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Pacific grants diplomas to 340 grads


First College of Business degrees handed out

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Outstanding Senior in Social Sciences Charlotte Basch smiles for the camera on graduation day at Pacific University.More than 340 bachelor’s degree candidates comprising Pacific University’s Class of 2014 graduated in front of family and friends at Lincoln Park Stadium on Saturday, May 17.

President Lesley Hallick congratulated the newest Pacific alumni on a job well done, and told them that what they do with the knowledge their degrees symbolize is important as they begin the next chapter of their lives.

Of the graduating class, 44 students were recipients of the first degree bestowed by the university’s 2-year-old College of Business. Previously, the university’s bachelor of arts in business degree had been part of the College of Arts & Sciences’ offerings.

Valedictorian Matthew Morse earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics with minors in biology and physics. Morse, a resident of Grants Pass, graduated summa cum laude (grade point average of 3.91 or higher).

He shared thoughts of his journey at Pacific, alluding to references from the Harry Potter series throughout his address before reminding classmates of a poignant quote by character Albus Dumbledore: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” by: COURTESY PHOTO - Lincoln Park Stadium was filled with graduates, and their family members and friends, during spring commencement exercises.

Hilsboro-based FEI Company president and chief executive Don Kania gave the keynote address. He told the Class of 2014 that they need not limit the way in which they pursue their careers.

Kania shared his story of beginning his career as a scientist and how he became what his friends called an “accidental” CEO.

“A great lesson that I’ve learned, is that there’s always options,” Kania said. “If you hear one thing today, amongst all the distractions of the day, it is that there are many paths to success. Be open to the opportunities that will come your way.

“Life is rich, unpredictable, full of alternatives to grow, build relationships and be happy.”

During the ceremony, Provost John Miller recognized retiring faculty members and noted that each received emeritus standing for their service to Pacific University: Ed Alkaslassy (Biology, 21 years); Patricia Cheyne (Art, 20 years); Pam Lopez (Biology, 21 years); Cheleen Mahar (Sociology/Anthropology, 20 years); Chris Wilkes (Vice Provost for Research; Professor of Sociology, 18 years).

— Joe Lang is media relations director at Pacific University.