readers about politics and combats extreme hate.
  • Madison Esposito majored in bioresource research, an interdisciplinary biosciences major centered around student research. From Georgia, she was attracted to OSU because of the opportunity to conduct research as an undergraduate in the university's College of Agricultural Sciences. She is conducting research in epigenetics and plans to attend medical school to become a forensic pathologist. After graduation, she will begin a two-year research internship at the National Institutes of Health.

Mathern, the OSU registrar, said the university expects about 4,000 students to attend commencement. Oregon State is one of the only universities of its size to hand out actual diplomas to students as they graduate.

The ceremony will be broadcast in HD live on OPB PLUS and at

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]

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