Linfield will say goodbye to almost 500 students

Linfield College will hand out 496 diplomas at this year’s Spring Commencement Ceremony. Graduates come from 20 states and seven countries, including China, Vietnam, Nepal, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Seventy percent are female and 30 percent are male. The most popular majors are business, education, nursing, exercise science and psychology. The greater McMinnville community is invited to the commencement and baccalaureate events.


Friday, May 20

An Almost Alumni Coffee Reception and a Community Celebration Picnic will be held on the Portland Campus, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Friday, May 27

In an annual tradition, graduating seniors take on faculty and staff in a softball match. While handicapped by age, faculty and staff players often use creative tactics to gain an advantage. Contact Dan Fergueson if you would like to participate.

Saturday, May 28

The Baccalaureate Service will be held at 5 p.m. in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium, in the HHPA Building on the McMinnville Campus. Retiring religious studies Professor William Apel will give the address.

At 6 p.m., following baccalaureate exercises, graduating seniors and their families are invited to join the Grad Finale/Senior Celebration in the Jereld R. Nicholson Library. Please register online.

Sunday, May 29

The commencement ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the Oak Grove on the McMinnville Campus. Dave Hansen, Linfield professor and former dean and vice president, will give the commencement address. The ceremony will be followed by refreshments and departmental receptions. Guests are urged to dress for spring weather.

The Nursing Closing Convocation will be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Ted Wilson Gymnasium. Health educator Patrick Rodén will give the convocation address.

Commencement Speaker

Dave Hansen, Linfield’s charismatic former vice president for Student Services and dean of students (1988–2010), will offer the commencement address. Currently an economics professor at Linfield, Hansen is well known for his high-energy, humorous presentations to students and parents.

Many also know Hansen as the “voice of the Wildcats.” He provided on-air commentary at football games, missing only five games in three decades, and was named to the Linfield Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

In addition to Hansen’s responsibilities at Linfield, he has served as president of the Greater McMinnville Chamber of Commerce and president of the McMinnville City Council. He is a popular speaker throughout the state, and has received numerous teaching and community awards, including the 2006 McMinnville Man of the Year award.

Hansen began teaching economics at Linfield in 1969 and now teaches part-time.

Baccalaureate Speaker

The baccalaureate address will be delivered by William Apel. The former Linfield chaplain and retiring religious studies professor is the author of three books. He organized two major international peace conferences at Linfield College and was the driving force behind the founding of the Oregon Nobel Laureate Symposium, also at Linfield.

Apel has held numerous positions, including president of the Board of Educational Ministries for the American Baptist Churches (ABC–USA), president of the Northwest Region of the American Academy of Religion, chair of the Western Commission on the Ministry for ABC–USA, and co-chair of the Oregon Baptist Peace Fellowship. He is currently on the board of directors of the International Thomas Merton Society and the Publications Committee of the Merton Annual, which covers contemporary issues in spirituality, culture and social justice.

Apel was awarded the 2008 Christian Educator Award for Peace and Interfaith Understanding from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.

Nursing Convocation Speaker

The nursing convocation address will be given by Patrick Rodén ’85, whose research examines the positive role of creativity in the aging process. Rodén is the CEO of, a resource site that provides support for people who desire to age within the safety and comfort of their home. He also offers information about successful aging through public lectures and a blog.

Rodén was honored with the 2010 Lloydena V. Grimes Award for Excellence in Nursing, presented from the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing. He is Linfield’s first male nurse alumnus to be honored with the Grimes Award.


More Commencement Information

The Power of a Small College

Linfield illuminates the best in higher education, says the Atlantic