Newest crop of alumni includes speech pathology program grads

The newest crop of educators and health care practitioners graduated from Pacific University on Saturday, May 17 during the afternoon ceremony of the institution’s spring commencement exercises.

Among the graduates were 33 students that comprised the initial cohort of the university’s master of speech-language pathology degree. The two-year program began in Aug. 2012 as part of the College of Education’s School of Communication Sciences & Disorders.

Thirty-seven additional College of Education students from the School of Teaching & Learning graduated with either a master’s degree in teaching or education.

From the College of Health Professions, 100 School of Pharmacy students marched to be hooded and receive their diplomas. The newly minted pharmacists followed 22 graduates from the School of Occupational Therapy, and were followed by 44 new alumni graduating from the college’s School of Physical Therapy.

Nearly 90 students from the university’s College of Optometry graduated on Saturday to cap the proceedings. Earlier in the ceremony, the 87 new optometrists and other grads heard a brief, but inspiring message from fellow alumnus Kirk Smick, ‘66, OD ‘67, who received the annual Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist during the ceremony.

“On days like this I am reminded how much of our future, and much of what happens to us, is the direct result of our making the right decision at the right time,” Smick told the graduates.

“Just like I made the right decision to attend Pacific University 50 years ago, you all have made the same right decision, and it will pay rewards the rest of your life. Continue to make the right decisions and you’ll go a long ways.”

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