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Graduates’ personal journeys, community service a highlight of Oregon Tech - Wilsonville’s Class of 2015 Ceremony

Jun 15, 2015
The graduates at the polytechnic’s Portland-metro campus include 247 individuals – inclusive of those who have completed degree requirements last Summer and Fall, Winter and Spring Terms this academic year; and additional students who are completing requirements this Summer.
The Oregon Institute of Technology - Wilsonville (Oregon Tech) Class of 2015 proudly moved their graduation tassels to the left on Sunday as President Chris Maples concluded the 29th annual commencement ceremony on campus grounds. The graduates at the polytechnic’s Portland-metro campus include 247 individuals – inclusive of those who have completed degree requirements last Summer and Fall, Winter and Spring Terms this academic year; and additional students who are completing requirements this Summer. Combined with its Klamath Falls campus and other centers, Oregon Tech awarded degrees to a total of 711 graduates in the Class of 2015.
 
This year’s featured speaker at the Wilsonville ceremony was Dr. Lisa Graham, CEO of Black Canyon Woodworks, Chief Scientist at PARADIGMisr/n-link, Chair of the Oregon Tech Board of Trustees, and a member of the State Board of Higher Education. In addressing the graduates, Dr. Graham said, “I believe that we have two challenges that we all need to continually work on. The first is to embrace failure so that we might reap the rewards of successes that we can’t even begin to dream about here today.  The second challenge is to give that gift of helping others realize their full potential. While I am not a graduate of Oregon Tech, I am extremely proud to be part of this university, because it is the kind of school that enables the continued successes you will enjoy in your life.”
 
The graduating student speaker, Taylor Redding, shared his personal story and the sometimes circuitous path that he took to get to graduation day, and concluded with, “My final message is simple. Be grateful. Dream big. The only limit to your ability is your imagination. The only person stopping you in life is you, so get out of your own way and let’s go show the world what we can do!”

Oregon Tech President Chris Maples led the event with the support of Dr. Mateo Aboy, Associate Provost and Vice President of Research; and Dr. Erin Foley, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
 
“Oregon Tech’s growing recognition as a high-quality polytechnic university is a direct result of our talented and focused students, our committed faculty and staff, and our relevant, hands-on degree programs that are meeting market needs,” said Dr. Maples. “I’m so proud of the 2015 graduates. Their expertise and focus will serve them well throughout their careers as they make positive impacts locally, nationally, and globally.”
 
Tom Sanchez, Class of 1992, who earned his degree in Medical Imaging Technology from Oregon Tech, provided the greeting to the graduates on behalf of the Alumni Association.

During this event, Oregon Tech honored emeritus administration member Linda “Abbie” Allen, who has served Oregon Tech since 1990 and is retiring at the end of June. During her time at the university, Ms. Allen served as an adjunct instructor in Communication, Admissions Counselor, Student Support Specialist, and was engaged in countless activities that helped students succeed. 
 
Numerous academic accolades, volunteer experience, and campus engagement were listed among the many accomplishments for the 2015 student award winners who were recognized at the ceremony. Student awardees included:
  • Outstanding Community Service Award – Laura Polk
  • Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award – Michelle Kantor 
  • Outstanding Student Involvement Award – Alyssa Deardorff (undergraduate) and Paulo Santos Vasconcelos (graduate student)
  • Student Achievement Award – Jessica Jones
  • Outstanding Scholars Award (one student in each degree area) – Jonathan Waldrip, Electrical Engineering; Ashley Wilcox, Electronics Engineering Technology; JoAnn Knowles, Information Technology; Jessica Jones, Mechanical Engineering Technology; Richard Garrison, Operations Management; Taylor Redding, Renewable Energy Engineering; Christian Soto, Software Engineering Technology; and Jake Taylor, Technology and Management.
Additionally, Oregon Tech awarded the Outstanding Government Partner Award to the City of Wilsonville, which has embraced and supported the Oregon Tech community throughout the years.
 
The Class of 2015 has a great future ahead of them with nearly 90 percent of Oregon Tech graduates employed or in highly competitive graduate or professional programs within six months of graduation; and average starting salaries of $54,000.  
 
Congratulations Oregon Institute of Technology Class of 2015!
 
 
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the only public institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
 
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