Honoring Tommy Thayer

Pacific University is proud to honor Trustee Tommy Thayer at May 2018 Commencement with an honorary doctorate of humane letters in recognition of his tremendous career and philanthropic leadership efforts.

Thayer, who is lead guitarist for the legendary rock band KISS, joined Pacific's Board of Trustees in 2005. In 2007, Pacific and Tommy hosted the first Legends Golf Classic, inspired by Tommy's love of golf. While initially a golf tournament, over its 10-year run Legends morphed into a high-end dinner and concert event. Over the years that the event was held, Legends generated more than $3.5 million for Pacific's athletics programs and support for student athletes. With Tommy's support, Legends raised funds for many campus improvements for athletics including the reintroduction of the football team, the field house turf, the Boxer Learning Center, Hanson Stadium's roof and the stadium scoreboard.  

Tommy Thayer Endowments

Proceeds from the tenth and final Legends in 2016 were used to create endowments in Tommy's honor as a lasting tribute to Tommy's contributions to Pacific.

The Tommy Thayer Endowed Athletics Fund provides support for students, student-athletes, faculty and staff, in addition to supporting various programs within the athletics department.

The Tommy Thayer Endowed Music Fund provides scholarship and other support to students studying music and support for faculty, staff and programs within the music department.

Honor Tommy with a gift to the Tommy Thayer Endowments today.


Send your Congratulations

Have a message for Tommy Thayer? Leave it below and it will be posted to this page. Comments will be moderated before posting.

Congratulations Tommy! It's been exciting watching you through the years. You're so deserving of this honor.
—Deborah Hein

Congratulations Tommy! There is no one more deserving of this honor. Thank you for the great work you have done over the years for the University and our student-athletes and programs in Boxer Athletics! You have made a tremendous and lasting impact!
—Ken Schumann

Tommy, you have been committed to music, but also equally committed to Pacific University. The work you do motivates others like me to find ways to make a difference. Thank you for sharing a wonderful moment with the rest of the trustees. 
—Manuel Castaneda

Mahalo, Tommy, for all you have done for Pacific. It was a pleasure serving on the Pacific Board of Trustees with you. And please say "hi" to your Dad for me.
—Elly Chong

Tommy, being a third year trustee and having the opportunity to attend the last two Legends events, I am thrilled at your honorary degree from Pacific. Your sacrifice of time and energy has been a great help to many students. We have been blessed with your generosity and commitment to our Pacific family. All I can say is Spaceman, ROCK ON!!
—Cam Perry

Thank you for your leadership at Pacific. It is a pleasure serving with you on the Board of Trustees. You bring the spirit of fellowship and enjoyment to serving on the board and your generosity is inspiring others to stay engaged and active.
—Michael Hudson

As a design contributor to Pacific University's academic experience, I am humbled to learn more, and more of your dedication and contributions to Pacific University over the years. You are an inspiration to the Students, Faculty and the whole Collegiate Community. Your generosity will be felt for years to come, and know that you are appreciated by many. Congratulations on a well-deserved honor!
—Jeremy Rear, Mahlum Architects

Congratulations, Tommy! We celebrate you and thank you for all you have done for Pacific!
—Nancy & Paul

Thank you Tommy for being involved with Pacific University. So many have benefited from your amazing ways of making contributions. I love the ways in with your, and your side kick Dan Dutton's personal involvement have made me and others feel so special. Congratulations on this well deserved recognition!
—Bob Iboshi

Congratulations, Tommy! So happy to meet you in person and read about your accomplishments.
—Cathy Tran

Tommy, you are an extraordinary person who has not only given of yourself to so many worthwhile causes but have also inspired many others to follow suit. As an alum I am so proud that Pacific University is formally recognizing your generosity and dedication. I cannot think of anyone that is more deserving. Thank you for all you do.
—Cindy Schuppert

Your efforts for Pacific University have created amazing opportunities for students in the years to come. I was honored to attend the events for years and see first hand the efforts you put forth to create an experience that people remembered while creating this legacy for Pacific University. Bravo my friend.
—Ryan Snyder

Tommy - Thank you for being a generous soul and a great friend to all of us in the Pacific family!
—Patrick Clark

Thanks, Tommy, for everything. It was such a delight to have you come to my philosophy of art class and speak with the students. What a treat for them and for me! You have been a wonderful friend and ambassador for Pacific.
—Dave Boersema

Tommy - we celebrate the successes you have achieved through your hard work and dedication, and thank you for the many ways in which you have contributed to Pacific University, including the commencement speech you delivered on the occasion of your well deserved honorary doctorate of humane letters, which was truly inspirational. Mahalo for all that you have done for Pacific.
—Jerry Yoshida

Amazing, I first heard of all the amazing ways you contributed to Pacific University in 2019 from my uncle Steve Smith, an English professor and now the [Associate] Dean. I thought that was pretty cool! Now I read more about not just the incredible talents you have but how absolutely amazing you are to have dedicated yourself to such needed as well as appreciated causes. My uncle is very lucky to have had the opportunity to have met such an extraordinary soul! Congratulations on the honorary degree along with all accomplishments with regards to Pacific University. What a great legacy!

Forever a fan of Tommy, Spaceman lover!
—Victoria Trelawney, Salt Lake City, Utah