2020 Commencement Speakers

On June 13, 2020, Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” will embark on a new adventure as the university holds its 72nd commencement ceremony—virtually. Joining the historic ceremony are Oregon leaders Senator Jeff Merkley and Oregon Health & Science University president, Dr. Danny Jacobs, who will serve as keynote speakers. Representing the Class of 2020, seniors Clark “CJ” Anderson and Nashmy Luna will speak on behalf of the College of Engineering, Technology and Management, and the College of Health, Arts and Sciences, respectively.

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley has been serving Oregon in Congress since 2009. Born in the timber town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Senator Merkley is the son of a millwright and the first in his family to attend college. He earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford and graduate degree in Public Policy at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In 1991, he returned to Oregon to lead Portland's Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit that empowers low-income families through homeownership. He went on to serve as president of the World Affairs Council in Portland before entering the Oregon House of Representatives in 1998. From 2007 to 2009, he was Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives. His goals for Oregon include fighting to create good jobs for working Oregonians, protecting consumers from predatory practices, and ensuring that all Oregonians have access to high-quality, affordable education.

Since 2018, Danny Jacobs, MD, has served as the fifth president of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of all Oregonians and advance research and education innovation in service to the state and the nation. Dr. Jacobs grew up in Arkansas and received his undergraduate degree from Harvard, a medical degree from Washington University–St. Louis and completed residency and chief residency in general surgery and research fellowship training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also earned a master’s of public health from Harvard. Dr. Jacobs engages in a wide range of national and regional healthcare, research and education initiatives while serving as a member of the Association of Academic Health Center’s President’s Council on Cybersecurity, the Oregon Council of Presidents, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, Science and Technology Experts Group.

Originally from Tigard, Clark “CJ” Anderson has been pursuing his degree at Oregon Tech for five years, but has been involved in the institution for eight years, ever since his wife began working in the Admissions office in 2012. He has supported and helped her with recruitment events and later began volunteering at other activities when she moved to a position in Campus Life. His involvement has included almost every Music Garden, panels at Preview days, registration event tours, and serving on committees including the Commission on College Teaching and the Sexual Misconduct Commission. Also helping as a student worker, CJ’s most recent position was in the Office of International Student Services, allowing him to come in contact with a diverse and valued community of students he may not have met in his courses.

Graduating from Electrical Engineering in Klamath Falls, CJ has already secured employment with Intel, where his wife and three-year-old daughter will join him in Hillsboro.

A first-generation college student from Newberg, Nashmy Luna began at Oregon Tech in 2014. Originally interested in Medical Imaging Technology and Medical Laboratory Science, after a year off in between the two she decided that Psychology best fit her areas of interest. Her early involvement at the university included serving as communications officer with ASOIT Portland-Metro, working as a student ambassador and aiding the Resource Budget Commission as a student representative. During her last year with Oregon Tech, she was vice president of ASOIT Portland-Metro, president of the Psychology Club, once again a student ambassador, and she expanded her committee involvement to serving on the Commission on College Teaching and Tuition Recommendation Committee.

After graduating from Portland-Metro with a degree in Applied Psychology, Nashmy will pursue a job in student services and a career in higher education.

As the University continues to adapt to the pandemic COVID-19, a virtual commencement ceremony was announced in April as a way to honor graduates at a time when large gatherings are not permitted within Oregon. Whereas Oregon Tech typically holds separate celebrations in June for graduating classes from Klamath Falls, Portland-Metro, Seattle and Salem campuses and teaching sites, this year will combine all campus ceremonies and instead separate the broadcasts into a ceremony for the College of Engineering, Technology and Management, and a ceremony for the College of Health, Arts and Sciences. Each ceremony will be presented through YouTube on Saturday, June 13 beginning at 9:50 a.m.

More information about the university’s commencement ceremonies, visit www.oit.edu/registrar/graduate/commencement.