CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will graduate a record 7,202 students during its 150th commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.

With this graduating class, Oregon State will now have more than 200,000 alumni living and working in all 50 states and more than 125 countries.

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

The 7,202 graduating students will receive 7,492 degrees. (There will be 274 students receiving two degrees and eight who will receive three degrees.) They will add to the ranks of Oregon State alumni, which have earned 257,695 degrees over the university’s history.

Approximately 4,200 graduating students are expected to participate in commencement. Oregon State is one of the nation’s very few 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 live-streamed at http://commencement.oregonstate.edu/live-stream.

The commencement address will be given by Jane Lubchenco, a world-renowned leader in environmental research, former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and an Oregon State University marine ecologist. She will receive an honorary doctorate degree in ocean, earth and atmospheric sciences.

Lubchenco is a distinguished university professor at Oregon State and has been instrumental as an advisor to Oregon State President Ed Ray as the university has undertaken its marine studies initiative.

Lubchenco is one of the world’s most highly cited ecologists with expertise in the ocean, climate change and interactions between the environment and human well-being. She served as an undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere within the Obama administration and later as the State Department’s first science envoy for the ocean.

Some facts and figures about OSU’s class of 2019:

  • Of the 7,492 degrees that will be awarded, 6,020 will go to students receiving bachelor’s degrees; 985, master’s degrees; 329, doctor of philosophy degrees; 95, doctor of pharmacy degrees; 57, doctor of veterinary medicine degrees; and 6, doctor of education.
  • OSU’s 2019 graduates represent 35 of Oregon’s 36 counties, 49 states and 73 countries.
  • The oldest graduate is 66 years old; the youngest is 19 years old; the average age is 25.
  • The graduating class includes 197 veterans of U.S. military service.
  • A total of 1,181 Oregon State distance students completed degree requirements online this year through Ecampus, the university’s top-ranked online education division, in 35 degree programs. The graduates hail from 48 states and 17 countries.
  • The degrees awarded include 248 undergraduate students and 83 graduate students from OSU-Cascades.
  • The Honors College is graduating 155 students.
  • The graduating class includes 1,727 who are the first in their family to earn a college degree.

Each OSU graduate has a compelling story. For example:

  • Cecilia Mehue is a human development and family studies general option major. She grew up in Indonesia. English is her third language. She is one of 500 students to receive a scholarship from the government of the Papua province of Indonesia to earn university degrees around the world. While a student at Oregon State, she traveled to Indonesia to work for an organization called Compassion First, which assists survivors of child sex trafficking. She also taught critical thinking and nutrition to the girls, and taught the staff English. She now hopes to earn an MBA and run a non-profit organization focused on promoting women’s autonomy and independence in Papua, Indonesia.
  • Susmita Padala is a computer science major who is also in the Honors College. She came to college with very little programming experience and initially struggled. She conducted research with Anita Sarma, an associate professor of computer science, to improve open-source tools and infrastructure to be more inclusive of different problem-solving styles. She also founded a student club, Adaptive Technology Engineering Network, to empower people with disabilities to pursue STEM education and create a more inclusive environment in engineering. After graduating she is taking a position with Microsoft as a project manager.
  • Caleb Michael is a speech communication major and former Oregon State soccer player. He developed “Real Talk,” a program for student-athletes of color at Oregon State to share their experiences at the university. It was later expanded to include the general student population. He also works at the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center as a student success peer facilitator. In the fall, he will start a master’s degree program in strategic public relations in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.
  • Jenna Fitzgerald is graduating with a bachelor’s of science in public health with an option in health promotion and health behavior, a minor in Spanish, and a certificate in medical humanities. She is in the Honors College and conducted research with Sam Logan, an assistant professor of kinesiology, the last four years. Her thesis examined the impact of primary caregiver education level and family income on the use of modified ride-on cars for children with disabilities. She also completed a public health internship in Cape Town, South Africa where she worked with at-risk adolescent boys creating health promotion programs and materials and teaching health. After graduation, she will be pursuing a master’s of science in nursing at Johns Hopkins University.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only two universities in the nation designated as a land, sea, space and sun grant, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 31,000 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 and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, sean.nealon@oregonstate.edu

Source: 

Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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