Over 900 graduates to participate in 2017 University of Portland Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 7  


May 1, 2017

Celia Hammond, the first female president of the University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA), will address the 2017 University of Portland Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 7 at the Earle A. and Virginia H. Chiles Center on the University campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd..

To accommodate the 922 graduates and their family members, there will be two Commencement ceremonies. Commencement I begins at 10:00 a.m. and is held for undergraduate and graduate students of the Pamplin School of Business, the Shiley School of Engineering, and the School of Nursing. Commencement II starts at 3:00 p.m. and is for all graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education.

Family and friends of graduates, alumni, benefactors, and the community are all welcome to watch the graduation ceremony. For information on tickets and parking, please visit the Commencement page on the University’s website, www.up.edu/commencement.

Video of the commencement exercises will be streamed live online at https://www1.up.edu/commencement/live-stream.html.

University president Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C. will confer an anticipated 780 bachelor’s degrees on Sunday. Poorman will confer 142 master’s degrees during the two commencement programs.

Celia Hammond, L.L.M.
Celia Hammond, the speaker for both ceremonies and an honorary doctorate recipient, was appointed to president of University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) in 2008, becoming its vice chancellor at the age of 39. The school, established in 1989 as the first Catholic university in Australia, now has 11,000 students at three campuses. One of her many achievements was the opening of the Institute for Ethics and Society in 2009, one of the university’s three national research institutes. In addition to research, it provides leadership in ethics education across the university, with a focus on applied and professional ethics, ethics education, bioethics, religion and global affairs, and indigenous research and ethics. Hammond is known as a passionate advocate of Catholic higher education who strives to create a culture and community conducive to the development of the whole person. Before becoming vice chancellor, Hammond served as the deputy vice chancellor and oversaw the university’s law school in Fremantle. She also served as UNDA’s general counsel, executive director of the vice chancellery, and assistant provost. Prior to UNDA, Hammond worked as a legal practitioner in Western Australia and taught law at other Australian universities after earning her law degree in 1991 from the University of Western Australia.

Christus Magister Medal
Receiving the University’s highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal, is Sr. Charlene Herinckx, S.S.M.O. Sr. Herinckx was elected Superior General of the Sisters of Saint Mary of Oregon (S.S.M.O.) in 2010 and was re-elected in 2015. The S.S.M.O., which are the only religious community to be founded in Oregon, officially opened their convent in 1886, and in 1889, they opened an orphanage. Since that time, the sisters have been deeply committed to serving others, especially through education and health care. Through the years, the order founded St. Mary’s Home for Boys, St. Mary’s Institute, St. Mary of the Valley boarding school, St. Mary of the Valley High School (now known as Valley Catholic), and Maryville Nursing Home. Sr. Herinckx was raised in Roy, Oregon, a small community near the Tualatin Valley, where the Sisters of Saint Mary began teaching in 1912. The sisters taught her parents, siblings, and extended family, playing a vital role in her faith development. She entered the convent as a candidate in 1966 and professed perpetual vows in 1974. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marylhurst University, Sr. Charlene earned a master’s degree in education at the University of Portland and a second master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. A teacher and principal at schools across the Portland metro region, she also served on the National Religious Vocation Conference Board.

Honorary Doctorate Recipients
Also receiving honorary doctorates will be Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, a distinguished military officer and private-sector business leader; Fr. George Bernard, C.S.C., a Holy Cross priest, professor, and administrator; Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist; Brian Doyle, novelist, essayist, poet, and editor of Portland magazine; and Rafer Owens, a pastor, deputy sheriff, and founder of the Compton Initiative.

Lt. Gen. Atkins and Brian Doyle will receive their honorary doctorates at the 10:00 a.m. Commencement ceremony. Fr. Bernard and Rafer Owens will receive their honorary doctorates at the 2:00 p.m. Commencement ceremony. Anthony Doerr received his honorary doctorate during a visit to the campus in February.

For more information on the Commencement ceremonies, tickets, parking, and biographies of the speakers and honorary doctorate recipients, visit https://www1.up.edu/commencement/.


University of Portland
5000 N. Willamette Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97203-5798