President Rick Bailey at SOU Commencement Ceremony

SOU’s 97th Commencement Ceremony

(Ashland, Ore.) — More than 1,300 degrees were conferred when Southern Oregon University celebrated its 97th Commencement Ceremony at Raider Stadium on Saturday, June 17. The ceremony was also livestreamed on Rogue Valley Community Television.

This year’s SOU Commencement featured three student speakers – graduating seniors Morgan Ulu of American Samoa, Aiki Deguchi of Japan and Blake Jordan, who came to SOU by way of Clovis Community College in California, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and Fresno City College. Each spoke about the insights they have gained during their academic journeys.

SOU President Rick Bailey addressed this year’s graduates and the Commencement audience, and Susan Walsh, the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, presided over the ceremony. Recipients of SOU’s 2023 student and faculty awards, and retiring faculty members, were also recognized before graduates were introduced one at a time to receive their diploma covers from President Bailey.

A new SOU tradition – the 2nd annual Commencement Street Fair – was held following the ceremony, south of the stadium near the Lithia Motors Pavilion. It featured global cuisine stations and a beer garden for those over 21.