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Pacific graduates 2,000 pharmacists, teachers and more

May 10, 2016

A graduating class of new attorneys, pharmacists, dentists, engineers, computer scientists, music teachers and more will be celebrated over the next month as University of the Pacific confers 2,011 degrees at four commencement ceremonies in three cities.

"I am extremely proud of this outstanding class of Pacific graduates, a pride shared by our dedicated faculty," said Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. "These students have worked hard and truly are prepared for success in their lives and careers."

The largest commencement ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14, at the Alex G. Spanos Center on the Stockton Campus, with diploma and hooding ceremonies throughout the day. Additional ceremonies are listed below.

For members of the Class of 2016, the college experience has gone beyond classrooms and textbooks. In the past four years, students had the chance to hear former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor speak on campus. They also helped celebrate the university's return to the West Coast Conference and a transformative gift from the estate of the late Robert and Jeannette Powell - $125 million, the largest in the university's history. Most recently, they helped plan the first U.S. Senate debate among leading candidates for retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer's seat.

They also built and launched a satellite into space, organized health clinics for underserved populations, and crafted and lobbied four new state laws.

Acclaimed author Kate Moses, a 1984 graduate of the College of the Pacific and a founding editor of Salon, will be the featured speaker at Pacific's 159th commencement ceremony. Her internationally acclaimed book, "Wintering: A Novel of Sylvia Plath," has been published in 17 languages and earned her the 2003 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman and 2005 Prix des Lectrices de Elle for best first novel published in France. Her book "Cakewalk, a Memoir" was chosen by NPR as one of their favorite memoirs of the year and was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. She is now an assistant professor at the State University of New York Plattsburgh, where she teaches creative writing.

Davin Kaing of San Lorenzo, the student speaker, immigrated to the United States from Cambodia with his family when he was 9 years old. He has thrived at Pacific, where he has been active in student government while attending the School of Engineering and Computer Science. Among his other accomplishments, Kaing was named the 2015 Undergraduate Researcher of the Year by the Venderova Lab in Stockton, where he focused on Parkinson's disease. Kaing, who will earn a bachelor's degree in biomechanical engineering, plans to pursue a master's in data science at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., after graduation.

After the morning commencement, six schools and colleges will award individual diplomas. Following centuries-old ritual, undergraduates in simple black robes will sweep the tassels on their mortarboards from right to left, and new PhDs will receive hoods lined in orange and black and trimmed in a color denoting their field of doctoral study.

More commencement ceremonies

Health sciences

In addition to nearly 200 doctor of pharmacy degrees, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will confer 36 doctor of physical therapy degrees, 27 master's degrees in speech-language pathology, and more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in science and applied sciences.

Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, will deliver the keynote address.

The commencement ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Alex G. Spanos Center.


The Pacific McGeorge School of Law commencement in Sacramento will award juris doctor degrees to 148 new attorneys. The school also will confer 33 master of laws (LLM) and master of science in law (MSL) degrees, as well as one doctor of the science of law degree (JSD).

The commencement speaker is Kevin Nagle, president and owner of The Nagle Co. Inc., an investment firm dealing with real estate development and other projects. He is also a part owner of the Sacramento Kings and majority owner of the Sacramento Republic FC soccer team.
The commencement will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., Sacramento.


The Pacific commencement season concludes with the ceremony for the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at the Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market St., San Francisco.

Some 200 graduates will be awarded doctor of dental surgery degrees, bachelor of science degrees in dental hygiene, master of science degrees in orthodontics, and certificates of completion in advanced oral and maxillofacial surgery, among others. In keeping with school tradition, there will not be a guest commencement speaker.

Class of 2016 overview

Statistical highlights of the new graduating class:

  • New graduates range in age from 19 to 69
  • 35 are veterans
  • 926 are women; 703 are men
  • 16.1 percent are Hispanic

Media contact:
Keith Michaud | 209.470.3206 (cell) | 209.946.3275 (office) |

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