Oregon Tech will hold its 38th annual commencement ceremony in Wilsonville at Oregon Tech’s Portland-Metro campus on June 16, 2024. Tawna D. Sanchez, the State Representative of District 43 North and Northeast Portland, will deliver the keynote address as approximately 200 students from the Portland-Metro campus celebrate commencement.

Sanchez is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock, Ute, and Carrizo Tribes and grew up in Portland, Ore. She is a co-founder of the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA), an organization that provides culturally-specific programs and services to assist members with personal success and balance through cultural empowerment. Sanchez helped create NAYA’s Early College Academy; expanded early childhood services, affordable housing development, and elder support; and assisted in building a nationally recognized domestic violence wraparound service model.

Sanchez was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2016 and is co-chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. As a representative with a background in social work, she advocates for the rights of women, Native people, and the most vulnerable.

In 2022, Sanchez helped pass legislation to establish Oregon’s 9-8-8 suicide crisis hotline and secure funding for mobile crisis response. More recently, she helped advance measures through the Joint Committee on Addiction to enhance Oregon's capacity to support individuals struggling with addiction through improved treatment and recovery services.

Sanchez has helped raise 18 foster children, and has served on the Oregon Family Services Review Commission and the Oregon Child Welfare Advisory Committee.

Sanchez has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications from Marylhurst University and a Master of Social Work from Portland State University.

Prior to the Portland-Metro event, Oregon Tech’s Klamath Falls campus will celebrate commencement on June 15, at 10 a.m., with Hoffman Construction Company President and CEO Dave Drinkward serving as the keynote speaker. Oregon Tech’s Seattle campus ceremony will take place June 17 to celebrate program graduates who are employees at Boeing.

For more information about Oregon Tech’s commencement ceremonies, visit www.oit.edu/registrar/graduate/commencement.