May 18, 2012
Commencement weekend launches new journey for Class of 2012. Congratulations!Jenni Luckett | Editor
The lawns are perfectly manicured, the barkdust fresh, and the flowers in vibrant bloom. Pacific University is dressed in its best in preparation for Saturday’s commencement ceremonies, in which some 620 students will earn bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.
First, though, those students get to call out their accomplishments to the neighborhood by ringing the Old College Hall bell. The soon-to-be graduates started their Pacific days with the same ceremony, signing the student roster, shaking the hand of the University president and ringing the bell to mark their entrance (or re-entrance, in some cases) to the University.
As they repeat the ceremony today, the tolling announces not just the conclusion of one journey but the beginning of another.
Norm Smith is ready to open an optometry practice with the doctorate he earns this weekend. For him, the bell toll signals a move from a lifetime of entrepreneurship into a brand new business—at the age of 69.
Emma Jacobsen, valedictorian in the College of Arts & Sciences, marks the end of an intense three-year completion of a bachelor’s degree in anthropology—immediately after finishing high school in three years. She will head this fall to Oxford University pursue a master’s degree.
Tori Eaton, who earned dual bachelor’s degrees at Pacific in 2005, along with a load of recognitions then and since, is earning her master’s of occupational therapy, though she’s not done yet: She hopes to complete an additional graduate certificate in gerontology in December.
For these students-turning-alumni, this weekend is both a celebration and a turning point. With each bell ring, know that we wish all members of the Class of 2012 heartfelt congratulations and the best of luck wherever your journey takes you.