Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Former astronaut and a chief justice alumnus among commencement speakers

Paul De MunizPaul DeMuniz JD'75

Kathryn SullivanKathryn Sullivan

An eminent scientist and a former Oregon Supreme Court justice are receiving honorary degrees as part of Willamette University’s commencement celebration May 12.

Kathryn Sullivan, who is receiving an honorary doctor of science degree, is delivering the College of Liberal Arts commencement address at 3 p.m. on the Quad.

Sullivan is both the assistant secretary of commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and deputy administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She was one of the first six women chosen to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and was the first American woman to walk in space.

Paul DeMuniz JD'75, who is receiving an honorary doctor of laws, is delivering the College of Law commencement address at 11:30 a.m. on the Quad.

DeMuniz retired from the Oregon Supreme Court in January. He served the court for 12 years, more than six of which were as chief justice. During his tenure, he worked to make the state’s judicial system more accessible, transparent, accountable and engaged with the public. He is also the first Hispanic chief justice in the history of the Oregon Supreme Court.

The Atkinson Graduate School of Management’s commencement ceremony begins at 9 a.m. in Hudson Hall of the Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center. The speaker is Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Port of Portland and winner of Atkinson’s Glenn L. Jackson Award, which recognizes extraordinary entrepreneurial and civic leadership benefiting the State of Oregon.

The Graduate School of Education’s commencement ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. June 15 in Smith Auditorium. The speaker is Donalyn Miller, an elementary and middle school teacher who currently instructs fourth-graders at O.A. Peterson Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of “The Book Whisperer” and “Reading in the Wild,” and is dedicated to motivating students to become lifelong readers.