More than 400 students representing three schools — the College of Liberal Arts, Atkinson Graduate School of Management and the College of Law — graduated from Willamette on Sunday.
The new alumni greeted their families for hugs and selfies on the Quad, bid farewell to their classmates and marked an official end to their years on campus as the next chapter of their life begins.
Per tradition, each college ceremony included student speakers, an invocation led by the chaplains and the recognition of emeriti faculty. AGSM honored Douglas E. Goe, a partner in the Orrick Law Firm, with the Glenn L. Jackson Leadership Award in recognition of Goe’s public and private leadership.
Commencement speakers offered graduates advice and told stories of their career growth with humor and humility. CEO of Deloitte Global Punit Renjen MM’86, who delivered the AGSM speech and received an Honorary Doctor of Business, said he was in awe of the lights along I-5 when he moved to Oregon. In his native Rohtak, India, the city could not afford lights for his neighborhood. Now, he’s the CEO of a $45-billion organization.
Jonathan Mayes JD’87, senior vice president of external affairs and chief diversity officer for grocery company Albertsons, told Willamette Law graduates about a woman who gave him a place to stay in Oakland, California, after he was rejected by another landlord for his race. The woman, who now lives in Portland, was in attendance and Mayes thanked her to loud applause. He encouraged graduates to “give back.”
During her CLA speech, Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland, described the moment she co-discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967 — a moment that’s been described as “one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th century.” She also received an Honorary Doctor of Science.
Bell Burnell spoke of the challenges she overcame to become a top astrophysicist in a male-dominated field with some appalling social conventions. If a woman worked, her children were considered delinquents by society, she said.
By the numbers
College of Liberal Arts
- 371 BAs.
- 3 Bachelor of Music degrees.
College of Law
- 86 JDs.
- 5 Master of Laws.
- 1 Master of Legal Studies.
Atkinson Graduate School of Management
- 58 MBAs for Business, Government and Not-For-Profit Management, 23 of which were BA/MBA and eight were JD/MBA.
- 48 MBA degrees were awarded in August 2018 and January 2019 to students in the MBA for Professionals program.
- 28 students, 16 of which will attend Willamette.
- This past year, university students volunteered for more than 575 hours and university student staff worked more than 3,000 hours in support of program students.
- Professor of Law Michael B. Wise, 38 years of service.
- Professor of Rhetoric Catherine Collins, 37 years of service.
- Professor of Biology Susan Kephart, 37 years of service.
- Professor of Philosophy Sally Markowitz, 35 years of service.
- Associate Professor of Computer Science Jim Levenick, 33 years of service.
- Professor of Music Dan Rouslin, 32 years of service.
- Professor of Economics Jerry Gray, 28 years of service.
- Professor of Music John Peel, 28 years of service.
- Professor of Anthropology Pam Moro, 22 years of service.
Find the full listing of graduates and more information about the commencement honorees and speakers on the website.