BEND, Ore. -

At its 11th Commencement on Saturday, June 16, OSU-Cascades will draw a crowd of more than 2,300 family and friends of graduates to Drake Park in Bend and will grant degrees to 314 students, which reflects a 25 percent increase in graduates over previous year.

In total, OSU-Cascades will have awarded more than 2,000 degrees since it was established in 2001.

The commencement event begins at 2:00 p.m. OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson will preside over the ceremonies and Bob Eberhard, president of Eberhard?s Dairy Products of Redmond will deliver the keynote address. An alumnus of OSU, Eberhard was a member of the OSU Central Oregon Advisory Board that helped guide the expansion of OSU programs initiated in 1999.

In addition to Johnson and Eberhard, members of the platform party include OSU Provost Sabah Randhawa; Kirk Schueler, chief administrative officer of St. Charles representing the Oregon University System; Oran Teater, chair of the OSU-Cascades Advisory Board; and John Moseley, Special Assistant to the University of Oregon Provost and Director of UO Central Oregon Programs.

Distinguished Service Award During the event, OSU-Cascades will present the campus? second annual Distinguished Service Award, an award created to honor individuals, businesses or organizations that have made exceptional contributions to OSU-Cascades, Central Oregon, the State of Oregon, or the world.

The award will be presented to Allan Bruckner, whose generous donation allowed OSU-Cascades to finalize the purchase of the Graduate & Research Center and to advance its vision for the expansion to a four-year university and a physical campus in the area surrounding the new facility.

About the Class of 2012

This year, degrees will be conferred to 196 graduates of OSU programs and 110 graduates of UO programs. Of the OSU graduates, 52 are to be awarded master?s degrees from the counseling and teaching programs.

More than 85 percent of the graduates are from Central Oregon. In addition, 17 of Oregon?s 36 counties are represented. Graduates represent four other states. The average age of the graduating class is 32; the oldest is 64 and the youngest is 20.

The 2011-2012 academic year marks the final year that UO programs will be offered through OSU-Cascades; as of this spring programs formerly offered by UO have transitioned to OSU.

The commencement ceremony will include presentations by two OSU-Cascades candidates for graduation, Rollin Ervin, a business administration major from Prineville, and Kellie Lewis, a liberal studies major from Bend.

About OSU-Cascades: Located in Bend, Ore., OSU-Cascades features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon?s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Fifteen undergraduate majors and graduate programs, with 25 minors and degree options, include Business Administration, Energy Engineering Management, Exercise Science and Sport, Hospitality Management, and Tourism and Outdoor Leadership. Visit http://www.osucascades.edu/.