Commencement May 2005: Willamette University Honors Five Distinguished Leaders

Executive Director of Amnesty International Dr. William F. Schulz; former National Public Radio Morning Edition host Bob Edwards; former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Wilma Mankiller; retired Washington Supreme Court Judge Justice Faith Ireland; and Oregon State Senator Frank Morse will all participate in commencement ceremonies Sunday, May 15, at Willamette University in Salem.

Schulz will serve as commencement speaker at the College of Liberal Arts/School of Education event. Senator Morse will speak at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management ceremony, and Justice Ireland will speak at the College of Law commencement. Honorary degrees will be awarded to Schulz, Edwards and Mankiller.

Schulz was appointed executive director of Amnesty International in 1994 and is recognized for his international and social justice causes. He has led fact-finding missions to Romania, the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Liberia.

Schulz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, has a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville /Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.

Bob Edwards, journalist and 30-year veteran of National Public Radio, is inextricably tied to NPR's Morning Edition, which started each day for 13 million listeners. The program made Edwards' voice one of the most recognized in America. Over the years, Edwards has conducted more than 20,000 interviews, with everyone from President Bill Clinton to Hans Blix to Johnny Cash.

A graduate of the University of Louisville and American University, Edwards and Morning Edition have earned dozens of awards, including a 1999 George Foster Peabody Award and the 1984 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for "outstanding contributions to public radio."

Wilma Mankiller was the first woman in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe. With a population of more than 140,000 and more than 1,200 employees spread over 7,000 square miles, Mankiller represented the Cherokee Nation, second largest tribe in the United States.

Prior to serving as chief from 1985 to 1995, she worked at the Urban Indian Resource Center and volunteered in the community. In 1981 she founded and then became director of the Cherokee Community Development Department, where she orchestrated a community-based renovation of the water system and was instrumental in lifting an entire town, Bell, Oklahoma, out of squalor and despair. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

Justice Faith Ireland was elected to the Supreme Court in 1998 after serving 15 years as a judge of the Superior Court. She began her legal career with the firm of McCune, Godfrey and Emerick in the University District of Seattle and in 1974 opened a sole practice in Pioneer Square. She handled family law cases, real estate matters and tried civil and criminal cases all over Washington State.

After receiving her B.A. from the University of Washington, Justice Ireland graduated one of two women in her class at Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon in 1969. She returned to school while working full time and received her master's degree in Taxation with honors from Golden Gate University. She was a founding member of Washington Women Lawyer's and a board member of the Washington State Trial Lawyer's Association.

State Senator Frank Morse Frank graduated from Oregon State University and Northwest Christian College. He entered the Morse Bros. family business in 1972. He has been the Albany division manager, vice president of operations, executive vice president, president and chairman. When Morse Bros. merged with MDU Resources Group, Morse continued as president until he retired in 2000. He was elected to the Oregon Senate in 2002.

In retirement, Morse focused his attention on a new business, Environ-Metal Inc. where he serves as chairman of the board. He now also serves as chairman of Samaritan Albany General Hospital Board, chairman of the Samaritan Health Services Board, chairman of Northwest Christian College Trustees, board member of Cockerline Foundation and board member of Albany Boys and Girls Club Foundation.

The full commencement schedule is available at