The Sanchez family, from left: Leroy, Ricardo, Demetrio Jr., and Lorena. Leroy and Demetrio earned their MSW from PSU in 2009. Ricardo and Lorena will receive their MSW degrees this month.
This year’s spring graduating class will not only be the largest in PSU’s history, but the largest ever in the Oregon University System. An estimated 6,165 graduates will receive their degrees at the June 17 commencement – an 11 percent jump from last year. They come from 50 countries and nearly every state in the union, and range in age from 19 to 72.
Among the graduates will be siblings Lorena and Ricardo Sanchez, who will receive their master of social work degrees. When they receive their diplomas, they will be upholding a family tradition of service. Lorena, 25, and Ricardo, 30, are the third and fourth children in their family to earn MSWs at PSU. Their brothers, Demetrio Jr. and Leroy Sanchez, graduated with their MSWs in 2009. Demetrio, 32, now works at OHSU Richmond Clinic. Leroy, 27, works as a counselor at Woodburn High School.
Lorena credits their parents for instilling a strong sense of community in their children. Their mother was an elementary school teacher for more than 25 years and their father was a high school custodian.