Willamette University Commencement 2005

Six exceptional leaders, representing six very diverse backgrounds, will participate in the May 15 commencement celebration at Willamette University in Salem.

Dr. Wangari Maathai
Wangari MaathaiDr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, will be the keynote speaker at the College of Liberal Arts and School of Education commencement ceremony. She will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her extraordinary efforts to repair and reverse the devastating effects of deforestation in Africa. She founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977. The organization, composed primarily of women, has since planted more than 20 million trees to prevent erosion and provide firewood for cooking fires. She has helped launch similar initiatives in several other countries.

She earned her undergraduate degree in biology from Mount St. Scholastica College in Kansas, a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her Ph.D. from the University of Nairobi.

William F. Shultz
William F. SchultzWilliam F. Schultz will serve as baccalaureate speaker for the College of Liberal Arts and will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Recognized for his international and social justice causes, Schultz was appointed executive director of Amnesty International in 1994.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, Schultz holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.

Bob Edwards
Bob EdwardsBob Edwards, journalist and 30-year veteran of National Public Radio, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. A graduate of the University of Louisville and American University, Edwards has earned dozens of awards, including a George Foster Peabody Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Wilma Mankiller
Wilma MankillerWilma Mankiller, the first woman in modern history to lead a major Native American tribe, is a 1998 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. From 1985-99, she served as chief of the Cherokee Nation, the second largest tribe in the United States. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree.

Justice Faith Ireland
Faith IrelandJustice Faith Ireland, who will speak at the College of Law commencement, was elected to the Supreme Court in 1998 after serving 15 years as a judge of the Superior Court. She holds a B.A. from the University of Washington, a master's degree from Golden Gate University and was one of two women in her class at Willamette University School of Law in 1969. She is a founding member of Washington Women Lawyers and former board member of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.

Frank Morse
Frank MorseState Senator Frank Morse, who will speak at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management ceremony, graduated from Oregon State University and Northwest Christian College. He entered the Morse Bros. family business in 1972 and has served as the Albany division manager, vice president of operations, executive vice president, president and chairman. He was elected to the Oregon Senate in 2002.

The College of Liberal Arts will award degrees to 482 undergraduates who represent 31 states. Fifty-seven percent of the Class of 2005 are non-Oregon residents. In keeping with national trends, women students outnumber the men 56 to 44 percent, and the most popular degrees are politics, economics, Spanish, psychology and biology.

The Willamette College of Law will award 141 JD degrees and two LLM degrees to a class that represents 75 undergraduate colleges and universities, 24 states and two foreign countries. The law Class of 2005 is 45 percent women.

The Atkinson Graduate School of Management will award 65 degrees to a class that is 57 percent men and 43 percent women. They represent 12 states and four countries. Thirty-nine percent of the graduates are non-Oregon residents.

The School of Education will award 86 degrees to a class that is 69 percent women and 78 percent Oregon residents.

For a full commencement schedule, go to