We the faculty of Eastern Oregon University want to thank Governor Kate Brown for taking the time to speak at EOU’s 2016 commencement. This will be the first time a sitting governor has attended Eastern’s graduation and we are honored that you will be part of our students’ celebration.

One of the people sharing the podium with you will be the recipient of this year’s Presidential Scholar Award, Cassie Jeffries. Cassie is a double major in History and Anthropology/Sociology whose research at Eastern has earned her numerous accolades. She plans to go on to graduate school in historical archaeology.

Cassie’s award places her in distinguished company. Over the past sixteen years, an array of Eastern students—from Lostine to the Marianas Islands, from La Grande to Zimbabwe—have been recipients of the Presidential Scholar Award. We know, in most cases firsthand, how well their experiences at EOU have served them in their interesting and upward professional trajectories. We are proud of all of our graduates, and those newly minted will soon be pursuing paths nurtured by dreams and paved by sustained effort and determination.

As you may be aware, Eastern has faced and overcome many difficult challenges in recent history. Throughout this period we have weathered substantial cuts in faculty numbers and lost some academic programs. In fact some of our Presidential Scholars graduated from programs that are no longer offered. The joy of watching students graduate has been weighed against the sadness of losing cherished colleagues in these programs.

Yet the same force that embodies our students’ spirit has remained constant throughout the many changes and leadership transitions: faculty’s collective and unwavering commitment to train the region’s next generation of thinkers and leaders, and through determined effort continue to provide the opportunities for students that change lives.

Our impressive list of Presidential Scholars is testament to EOU’s kept promise and its future potential. We look forward to a productive collaboration between the Board of Trustees, Oregon State Legislature, EOU Administration, the Governor’s Office and the State Higher Education Coordinating Commission that sustains this institution’s commitment and capacity to serve Eastern Oregon and beyond with principle, transparency, mutual respect and thoughtful vision for at least another 87 years.

Signed by 65 faculty members of Eastern Oregon University. The address by Governor Kate Brown is June 11 at 10 a.m. in Quinn Coliseum in La Grande.

Recent Presidential Scholars and their most recent accomplishments:

▫ 2016 Cassie Jeffries (B.S. HIST, Anth-Soc). Will attend graduate school in Historical Archaeology.

▫ 2015 Camilla Claycomb (B. A. HIST, ENG). Currently financial aid counselor at EOU.

▫ 2014 Sheryln Roberts (B.S. Anthropology-Sociology). Currently C.A.R.E. Coordinator for rural K-12 school districts in Union County.

▫ 2013 Timmy Brown (BS Mathematics and Computer Science, BA English). Earned a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education from PSU, and is currently teaching at the University of Portland.

▫ 2012 Nathan I. Smutz (BS Computer Science-Multimedia). Currently an analyst programmer at EOU.

▫ 2011 Rellani B. Ogumoro (BA Anth/Soc—Gender Studies). Program Analyst at U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs.

▫ 2010 Tanner J. Denne (Music and Anth-Soc). Serving in Peace Corps Morocco.

▫ 2009 Hieu Trung Do (BS Mathematics) Completing a Ph.D. in Mathematics at OSU.

▫ 2008 Elisha D. Adkins (BS Biology) Completed a DVM at OSU and currently runs Mid-Columbia Pet Emergency Services in Walla Walla.

▫ 2007 Story Miller (BS Geology). K-12 science teacher in Italy.

▫ 2006 Anna Louise Bacon (BA in PPE, BS Bus Admin) Works on social justice, food, and food politics from Spokane.

▫ 2005 Deirdre Kambasha (BS CSMM, BA Bus Admin) Earned an MBA from Loyola Marymount and is currently a management consultant with Intact, Alberta, Canada.

▫ 2004 Jayne-Leigh Thomas (BS Anthropology-Sociology). Earned her Masters Degree and subsequently a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh; currently Director of Indiana University’s NIAGPRA Program (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act).

▫ 2003 David Terry (BS BusAdmin, Accounting) Director of Internal Audits at PSU.

2002 Ramirose Attenbury (BA History) Reference Librarian at the University

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