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Commencement 2011

Class of 2011 Factoids

  • The university is awarding approximately 3,825 bachelor's, 1,735 master's, and 60 PhD degrees
  • Graduates come from 51 different countries (Saudia Arabia and India are at the top) and 49 different U.S. states (Washington and California lead the pack) plus the District of Columbia
  • Top bachelor's degrees: social science, psychology, liberal studies
  • Top master's degrees: social work, education, business administration
  • The youngest graduate (receiving a bachelor's) is 19 years old; the oldest (also receiving a bachelor's) is 79
  • 56 percent of bachelor's graduates, 60 percent of master's graduates and 50 percent of PhD graduates are female

Photos & Recap

An estimated 20,000 people took seats in the Rose Quarter Arena to watch the largest class ever graduate from Portland State University at the spring commencement ceremony on Sunday.

"You are as young as 19 and as young as 79," said Wim Wiewel, president of PSU. "Your bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees reflect the breadth and depth of the more than 200 degree programs at Portland State."

PSU awarded approximately 5,920 degrees, including 3,825 bachelor's degrees, 1,735 master's degrees and 60 doctoral degrees. The undergraduate graduating class has more than doubled since 1993-94, when 1,750 bachelor's degrees were awarded.

Scott Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of UPS, one of the world's largest publicly-traded logistics companies, reminded students that although they were graduating, class was just beginning.

"You will be tested many, many times," said Davis. "Can you get up when you're knocked down? Can you open your mind? Can you expand your horizons? The decisions you make and the actions you take will determine whether you pass or fail."

A native of Oregon, Davis is a PSU alum who earned a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1974. He had four lessons to impart on the graduates.

"Develop a beginners mind. Embrace mistakes. Trust your gut. Broaden your horizons. And above all else, don't listen to the naysayers in life. They are like a wet blanket smothering your dreams."

Congratulations, you're a graduate—and automatically a member of the PSU Alumni Association, an excellent source for networking, discounts and staying connected.


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