Pacific Plans Virtual Commencement May 16

Pacific University will celebrate the graduation of more than 800 students during a virtual commencement ceremony on May 16.

Traditional commencement exercises scheduled for that day were canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Pacific has committed to celebrating students in-person when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the university will host social media recognitions of graduating students and will release two pre-recorded virtual ceremonies on May 16.

The ceremonies debut on Pacific’s YouTube channel and other social media feeds at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16. Additionally, students will be able to download and share personalized recognition slides honoring their graduation and other achievements starting May 16 at

About 380 undergraduates will earn bachelor’s degrees this spring. Among them is the undergraduate valedictorian, Noah Askew, a biology major who will deliver remarks as part of the virtual commencement ceremony.

Just more than 440 students also will earn master’s and/or doctorate degrees. They include master’s level students in Pacific’s social work, MBA, speech-language pathology, and athletic training and programs. Students will earn doctorate degrees in physical therapy and pharmacy, both programs in the College of Health Professions, which operates from Pacific's Hillsboro Campus. And the College of Optometry, currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, will bestow master's degrees in visual function and learning and in vision sciencedoctor of optometry degrees, and its first three PhD in vision science degrees. 

The combined undergraduate and graduate ceremonies also include School of Learning & Teaching students from Pacific's College of Education, who earn bachelor's and master's degrees leading to teacher licensure, as well as advanced degrees from Forest Grove, Eugene and Woodburn campuses.

Pacific has moved more than 1,000 courses to a distance delivery model this spring in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and has been able to keep most students on track toward their graduation. The university is committed to offering its rigorous and meaningful academic programs this fall as it explores creative options for safe learning environments.

Thursday, May 7, 2020