Soon-to-be OSU graduates look towards future as commencement approaches

OSU senior Lily Noling poses in front of the Oregon State sign in her regalia attire on May 26. Noling will be graduating June 11 with a Bachelor of Science in the College of Business, majoring in marketing.

Kimberly Clairmont, News Contributor

With Oregon State University’s Commencement taking place in-person again this year, students voice their appreciation for the years they spent gaining valuable experience in college.

Soon-to-be graduated students will attend the Commencement ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m. on June 11 at Reser Stadium on the Corvallis, Ore. campus, despite the fact that the stadium is currently undergoing construction. The gates will open to all friends and family at 9 a.m. This is the first time since the 2019 Comm-encement that the ceremony will take place in person at OSU. 

For most students in this year’s graduating class, they took a year and a half of in-person classes at OSU before being transferred to about a year and a half of online Zoom classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The class of 2022 then returned to in-person classes at OSU for their final year in college. 

“I think the thing I am most proud of from the last four years is how hard I have persevered,” said Sophie Caldwell, an OSU student studying agricultural sciences and graduating in June. 

Caldwell said she is proud she is graduating within four years and feels she has gained a great deal of confidence in the person she has become.

At 9 a.m. on June 11, undergraduates will initially report to the Memorial Union Quad while graduate students should report to the Valley Library clock tower. 

At 9:45 a.m., the processional will begin and enter Reser Stadium at about 10:30 a.m. The Commencement ceremony will begin at about 11:10 a.m. and should conclude at about 1:30 p.m.

Despite the recent construction project being undertaken at Reser, everyone celebrating the accomplishments of their OSU graduating students will convene for the special celebration. 

“I absolutely think the last four years were worth my degree,” Caldwell said. “I put in a lot of hard work… A bachelor’s of agricultural sciences is very versatile and highly employable. I am excited to start work in the field.”

Caldwell said she’ll miss having time set aside for herself and opportunities to grow and said her time spent at OSU was very intentional.

“The most important thing college has taught me is the importance of continuing education,” Caldwell said. 

More information regarding OSU’s commencement will be released as the event draws nearer but, according to the Commencement ceremony website, seating at Reser Stadium will be outdoors and first-come, first-serve, meaning no tickets will be required. The event will also happen regardless of rain or shine. Umbrellas will not be not permitted at the ceremony but sun visors and sunscreen or ponchos are recommended.

At OSU-Cascades in Bend, Ore., according to Nathan Moses, associate director of University Events and Community Engagement, each graduating student of OSU-Cascades will receive six tickets initially for friends and family members to attend the ceremony but will have the opportunity to pick up more tickets during finals week. 

OSU-Cascades’ commencement ceremony will take place on June 12 at the recently constructed outdoor Oval Green in Bend instead of the Les Schwab Amphitheater, where the OSU-Casades commencement is normally held.

“One of the great things about the amphitheater is it can literally hold thousands and thousands of people, but we don’t have that ability at the Oval Green,” Moses said. “As we get closer to the event, we expect students will need more tickets.”

Another soon-to-be OSU graduate, Ben Moore, said, looking back on the last four years, he’s most proud of how much he learned to put himself out there. 

“I’m not an extroverted person at all and coming to a college where I knew absolutely nobody and had to start completely from scratch was terrifying,” Moore said. “That little internal push helped me make friends that I know I’ll have for life, have experiences that I absolutely wouldn’t have had if I’d done what felt easy or natural, and gain confidence that I know is going to serve me well in all aspects of
my future.”

According to Moore, he’s had a great time at OSU and made amazing memories, but he is ready to move on to the next chapter of his life.

“Currently the plan is to move out to Boulder, Colo., and spend time living with my brother while I get some last-minute work and volunteering in before I apply for physical therapy schools this winter,” Moore said. 

Rachel Maggio said, as graduation approaches, she has found she’s most proud of her ability over the last four years to bounce back. 

“The most important lesson I learned was—this is going to sound so cheesy but I mean it—never to give up,” Maggio said. “After what happened to me as a junior and having to take a two-year medical leave, I felt really beaten down and like I didn’t have any fight left in me, but I met some people and professors who really helped me find it again and get back to fighting for what I thought was right.”

Post-grad, Maggio said she is headed to grad school to pursue two master’s degrees, one in children’s literature and one in library and information sciences.

“I think college was worth it,” Maggio said. “But I wish I had made a more informed decision and I wish I knew what I was going to be getting myself into. If I could do it over again, I would do it very differently.”