2024 Commencement Speaker

Kimberly Howard Wade

Kimberly Howard Wade, an arts leader and advocate, and executive director of Caldera Arts, will give the commencement address at Oregon State University – Cascades' 23rd Commencement Ceremony.

Caldera supports youth from underserved rural and urban communities, including through an immersive and intercultural creative summer experience at its arts center in Sisters.

Prior to joining Caldera, Kimberly worked with Portland General Electric’s community impact team, where she provided leadership, project management and community engagement strategies for education and workforce development. Among her accomplishments was PGE Project Zero, a social impact initiative she co-designed to empower future generations to create cleaner, greener and more equitable communities.

Kimberly has also served as trust manager for the Oregon Cultural Trust, managing director for Portland’s Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, and led education and outreach for the Artists Repertory Theatre.

Her volunteer service has included roles on the Oregon State Board of Education, as president of the board of the Portland Playhouse, and as the state representative on the Western States Arts Federation's Regional Multicultural Advisory Committee.  

An accomplished actress, Kimberly’s credits include performances in New York, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and in Portland theaters.

After attending Wellesley College, Howard Wade received a bachelor’s degree from Pacific Union College in political economic history. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in acting from Columbia University and has taught theater at Walla Walla University.