Doctor of Science & College of Liberal Arts Commencement Speaker

Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan

Scientist, first American woman to walk in space

Dr. Kathryn D. SullivanDr. Kathryn Sullivan is the Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction and Deputy Administrator for NOAA where she played a central role in directing their work in the areas of weather and water services, climate science and services, integrated mapping services and Earth-observing capabilities. She provided agency-wide direction with regard to satellites, space weather, water, and ocean observations and forecasts to best serve American communities and businesses.

An eminent scientist and renowned explorer of space and sea, Dr. Sullivan has made history with her pioneering journeys to the world’s frontiers. She was one of the first six women selected to join the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. She flew on three shuttle missions during her 15-year tenure, including the mission that deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.

In 1993, she left NASA to accept a Presidential appointment to the post of Chief Scientist at NOAA where she oversaw a wide array of research and technology programs ranging from climate and global change to satellites and marine biodiversity. Dr. Sullivan has also served on the National Science Board (2004-2010) and as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve (1988-2006).

From 1996 to 2006, Dr. Sullivan served as President and CEO of the Center of Science & Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, one of the nation's leading science museums. Under her leadership, COSI strengthened its impact on science teaching in the classroom and its national reputation as an innovator of hands-on, inquiry-based science learning resources. She also served as the inaugural director of the Battelle Center for Math and Science Education Policy in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, which was established to increase the number of school and university students with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

She holds a bachelor's degree in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a doctorate in geology from Dalhousie University in Canada.

Doctor of Laws

Paul J. De Muniz JD '75

Retired Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court

Paul J. De Muniz JD '75In January 2013, Paul De ¬Muniz retired from the Oregon Supreme Court after serving for 12 years, more than six of them as Chief Justice and leader of Oregon’s courts. As Oregon’s top judicial official, De Muniz worked to make the state judicial system more accessible, transparent, accountable, and engaged with the public. De Muniz is the first Hispanic Chief Justice in the history of the Oregon Supreme Court.

He was elected to the court in 2000, and elected as Chief Justice in 2006. De Muniz previously served as a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals for ten years, worked as an attorney in civil and criminal practice with a Salem firm for 13 years and served as a deputy state public defender.

In 2005 De Muniz wrote and published, “A Practical Guide to Oregon Criminal Procedure and Practice,” a reference about procedural issues that Oregon lawyers and judges are likely to confront in a criminal case. Justice De Muniz's work has been recognized with a number of state and national awards, among them: the National Judicial College's Distinguished Service Award (2009), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' Judicial Recognition Award, the Oregon Classroom Project's Legal Citizen of the Year Award (2011), the Oregon Area Jewish Committee's Judge Learned Hand Lifetime Achievement Award (2010) and the Edwin J. Peterson Racial Reconciliation Award. In February, 2007 De Muniz was the first recipient of the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association Professionalism Award, which was named in his honor. In 2010, Hispanic Business Magazine named De Muniz among the 100 most influential Hispanics in America. He is a 1975 graduate of the Willamette University College of Law where he was an associate editor of Willamette Law Review. De Muniz was a member of the Willamette University Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2013, serving on the Executive Committee and as chair of the College of Law Committee. He is currently a distinguished jurist in residence at Willamette’s College of Law.

Willamette University


900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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