May Commencement Honors Pacific's Class Of 2024

Optometry Students Celebrate After Receiving Degrees At Pacific's 2023 May Commencement
Nearly 800 students will celebrate the latest milestone on their life journeys as Pacific University celebrates its May Commencement with two ceremonies on Saturday, May 18, on the Forest Grove Campus.

This year’s spring commencement begins at 9 a.m. with the undergraduate ceremony. Over 300 students in the colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, and Education will receive bachelor’s degrees after studying in more than 60 different majors and minors.

This year’s commencement is a significant moment for the Class of 2024, which entered Pacific during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and did not enjoy the experience of a high school graduation ceremony. For many students, this will be their first commencement ceremony and a testimony to their perseverance and resilience.

Lanie Lischke, a kinesiology major and public health minor, will address her fellow classmates as the Class of 2024’s undergraduate valedictorian. A 2020 graduate of Beaverton (Oregon) High School. Lischke has been involved in the university’s Global Scholars program and is a member of the Pre-Physical Therapy Club. She is a member of the Theta Nu Alpha sorority, serving as community service and fundraising coordinator, and served as captain of Pacific’s women’s rowing team.

“I am truly honored to be named the valedictorian of the Class of 2024,” Lischke said. “These last four years have been full of ups and downs for me, including an overwhelming amount of stress. I really appreciate that my hard work and resilience is being recognized.”

Scott Tuomi, distinguished university professor of music, will deliver the faculty keynote address.

The university’s graduate commencement ceremony begins at 1:30 p.m., honoring 450 students receiving master’s and doctoral degrees in social work, business administration, speech-language pathology, education and teaching, pharmacy, athletic training, physical therapy, vision science, optometry, and health and medical sciences. The ceremony will also feature the first six graduates of the university’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership program.

The afternoon ceremony will feature the presentation of the Kamelia Massih Prize for a Distinguished Optometrist to alumnus Scott Pike ’68, OD ’70.

A member of the College of Optometry faculty from 1974 to 1977 and from 2006 to 2019, Pike has been involved with the university’s AMIGOS Eye Care team since 2005. He is the co-founder and president of Enfoque Ixcán, a nonprofit organization providing eye care to a remote and impoverished area of Guatemala. Pike was also the recipient of the Pacific University Alumni Association’s 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Both ceremonies take place at Hanson Stadium on Pacific’s Forest Grove Campus. Guest tickets are free but required to attend the ceremonies.

Pacific hosts three commencement days each year, including the dual ceremonies in May, a June ceremony for students in the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program and a graduate-level commencement in August.

Monday, May 6, 2024