Dr. Stephen Lopes, a 1984 graduate of Linfield College and the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the University of Southern California Athletics Department, will deliver the commencement address. Dave Hunt, past president of American Baptist Churches USA and former speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, will present the baccalaureate address Saturday, May 31, at 5 p.m. in Ted Wilson Gymnasium, located in the Health, Human Performance and Athletics Building. Both events are open to the public.
Golden Grads, individuals who graduated from Linfield 50 or more years ago, will also be marching in the commencement ceremony, and several will accompany their grandchildren who are graduating.
As COO and CFO, Lopes is responsible for managing all financial resources and operations of the $100 million athletic department budget at USC. He negotiates and administers multi-media contracts including television, radio and internet, as well as sponsorship agreements with NIKE, Fox Sports and others. He’s overseen the growth of department revenues from $21 million in 1995 to $100 million in 2014. He works directly on Title IX compliance and NCAA certification and has been involved in the increase in fundraising for the athletic department from $5.5 million in 1995 to $22 million in 2012.
In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Lopes also serves as an assistant adjunct professor in the Rossier School of Education at USC, teaching a graduate level course in athletic administration. He is the executive director and program coordinator for the Sports Management Institute, a sports management executive education program that has trained more than 70 current or former intercollegiate athletic directors and is sponsored by the Universities of Southern California, Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Georgia.
Lopes began his career at USC in 1984, first as an assistant strength coach, then as an administrative assistant, business manager, finance director and assistant athletic director. He served as associate athletics director and senior associate athletics director before being named CFO and COO in 2012.
He holds two master’s degrees from USC, one in physical education and sports administration, and the other in business administration. He completed his Ed.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, with his research focusing on the impact of the football program on the strategic goals of USC.
Lopes, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and communications at Linfield, was an All-America offensive tackle and a member of the 1982 NAIA national championship football team. In addition to football, he also lettered in wrestling and golf. His 1982 football team was inducted into the Linfield Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and he was inducted as an individual in 2005.
Lopes has been active in the community, as a former officer and trustee of the Peninsula Education Foundation and past board member of the Palos Verdes Little League. He is currently a member of the Palos Verdes Golf Club Finance Committee and the advisory board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission.
Hunt is the son of a Linfield alumnus and American Baptist pastor. He was raised in Seattle, Wash.; Clearfield, Utah; and Eugene. He majored in political science at Columbia University and served as a congressional staffer for three members of Congress over a 10-year period. He served for 16 years on the general board of American Baptist Churches USA, where he was elected as the youngest-ever ABC/USA president.
Hunt was elected to five terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, where his legislative colleagues elected him majority leader and speaker of the house. Under his leadership, the house passed the largest jobs package in Oregon history, expanded health insurance to 90,000 uninsured Oregon children, created Oregon’s first Rainy Day Fund, and passed two historic laws expanding religious liberty.
Hunt is currently the president-elect of the Oregon City Rotary Club, a member of Southlake Church, and serves as executive director of the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition, an association of 160 manufacturers throughout the Northwest. He lives in Clackamas County with his wife Tonia, who is executive director of Children First for Oregon. They have two teenage children.
Baccalaureate has existed for centuries in colleges and universities as a time of worship for graduating members of the senior class. College officials, faculty and graduating seniors wear academic dress for the occasion. Linfield’s baccalaureate service is ordered according to the traditions within Protestant Christianity and strives to touch on the universal theme of common humanity that can be found in all of the world’s great religions.
Commencement ceremony guests are encouraged to dress for unpredictable spring weather. For more information, call 503-883-2408 or visit www.linfield.edu/president/commencement.