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Graduating class shatters record

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.

PSU Commencement Website:

SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE live on Sunday on PSU’s Facebook page, on Twitter at #2012PdxGrad or post your photos on Flickr.


  • The University will award approximately 4,400 bachelor's, 1,700 master's, and 65 Ph.D. degrees.

  • Top bachelor's degrees: social science, psychology, health studies.

  • Top master's degrees: education, social work, business administration.

  • Out of state students come primarily from Washington and California. The top three countries for international students are Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and India.

  • 55 percent of bachelor's graduates, 60 percent of master's graduates and 59 percent of PhD graduates are female.


Commencement ceremonies will be webcast live on as well as broadcast on OPB Plus from 2 to 5 p.m. (Comcast ch. 310, Verizon ch. 470). It will be rebroadcasted Sunday, June 24, from noon to 3 p.m. (Comcast and Verizon ch.10).