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Portland State to Award Record Number of Degrees at Spring Commencement, June 11
Author: David Santen, Office of Marketing and Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: June 8, 2005

This Saturday, June 11, Portland State University will confer its largest number of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees ever. Included in this year’s graduating class are Miss America 2002 Katie Harman Ebner, PSU President Daniel Bernstine’s son Justin Bernstine, and Susie Petrie, daughter of former NBA Portland Trail Blazer Geoff Petrie.

Portland State will award a total of 4,530 degrees for the 2004–05 academic year, including 55 doctoral degrees (the previous high was 39 awarded in 1993), 1,500 master’s degrees and 2,975 bachelor’s degrees. This marks a tenth-consecutive year of growth in the University’s graduating class.

Portland State University’s spring commencement ceremonies will take place on Saturday, June 11, at 3 p.m. in Portland’s Rose Garden Arena. Nearly 1,800 grads will be on hand to receive degrees, with 14,000 friends and family in attendance. Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer has accepted the University’s invitation to deliver the spring 2005 commencement address. He will also receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Portland State.

The 2005 graduating class joins 100,000 Portland State University alumni, including the 75,000 living in the Portland metro region. This year’s graduates represent 130 towns and cities in Oregon, 44 states and the District of Columbia throughout the U.S., and 43 countries from around the world. The youngest graduate is 18, and the oldest is 70. Women represent 59 percent of this year’s grads. The top undergraduate majors are Social Science, Psychology, Science, Speech Communications, and Arts and Letters.

Doors to the 2005 graduation ceremony open at 2 p.m.; the processional begins at 3 p.m. The event is ticketed and members of the general public without tickets will not be permitted entrance. Tickets are free and have been distributed to members of the graduating class. Students and families needing additional information should visit

For Media:

 Members of the media planning on attending should contact Erin Malecha Arias at 503-725-8794 or at 503-327-4250. Media should enter through the loading dock doors located on the north side of the Rose Garden Arena. The media section will be located in Section 112, and will be marked. Media should plan to arrive at the loading dock doors no later than 2:45 p.m. and must have proper credentials to enter the arena.

Portland State University’s spring commencement will be broadcast live on Oregon Public Broadcasting television, beginning at 3 p.m., and will be hosted by Stephanie Stricklen, newscaster from KGW 8 (NBC) and Gwyneth Gamble Booth, chair of the PGE Foundation’s Board of Directors.

About Neal Keny-Guyer
Keny-Guyer joined Mercy Corps in 1994 as CEO. During his leadership, Portland-based Mercy Corps has emerged as a leading international relief and development agency, with programs today in more than 35 countries, over 2,000 staff and an annual operating budget of nearly $200 million. A native of Tennessee, Keny-Guyer earned his B.A. in public policy and religion from Duke University and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale.

Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided over $1 billion in assistance to people in 80 nations. Mercy Corps is assisting over 250,000 people in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia left homeless and injured by the powerful tsunami through projects that address emergency needs and lay the foundation for longer-term recovery. More than 91 percent of the agency's resources are allocated to programs that directly assist those in need.

About Portland State University
Portland State University, Oregon's only urban university, is the largest and most diverse in the state system. The University's position in Oregon's economic and cultural center allows for deep community engagement and the creation of partnerships with hundreds of organizations throughout the region—partnerships that give PSU students valuable learning opportunities as they solve real-world problems of business and community. Portland State offers more than 100 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees, as well as graduate certificates and continuing education programs. PSU serves more students and confers more master's degrees annually than any other Oregon university.

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Source: Office of Institutional Research and Planning, Portland State University

For Immediate Release (#05-087)