OSU-Cascades Campus Set to Present its 1,000th Degree


BEND, Ore. – The state’s first branch campus will present its 1,000th degree on June 16 when the OSU-Cascades Campus holds its sixth commencement ceremony at Drake Park in Bend. The event begins at 2 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Campus officials also will present the first OSU master’s degrees awarded through the branch campus, to students earning a master of arts in teaching or a master of science in counseling.

Jay Casbon, the campus executive officer for OSU-Cascades who is retiring June 30, said the 1,000th degree milestone reflects the steady growth of the branch campus of Oregon State University.

“Student interest in the OSU-Cascades Campus continues to grow as our program offerings expand and we add additional talented, energetic faculty members,” Casbon said. “These graduates are pioneers who have helped chart a bright future for our institution.”

The commencement speaker will be Ellen Waterston, an award-winning author and playwright from Central Oregon who helped launch Bend Living. She is the founder and president of The Writing Ranch, which supports emerging writers through seminars and retreats, and she is the founder and director of Bend’s annual literary celebration, “The Nature of Words.”

Her writing, which includes poems, essays, children’s books, short stories and memoirs, has been published in a variety of books and magazines.

Some 190 students – 150 from Oregon State and 40 from the University of Oregon – are expected to earn degrees from OSU-Cascades this year, with more than 120 scheduled to go through the commencement ceremony.

It is the largest graduating class for the branch campus, an upward trend that will continue, according to Sabah Randhawa, OSU provost and executive vice president.

“The OSU-Cascades Campus has done an exceptional job in providing education to Central Oregon despite the constrained resources that have been available to start the new campus,” Randhawa said. “I am optimistic that the current legislative cycle will provide additional resources to OSU-Cascades that will enable us to build targeted program and faculty capacity to increase access to higher education in the region.”

Each program at the OSU-Cascades Campus has nominated a distinguished student, who will be honored during the ceremony. The distinguished students, and their programs, include:

  • Tresa Burnett, OSU Art;
  • Chelsea Simpson, OSU Business;
  • Rebecca McCowan, OSU Counseling;
  • Joshua Alan Hayden, OSU Education;
  • Marie Broome, OSU Human Development and Family Sciences;
  • Michele DeSilva, OSU Liberal Studies/Humanities;
  • Tabatha Heater, OSU Liberal Studies/Social Science;
  • Pualani Helmbrecht, OSU Natural Resources;
  • Jenna Lindbo, OSU Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Tourism;
  • Joel Lanford, UO General Science;
  • Adam Carter, UO General Social Science;
  • Jason Perry, UO Mathematics;
  • Joyce Picard, UO Psychology.

In case of rain, the ceremony may be moved to Mazama Gym at Central Oregon Community College. A decision will be made 24 hours in advance.

More information on the OSU-Cascades graduation ceremony is available online at: http://www.osucascades.edu/about/commencement/