Alumna loved the safe and comfortable small-town feel of SOU

Meghann Erickson ’12 grew up in the rural northern California town of McKinleyville. Then, after graduation from McKinleyville High School, she attended Shasta Community College in Redding to work on her business administration degree. 

Coming Home Again: SOU Hosts & Honors Alumnus Ty Burrell on Campus

Home means different things to everyone, but a place that nurtures and encourages growth is just one of the many definitions of home. That’s just what SOU is for alumnus Ty Burrell ‘94, who visited the campus on Friday, April 7th to receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

First generation alumna publishes her first children’s book

Raina Hassan ’02 grew up locally in Grants Pass but decided to take an extended gap year in Portland between graduating high school and attending college. Like many SOU alums, she was the first in her entire family to attend college.

Theatre arts alum takes SOU hands-on experience to great success in Portland

Born and raised in Bellingham, WA, Liam Kaas-Lentz ’02, was introduced to Ashland, SOU and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) when he was a student at Sehome HS. His theatre teacher took around 20 students to OSF annually and they stayed on campus for each trip. When it came time to apply for college, he already admired Ashland and the SOU community and for him, staying with SOU would keep his attachment to a small-town atmosphere like he was accustomed to, while being close to a theater like OSF. 

From foster child origins, alumna blossoms as an outdoor conservation leader

Sha (Shay) Orton grew up in Bakersfield, CA, until the age of 13, then moved to southern Oregon. Amidst her high school years, she was forced to live in foster care. Her life was tough growing up and she didn’t get many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of the Rogue Valley. But when she finally did, they led to spiritual and healing experiences. She graduated from Crater High School in Central Point and shortly after, became pregnant, which shifted all of her life plans. 

Alumna finds career in federal government law enforcement

Jennifer Garcia ’09 grew up in San Diego and while she was a student at Southwest HS, she participated in the Police Explorers program, setting up her curiosity for a future in law enforcement. With numerous opportunities to attend college both locally and in California, she found SOU via the internet by searching for criminal justice forensics programs.

Navy veteran turns campus academic and social experiences into lifelong success

Burton Weast ’72 grew up in the northern California coastal town of Crescent City, attended Del Norte High School then attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed, CA and Humboldt State University (HSU) in Arcata, CA. During his fifth year at HSU, he got his draft notice so immediately joined the US Navy, hoping to avoid Vietnam altogether. He was trained as a radioman and ended up doing two tours in the combat zone. After earning his honorable discharge, he met his future wife Ann in Brookings and after doing a summer school term in Ashland at Southern Oregon College, they enjoyed it so much that they decided to stay.

Alum circumnavigates the globe twice in long US Navy career

Unless they’ve lived it, most of our community doesn’t understand or conceptualize how difficult making a career of service in the armed forces is. For Raider alum Scott Hudson ’99, it’s an easy thing to understand because he’s lived it for 25 years. Scott graduated from Ashland High School in 1992 then joined the US Army shortly thereafter. He trained in air defense artillery and soon was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii and was also deployed to Haiti.

Chemistry alumna helps advance science through communication

Gwendolyn Bogard ’20 grew up in the Philomath and Corvallis areas and loved her high school science courses and trips to the Oregon coast. She also enjoyed the performing arts, balancing her love of playing the violin and taking theatre courses as well. With her lab work in high school not so appealing, she focused on theatre arts as she looked for colleges. With SOU also having a thriving Honors College with cohorts added every year, she applied thinking she would major in theatre arts.

Alumna works hard to overcome dyslexia then becomes a college president

Dr. Cynthia Pemberton MS ’83 grew up in Medford then headed off to Willamette University in Salem where she competed as a student-athlete in swimming and earned degrees in biology and psychology. Her initial small-college experience would have a deep impact upon her entire career and life.