Three Degrees, No Separation
Breanne Davis ’16, OT ’19 completed a family hat trick on Aug. 10, when she became the third in a set of triplet sisters to earn a graduate degree from Pacific University.
Breanne earned her doctor of occupational therapy degree during the university’s August Commencement, which celebrated the achievements of more than 300 students in the College of Health Professions.
She was presented her degree by her sister, Carmel Nichol ’16, MSW ’17, who now works in the university’s Office of Graduate Admissions.
Carmel also surprised their third sister, Autumn Davis MBA ’19, by presenting her degree in May.
“Our whole family is a Boxer family,” Carmel said.
Their parents also attended Pacific, with their mom Lea Mourich-Davis '90 studying teaching and their dad Troy Davis '86 attending for a semester before being called back to the family business.
Growing up in neighboring Gaston, Ore., the three women didn’t originally have their sights set on their parents’ alma mater. All three started college out of state, with Autumn in Seattle, Breanne in Hawai‘i and Carmel in Colorado. By their sophomore years, however, all three were looking to come home.
“Some of us changed majors, and our schools didn’t have what we wanted,” Carmel explained. “Then we discovered that everything we wanted was 10 minutes from home.”
"Our whole family is a Boxer family."
Autumn went to the University of Portland, but Breanne and Carmel chose Pacific, studying exercise science and social work, respectively.
“It’s smaller, and the professors really care,” Breanne said. “Here, you’re not a number. People are really invested in your passions and interests.”
After graduating in 2016, Carmel went on to the master of social work program at Pacific’s Eugene Campus, while Breanne entered the occupational therapy program at the Hillsboro Campus. Meanwhile, Autumn took some time off before pursuing her MBA at Pacific. She continues to work in the family business, managing the sales and lease of industrial properties.
Carmel has taken a job recruiting students for graduate programs at Pacific. A perk for employees is the ability to present degrees at Commencement when family members graduate.
“It’s like coming full circle,” she said. ■
This story appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of Pacific magazine. For more stories, visit pacificu.edu/magazine.