OSU-Cascades to graduate 355 students, including inaugural class of Doctor of Physical Therapy program

Student at graduation 2023.
OSU-Cascades will graduate its third largest class in history, including its first class of Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates, on June 16.
June 10, 2024

Oregon State University – Cascades will graduate 355 students at its 23rd Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, June 16.

The class of 2024 includes first cohort to graduate from the Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

It is the third largest class in OSU-Cascades’ 23-year history.

More than 270 students are expected to participate in the ceremony, which will take place at 10 a.m., rain or shine, on the oval green on the OSU-Cascades campus. More than 2,700 family and friends are anticipated. Gates will open at 9 a.m. Tickets are required, and attendees must follow OSU’s clear bag policy.

The 355 graduates will receive 359 degrees, including four students who will receive two degrees.

The commencement address will be given by Kimberly Howard Wade, an arts advocate and executive director of Caldera Arts.

“This graduating class demonstrates how OSU-Cascades is contributing to the workforce in Central Oregon and beyond, including providing 44 new physical therapists ready to support community health and quality of life,” said Sherm Bloomer, chancellor and dean of OSU-Cascades. “It’s also a testament to the academic faculty who have taught and inspired students; and family and friends who have supported them.”

The DPT program was created to address the need for physical therapists across the nation, especially in rural areas, and to help diversify the physical therapy workforce. More than a third of the graduating DPT class identify as students of color and more than 40% report having jobs or job offers.

The class of 2024 also includes the first students to graduate from the economics, engineering science and political science programs, which all launched during the past three years.

Bloomer will preside over the ceremony and OSU Provost Ed Feser will confer degrees to students.

Bloomer will present OSU-Cascades’ Distinguished Service Award to Dana Whitelaw, executive director of the High Desert Museum. The award honors individuals, businesses or organizations who have made exceptional contributions to OSU-Cascades, Central Oregon, Oregon or the world.

Some additional facts and figures about the OSU-Cascades’ class of 2024:

  • Of the 359 degrees awarded, 267 will go to students receiving bachelor’s degrees; 44, master’s degrees; and 44, doctoral degrees.
  • Degrees will be awarded in 25 academic programs.
  • Three students will receive an OSU Honors degree, which requires completion of advanced classes and a thesis.
  • One student has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest academic honor society in the nation.
  • 80% of the graduates are from Oregon, with 48% from Central Oregon.
  • OSU-Cascades’ 2024 graduates represent 23 of Oregon’s 36 counties.
  • Graduates represent 17 other U.S. states and four countries.
  • 25% of graduates identify as students of color.
  • The graduating class includes 62 students who are first in their family to earn a college degree.
  • Seventeen graduates are active-duty military personnel or veterans of the national armed forces.
  • The average age of the graduating class is 27; the oldest is 68 and the youngest is 19.

Including this class, OSU-Cascades will have awarded 5,635 undergraduate and graduate degrees since it was established in 2001.

About OSU-Cascades:  Oregon State University’s campus in Bend brings higher education to Central Oregon, the fastest growing region in the state. Surrounded by mountains, forest and high desert, OSU-Cascades is a highly innovative campus of a top-tier land grant research university, offering small classes that accelerate faculty-student mentoring and experiential learning. Degree programs meet industry and economic needs in areas such as innovation and entrepreneurship, natural ecosystems, health and wellness, and arts and sciences, and prepare students for tomorrow’s challenges. OSU-Cascades is expanding to serve 3,000 to 5,000 students, building a 128-acre campus with net-zero goals.