The College of Public Health and Human Sciences (CPHHS) at Oregon State University graduated its first class of students from its new college of public health. And its first graduate was none other than First Lady Michelle Obama.
The First Lady served as OSU’s 2012 commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary doctorate of public health for her work in promoting healthy nutrition, encouraging physical activity and eliminating childhood obesity, a vision in perfect alignment with the CPHHS.
Prior to commencement, CPHHS Dean Tammy Bray met with the First Lady to thank her for her leadership and vision. Faculty members and researchers Emily Ho and Kathy Gunter also met with the First Lady. Ho is the newly named endowed director of the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health, with a focus on specific nutrition-related challenges faced by families. Gunter is currently examining early childhood exercise, using community-based strategies to support healthy eating and physical activity in rural areas and promoting physical activity and healthy eating in childcare settings.
More than 5,000 degrees were awarded at OSU’s 143rd commencement, which approximately 33,000 guests attended. Of those, the CPHHS awarded 769 undergraduate degrees and 93 master’s degrees and PhDs, resulting in 862 proud graduates, the second most graduates of any college at OSU this year.