Young alumni numbers soar
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: November 1, 2007

PORTLAND STATE is Oregon's largest university. That has been true for years now, and the evidence is in the numbers: nearly 25,000 students and more degrees awarded (4,800 in 2007) than at any other university in Oregon. Further evidence is the fact that 27 percent of all alumni graduated from PSU from 2000 to 2007.

In that group of 21st century grads, more than 72 percent are 35 or under, 78 percent live in Oregon, 88 percent live on the West Coast, and nearly 57 percent are female. Over the past few years, the most popular undergraduate degrees are in the fields of business, psychology, and social and physical sciences. The number of international students and graduates also continues to increase at the same rate as the overall student population with the most popular countries of origin being Japan, India, Korea, and China.

The Alumni Association has targeted younger alumni for events, services, and activities during the past few years with good results. Recent grads and younger alumni tend to stay in or near Oregon, have a strong desire to network with their peers, and use their connections to get jobs; career, educational or financial advice; or to socialize.

The Association's new membership program has a "new graduate" annual membership rate of $10 for alumni signing up within 12 months of graduation. According to Membership Coordinator Adam Smith '04, young alumni are taking advantage of the offer.

"We're trying to reach new grads with some services that they can really use, such as first-time home ownership seminars and sessions on how to get into grad school," says Smith. "Last year's young alumni event at Cassidy's brought some people together who hadn't seen each other for awhile, and has resulted in at least one marriage and a job offer or two."

This past year, recent grads also attended a farewell cruise for graduating international students, a reunion of student ambassadors, and another "young alumni" event at Doug Fir, a popular lounge on East Burnside.

To find out more about activities for recent grads and to take a brief survey and make suggestions, go to the PSUAA Web site and look for "young alumni." Check out the Alumni Association's photo gallery on Flickr.

Kieshawn Lewis '03, Michael Doherty, Tygue Howland, and Chantea Watson met atop the Urban Center Building for a May 21 reception celebrating current and graduated Student Ambassadors.
Pei Ling and her daughter, Pao Huang '07, from Taiwan were among more than 100 international graduates enjoying a send-off lunch aboard the Spirit of Portland June 14.
Frank Stiener MS '07, connected with other recent graduates and enjoyed the buffet at Doug Fir Lounge on East Burnside July 12.