CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will graduate a record 7,128 students during its 149th commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 16, 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 7,128 graduating students will receive 7,435 degrees. (There will be 289 students receiving two degrees and nine who will receive three degrees.) They will add to the ranks of Oregon State alumni, which have earned 250,516 degrees over the university’s history.

The commencement address will be given by Harley Jessup, an Oregon State alumnus and renowned animation production designer who has won an Academy Award and an Emmy Award for visual effects.

Jessup was born in Corvallis in 1954 and his family relocated to California shortly after. He returned to enroll at Oregon State and earned a bachelor of fine art degree in graphic design in 1976.

He received an Academy Award in 1988 for visual effects in the film, “Innerspace.” He was also nominated for an Academy Award in visual effects for his work on “Hook” and received an Emmy Award for special visual effects in 1985 for “The Ewok Adventure.”

Now with Pixar Animation Studios, Jessup served as production designer for “Coco,” which won the Academy Award this year in the category of Best Animated Feature Film.

Some facts and figures about OSU’s class of 2018:

  • Of the 7,435 degrees that will be awarded, 5,988 will go to students receiving baccalaureate degrees; 1,019, master’s degrees; 285, doctor of philosophy degrees; 81, doctor of pharmacy degrees; 56, doctor of veterinary medicine degrees; and 6, doctor of education.
  • OSU’s 2018 graduates represent 35 of Oregon’s 36 counties, 49 states and 70 countries.
  • The oldest graduate is 70 years old; the youngest is 19 years old.
  • The graduating class includes 149 veterans of U.S. military service.
  • A total of 1,065 Oregon State distance students completed degree requirements online this year through Ecampus, the university’s top-ranked online education division. The graduates hail from 49 states and 12 countries.
  • The degrees awarded include 279 undergraduate students and 90 graduate students from OSU-Cascades.
  • The Honors College is graduating 160 students.

Each OSU graduate has a compelling story. For example:

  • Taylor Ricci, who was a member of the women’s gymnastics team and a kinesiology major, co-founded and initiated the #DamWorthIt campaign, with the aim of destigmatizing mental health on the Oregon State campus. She lost a friend to suicide and decided to channel her experience into a project to make it easier to talk about mental health and seek support when needed. #DamWorthIt uses the platform of college athletics to open up the conversation around mental health and engage others in the message.
  • Azeem Hussaini, a political science major who is a transfer student from California State University, Bakersfield, is the first in his family to go to college. He has been a major advocate for diversity and students of color on campus. He was the student representative on OSU's building renaming committee. He organized a Ramadan dinner for more than 250 people. And he was president of Muslim Student Association and co-founded the group Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights.
  • Cameron Salvitelli majored in renewable materials with a management and marketing option and had minors in forestry and business and entrepreneurship. He took advantage of a wide range of opportunities at Oregon State, including playing percussion in the OSU Marching Band and basketball band; working on the College of Forestry Student Logging Crew; studying abroad in Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Austria; serving as club president of the Forest Utilization Society; and interning with the Boise Cascade Company, a distributor of lumber and building materials.

About 4,200 graduating students are expected to attend commencement, according to Rebecca Mathern, associate provost and university registrar. 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

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 34,000 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]


Steve Clark, 541-827-3808, [email protected]


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