PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

University to give honorary degrees

Portland State University will award five honorary degrees at this year’s commencement ceremony.

The five people being awarded the doctorate of humane letters degree are State Senator Lenn Hannon R-Ore., Joan C. Johnson, Takehiko Kawase, Takayasu Okushima and George Passadore.

Hannon, Johnson, Kawase and Passadore will all attend the Rose Garden commencement ceremony on June 16 to receive their degrees. Okushima will not be able to travel from Japan to accept the honor in person.

The attending recipients will be honored at a dinner on the eve of graduation.

Since 1974, Hannon’s served in the Oregon State Senate. Hannon played a big part in reforming the Oregon University System funding model. That transformation resulted in the largest increase in higher education funding in over 30 years.

In addition to many other interests, Johnson has also been an advocate of education issues. Johnson’s involvement with Portland State University includes leading the PSU Advocates Committee in lobbying for greater legislative support for higher education – and Portland State in particular.

Kawase is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Waseda University in Japan. Kawase is an accomplished author and teaches many graduate and undergraduate courses. His work in administration includes serving as dean of the Center for International Education and as executive director of the International Center at Waseda.

Passadore is president of Wells Fargo in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Passadore serves as chair of the Portland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and is the president of Tri-Met’s board of directors. He also serves on the boards of the Portland branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Oregon Business Council, Portland Art Museum, Associated Oregon Industries, and Holt International Children’s Services.

The recipients of the honorary degrees will receive the honor during the graduation ceremony. There will be an estimated 1,800 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree recipients at the ceremony. However, over 3,000 students are expected to earn degrees from Portland State University this spring.