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College of Health alumnus, NFL star to deliver commencement address 

Steven Jackson, 2020 human development and family sciences grad, will return to Reser Stadium on June 15

Portrait of Steven Jackson

By Sean Nelson

Steven Jackson, ’20, an Oregon State human development and family sciences alumnus, former Beavers football player and star NFL running back, will deliver the commencement address at the university’s 155th commencement ceremony.

The ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 15 at Reser Stadium on the Corvallis campus.

“Steven Jackson has been an inspiration to generations of Beavers for his leadership and accomplishments in athletics, philanthropy, media and the arts,” said Oregon State President Jayathi Murthy. “I am delighted that he will give the 2024 commencement address, inspiring and motivating graduates as they begin their lives beyond OSU.”

After playing for OSU from 2001 to 2003 and a 12-year career in the NFL, Steven returned to OSU to complete his undergraduate education, earning a bachelor’s degree in human development and family science in 2020.

In 2022, Steven created the Jackson Family Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund to support Oregon State’s strategic goal to recruit underrepresented faculty and staff. In 2023, he was inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame. Currently he serves on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the Oregon State University Athletic Director Board.

Steven was drafted as the 24th overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft to the then St. Louis Rams and later played for the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. During 12 seasons, he amassed 11,438 rushing yards, 3,683 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns.

He is a three-time Pro Bowl running back, the all-time leading rusher for the Los Angeles Rams and 18th all-time leading rusher for the league. Steven also is a four-time nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He has served as an on-air commentator and analyst for ESPN and NFL Network, and often appears on Fox Business News discussing sports, business, and philanthropy.

He has a passion for humanitarian work and empowering others. In 2004, he launched the Steven Jackson Foundation, which supports literacy programs for children, after-school programs, and new technology for schools. In 2018, he scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and built water wells in Tanzania to raise awareness of the need for clean water around the world.

In 2014, he collaborated with artist Michael Kalish on an art exhibition at the Hamilton-Selway Gallery in Los Angeles and, most recently, he co-founded the lifestyle brand OBS and the Original Barber School in Las Vegas.