Congratulations Class of 2008!

View photos from Commencement 2008 >>

Gifford Pinchot IIITacoma, Wash. - Gifford Pinchot III delivered the 116th Commencement address at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at Baker Stadium.

Gifford Pinchot III, Commencement Speaker
Mr. Pinchot is president and co-founder of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), one of the first graduate schools in the country to incorporate innovative sustainability practices and a commitment to ethics and social responsibility throughout the curriculum. Mr. Pinchot and BGI are transforming business education by infusing environmentally and socially responsible innovation into general business practice.

Mr. Pinchot is also a well-known author, speaker, and consultant on innovation management. In his best-selling book, Intrapreneuring: Why You Don't Have to Leave the Corporation to Become an Entrepreneur, Pinchot coined the concept of "intrapreneuring"-creating innovation within existing organizations. Pinchot has led Pinchot & Company, a firm that helps businesses design and implement sustainable practices, since 1983. Its clients include half of Fortune magazine's Top 100 companies and numerous organizations across six continents. Mr. Pinchot graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1965 with a degree in economics, and completed coursework for a Ph.D. in neurophysiology at Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Pinchot will be awarded the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.

Two other distinguished candidates were honored at Commencement:

Gordon Klatt, M.D.  Doctor of Humane Letters
Dr. Klatt, a respected surgeon and oncologist in Tacoma, is the founder of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, the world's largest fundraising event. Relay for Life began at Puget Sound's Baker Stadium twenty-five years ago as The City of Destiny Classic: 24-Hour Run Against Cancer. Dr. Klatt received his Bachelor of Science degree from the College of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota in 1964 and completed his M.D. at University of Minnesota in 1968. He served at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma and retired as a Lt. Colonel in 1976.

Irshad ManjiIrshad Manji, Doctor of Humane Letters
Ms. Manji is the best-selling author of The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith, now published in 30 countries. The Arabic, Urdu and Farsi translations have been downloaded half a million times and circulated throughout the Middle East and Iran. As a social entrepreneur, Irshad has founded a global campaign to renew Islam's tradition of critical thinking, debate and dissent. That campaign inspired her latest venture - the Moral Courage Project, a program based at New York University.

In 1990, Irshad graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia, with a major in the history of ideas, earning the Governor-General's medal for top academic achievement in the humanities.

The Academic Convocation and Commencement Student Speaker Selection Committees selected the following accomplished scholars to represent the Class of 2008:

Eric Schneider, Academic Convocation Speaker
Eric Schneider, from Centennial, Colorado, will graduate with a degree in History and a minor in Biology. He has been a Biology teaching assistant and is currently a writing advisor in the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching. Eric, this year's Slater Award winner for academic excellence, has conducted independent research in history and plans to study late Medieval and Early Modern history at Oxford University next year. His talk is entitled "The Journey Beyond Puget Sound: Mythical Heroes and Heroines and the New World."

Rachel Gross, Commencement Speaker
Rachel Gross, from Santa Monica, California, is an honors scholar who will graduate with majors in History and Spanish, and with a minor in French. Rachel is a writing advisor and tutor in the Center for Writing, Learning, and Teaching. She is an outstanding volleyball player, winning several awards including a NCAA post-graduate scholarship. Rachel has been selected for a Watson Fellowship for next year. Her address will be "The Search for Dharma."

More details on Puget Sound's commencement are available online, including photos.

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40% of incoming students were in the top 10% of their graduating class.