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Commencement Day Draws Thousands

On June 17, graduating Portland State University students participated in the Spring Commencement ceremony. An estimated 18,000 friends and family attended the graduation at the Rose Garden Arena.

President Daniel Bernstine presided over the ceremonies. The Master of Ceremonies was Provost, Mary Kathryn Tetreault. Congressman Earl Blumenauer of the Third Congressional District of Oregon delievered the congressional welcome.

Geraldine Richmond, a representative of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, and Pamela Miller, the president of the Portland State University Alumni Association, presented graduation greetings.

Jesse Cornett and Barbara Reynolds, both gradutaing students, were chosen to speak at the ceremony. Paul DeMuniz, a 1972 PSU graduate and Oregon Supreme Court Justice, gave the commencement address.

The commencement ceremony was scheduled to last around two hours. However, the actual ceremony lasted three hours.

Trevor Edelblute, the graduation coordinator, said that he was impressed with the students��� patience and their enthusiasm at the end of the ceremony.

Over 2,000 students graduated as PSU’s spring classs of 2001, and more than one third of the graduates boasted a 3.5 G.P.A. or higher. The graduating class consisted of 66 percent female students and 34 percent male students.

Many students passed the time in a variety of ways. Some graduates used cellular phones and walkie-talkies to communicate with friends and family in the audience. Other students passed around a beach ball.

Entertainment was also provided by a bird trapped inside the Rose Garden. The bird would fly from graduate cap to graduate cap, which many of the graduates had decorated with a variety of mementos from tiaras to model buildings. The bird was right at home perched upon a replica of the Portland Building.

According to Edelblute, more students showed up for graduation than anticipated.

Edelblute said Portland State University is one of the only institutions that read the name of each graduating student. He added that it is no small feat considering Portland State University is the largest educational institution in Oregon.

“Our students deserve that respect and recognition,���� Edelblute said.

Upon arrival into the Rose Garden floor, over 30 graduates were momentarily left without chairs. However, the graduation volunteers quickly rectified the situation.

Edelblute attributes the success of graduation to all of the volunteers from both the Rose Garden and PSU.

���You can���t have a successful commencement without volunteers,���� Edelblute said.

One student had an epileptic seizure during the procession into the Rose Garden Arena.

At the beginning of commencement, the parents of the student were called to meet her. The student���s parents and her faculty advisor escorted her to the hospital. She is doing well and will walk in the summer graduation ceremony.

Professional videos of graduation are available for $20 and can be purchased in the office of degree requirements in Neuberger Hall 104.

Diplomas will be ready this fall; students will recieve a letter to tell them when and where to pick up diplomas. The office of degree requirements has authorization forms that will allow your diploma to be mailed.