Speakers chosen for 2015 commencement ceremonies

by University Communications,

A MacArthur “genius” award-winning marine ecologist will receive an honorary doctor of science degree as part of Willamette University’s commencement celebration on May 17.

Jane Lubchenco, who is delivering the commencement address, will receive the honorary degree during the 3 p.m. College of Liberal Arts commencement ceremony on the Quad.

Lubchenco is an American marine ecologist and environmental scientist best known for her expertise in oceans, climate change and interactions between the environment and human well-being.

In 2008, President Barack Obama selected her as one of the expert advisors on his “Science and Technology Team.” The following year, she became the first woman appointed under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator — a role she served until 2013. In 2010, the scientific journal, “Nature,” named her Newsmaker of the Year.

Graduate School Commencement Ceremonies

  • The College of Law commencement ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. on the Quad. The commencement speaker is Sen. Lisa Murkowski JD’85, R-Alaska, the first Alaskan-born senator to serve the state. Murkowski advocates for such issues as energy, health care, education, military/veterans’ affairs and infrastructure development.
  • The Atkinson Graduate School of Management’s commencement ceremony starts at 9 a.m. on the Quad. The speaker is Board of Trustees member Konrad "Chip" Kruger, the founder and principal of Five Mile Capital. Kruger has served as CEO of the corporate bank for NatWest Bank, vice president of Chemical Bank and co-CEO of Greenwich NatWest and its predecessor, Greenwich Capital.

During the ceremony, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden will also receive Atkinson’s Glenn L. Jackson award. Walden represents the people of Oregon’s Second Congressional District, which includes 20 counties in central, southern and eastern Oregon. The award recognizes extraordinary entrepreneurial and civil leadership benefiting the state of Oregon.

More information about the university’s commencement ceremonies, including schedules, speaker biographies and live-streams, is available at willamette.edu/events/commencement.