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 two 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."
FEI Company president and chief executive Don Kania then 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).
Undergraduate Colleges Awards & Honors
Valedictorian - Matthew Morse
Fulbright U.S. Student Award - Catherine Prechtel
American Association of University Women - Charlotte Basch
Barbara Story Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Theatre Department - Jenelle Taylor
Brad Blair Award for Theatre Performance - Briana Tiano-Mohr
Center for Civic Engagement - Tanya Towbridge
Center for Gender Equity Award - Janelle Castillo, Ariel Laws
Confederation in Oregon for Language Teaching - Mikka Nostdahl, Carl Liang (Chinese), Shannon Ayres (Japanese), Rachel Ruffin (Spanish)
College of Arts & Sciences Dean of Students Award - Landon Aano, Amber Reid
Dean’s Academic Achievement Award - Fallon Harris, Brenda Tevis
Female Athlete of the Year - Sara Aasness
Male Athlete of the Year - Caleb Malychewski
Murdock Research Scholar Award - Kristina Nagai
Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants Outstanding Accounting Student - Mikka Nostdahl
Outstanding Contribution to Student Life - Kristen Apana, Shannon Ayers, Tyler Gumbaojuhn, Keoua Campbell, Daniel Pitluck, Evan Schreurs, Heather Silva, Remington Steele
Outstanding Instrumentalist - Justin Redona
Outstanding Senior in Biology - Kelsey Mack, Kristina Nagai
Outstanding Senior in Business Administration - Riley P. Wimminger
Outstanding Senior in Chemistry - Ryan Ngo
Outstanding Senior in Computer Science - Liam Dalton
Outstanding Senior in Creative Writing - Rebecca Allen
Outstanding Senior in Dance - Emily Abramson
Outstanding Senior in Economics - Quinten Moore
Outstanding Senior in English Literature - Danielle Weedman, Kacey Killingbeck
Outstanding Senior in Exercise Science - Bruce Balcita
Outstanding Senior in Finance - Bryce Kershner
Outstanding Senior in Fine and Performing Arts - Justin Redona
Outstanding Senior in the Humanities - Catherine Prechtel
Outstanding Senior in Marketing - Landon Aano
Outstanding Senior in Mathematics - Matthew Morse, Liam Dalton
Outstanding Senior in the Media Arts - Gavin Brown, David Prohl
Outstanding Senior in Music Education - Donte Holloway
Outstanding Senior in Natural Science - Noah Holte, Liam Dalton
Outstanding Senior in Philosophy - Colton Markham
Outstanding Senior in Physics - Noah Holte
Outstanding Senior in Psychology - Aaron Cochrane, Liam Dalton
Outstanding Senior in Political Science - Jordan Kronen, Laurel Zimmer
Outstanding Senior in Social Sciences - Charlotte Basch, Jordan Kronen
Outstanding Senior in Speech and Debate - Briana Castellini
Outstanding Senior in Studio Arts - Riley Etheridge
Outstanding Vocalist - Samantha Trulock
Tom Miles Award for Technical Theatre - Kelsie Johnson
Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate - Samantha Cruz