CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will graduate 7,338 students during its university-wide commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 17, at Reser Stadium on the Corvallis campus.

More than 3,700 students are expected to participate in the ceremony that will honor the university’s 154th class. The event is free to attend, open to the public and held rain or shine. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and tickets are not required. The ceremony will be livestreamed in English and Spanish.

The 7,338 graduates will receive 7,583 degrees. (There will be 238 students receiving two degrees, two receiving three degrees and one receiving four.) They will add to the ranks of OSU alumni, who have earned 287,469 degrees over the university’s history.

The commencement address will be given by OSU alumnus Dr. Charity Dean, who helped guide the state of California’s strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dean is the CEO and founder of The Public Health Company, which seeks to protect communities and businesses from infectious disease.

The university-wide commencement ceremony held in Corvallis on June 17 celebrates all OSU graduates including Ecampus and OSU-Cascades graduates. OSU-Cascades’ commencement ceremony for graduates attending OSU-Cascades will be held in Bend on June 18. OSU-Cascades students are welcome to attend both ceremonies.

Some facts and figures about Oregon State’s class of 2023:

  • Of the 7,583 degrees that will be awarded, 5,961 will go to students receiving bachelor’s degrees; 1,190, master’s degrees; 285, doctor of philosophy degrees; 73, doctor of pharmacy degrees; 71, doctor of veterinary medicine degrees; and three, doctor of education.
  • OSU’s 2023 graduates represent 34 of Oregon’s 36 counties, 50 states and 71 countries.
  • A total of 1,335 identify as Asian; 702, Latinx; 245, First Nations including Alaskan Native; 187, Black or African American; and 113, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.
  • The oldest graduate is 72 years old; the youngest is 18 years old; the average age is 26.
  • The graduating class includes 193 veterans of U.S. military service.
  • A record total of 1,892 degrees were awarded to Oregon State students in 60 academic degree programs this year through Ecampus, the university’s online education provider. The graduates hail from 48 states and 18 countries.
  • OSU-Cascades in Bend will award degrees to 248 undergraduate students and 62 graduate students on Sunday, June 18.
  • OSU’s Honors College is graduating 245 students.
  • The graduating class includes 1,216 students who are the first in their family to earn a college degree; 4,194 Oregon residents; and 3,145 non-resident students of which 724 are international students.
  • The College of Engineering has the most graduates with 1,792, followed by: College of Liberal Arts (1,107); College of Business (866); College of Science (652); College of Public Health and Human Sciences (564); College of Agricultural Sciences (505); College of Forestry (250); College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (167); and College of Education (58). 

Each OSU graduate has a compelling story. For example:

  • Javon Smith of Bellingham, Washington, will receive her bachelor’s degree in natural resources with a focus on policy and management from OSU’s College of Forestry. Smith has spent 20 years working in public affairs and currently runs a consulting practice specializing in renewable energy development. She decided to go back to school to learn new tools for communication, collaboration and consensus around contentious issues. She chose to earn her degree online through OSU’s Ecampus because she needed a program that would accommodate her schedule as a full-time working professional. “I could choose my path and tailor classes to my passions and the direction I’m going to steer my career,” Smith said. “I feel like I’m able to apply every class in my life in some way. And this degree will give me more confidence to speak with authority on these important issues.”
  • Lucas Yao, who grew up in Portland and graduated from Ida B. Wells High School, hasn’t limited himself to one primary focus during his time at OSU. In fact, he’ll be graduating this June with undergraduate degrees in biohealth science and creative writing, along with minors in chemistry and public health, and a medical humanities certificate. Yao, an Honors College student who aspires to attend medical school, wants to approach health care and medicine from an intersectional perspective, and also believes communication is crucial to his future career. “OSU has exposed me to so many subjects and fields that I didn't even know existed, much less that I would be interested in,” he said. “My understanding of what research is has expanded; my understanding of what is possible outside of STEM has increased; and I have learned so much about what I'm drawn to and why.”
  • Kellen Copeland, who completed his Ph.D. in environmental sciences in November 2022, combines the fields of anthropology, sociology and philosophy to understand how human cultures shape societal outcomes for nonhuman participants. He recently helped launch Tap & Wag, a nonprofit whose mission is to raise money for animals in need by selling monthly memberships at a communal dog park, tap house, coffee bar, and training and boarding facility. This fall, Copeland will work as a postdoctoral scholar in the University of British Columbia’s animal welfare program. “My primary advisor, Michael Harte, has been an inspiration to me since the beginning of my Ph.D. program,” Copeland said. “Michael has a way of getting complex information across into simple terms and is unapologetically upfront about the issues that future generations must work to resolve. The support within my program has been instrumental to my growth.”

  • Alex Varela took a nontraditional path to higher education, working as an educational assistant in high school classrooms after dropping out of high school. The son of immigrants from Mexico, he knows firsthand how the public education system often fails to support students of color and wants to become a teacher to help provide culturally and linguistically competent instruction to students from diverse backgrounds. At OSU, Varela double-majored in education and history; served as a student ambassador within the College of Education, helping fellow education students navigate applications and exam prep; and was active in OSU’s Centro Cultural César Chávez and LGBTQ+ initiatives. Varela has already begun teaching language arts at McKay High School in Salem, where he spent fall term as a student-teacher and then accepted a temporary job in March. He plans to pursue a permanent post closer to his home in Portland, teaching high school social studies or language arts.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

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

 

Source: 

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

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