Family, friends, faculty and other supporters gathered May 14 under the big white canopy on the Quad to cheer on the 2006 graduates at Willamette's spring Commencement.
The College of Liberal Arts awarded 304 degrees, and graduates were sent off with the wisdom of Commencement speaker S. Allen Counter (bottom left), director of the Harvard Foundation of Harvard University and a neurophysiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Counter also was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree. Philanthropist Catherine B. Reynolds, Los Angeles schoolteacher Rafe Esquith and Columbia Sportswear Company Chairwoman Gertrude Boyle (right center) all were awarded honorary doctor of humane letters degrees.
Fifty-five percent of the Class of 2006 were women, and 53 percent came from places outside Oregon, including 23 other states. The most popular majors were biology, Spanish, English, psychology, politics, sociology, and rhetoric and media studies.
The graduate schools held their ceremonies earlier in the day. The College of Law awarded 137 JD degrees and two LLM degrees, and graduates were addressed by the Honorable Wallace P. Carson Jr., a law alumnus and former chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. Reynolds, who developed a privately funded alternative to government student loan programs, was the featured speaker at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management ceremony, during which 59 students received degrees. The School of Education awarded 93 MAT degrees, and Sonia Nieto, a University of Massachusetts education professor and bilingual education scholar, was the featured speaker at the hooding ceremony.
The 481 members of the Class of 2010 list snowboarding, rock climbing, archery, filmmaking and fencing among their favorite free-time pursuits.
The class is 55 percent female and almost 17 percent multicultural. The students come from 34 states, and about one-third are from Oregon. Eighty-two percent went to a public high school, their median GPA is 3.84, and their median combined SAT score is 1,260.
Thirty-seven were valedictorians; 11 were student body presidents; 175 received varsity letters; 35 were editors of their school newspaper, yearbook or magazine; 383 were musicians, actors or public speakers; and 350 were tutors, coaches, church and synagogue leaders or overall community service standouts.