EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon will honor the school's oldest-ever graduate during commencement ceremonies Monday.
Virginia Beavert, 90, an elder in Washington’s Yakama tribe, will receive her doctorate in linguistics before defending her dissertation next month.
Beavert speaks six native languages, has written a Yakama Sahaptin dictionary, and is currently working on a second edition.
Beavert also is responsible for bringing a $250,000 gift to the UO’s Linguistics Department to help fund the Northwest Indian Language Institute.
Beavert will be among 1,075 students who will receive graduate degrees, while another 3,940 will receive bachelor’s degrees.
The new graduates come from a total of 61 countries and 47 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia, with by far the largest number – 2,895 – being Oregon residents.
This year’s high number of graduates is due in part to the unusually large freshman class that was admitted in the fall of 2008, and is reflective of three straight years of record enrollment at the UO.
The event in Matthew Knight Arena will be followed by the individual ceremonies of UO schools, colleges and departments at either noon or 3 p.m., in various locations on campus.
A full list of the individual ceremonies is available online.