Fact Sheet about the 2012 Commencement

Commencementby Patrick Giblin

This year, more than 1,000 students will graduate with bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. Above is a photo from the 2011 Commencement ceremony.

May 4, 2012
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2012 Commencement Ceremony
May 5, 2011, 9 a.m., Alex G. Spanos Center, University of the Pacific

Each year at the Commencement ceremony, the University recognizes outstanding student leaders, often awards distinguished public figures of high achievement with honorary degrees, and features a keynote Commencement speaker to address graduates. In addition, the Class of 1962 will be honored at the May 5th Commencement ceremony as the class is celebrating its 50th reunion. A full schedule of Commencement activities can be found on the Commencement web site.

During the Commencement ceremony, 1,060 students will graduate (not including the later graduations for the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy, Pacific McGeorge School of Law and Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry).

210 - Gladys L. Benerd School of Education

482 - College of the Pacific

50 - Conservatory of Music

168 - Eberhardt School of Business

103 - School of Engineering & Computer Science

47 - School of International Studies

*On Saturday, May 19, the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences will hold its Commencement ceremony. During the ceremony, 307 students will graduate.

*Also on Saturday, May 12, Pacific McGeorge School of Law will hold its Commencement ceremony. The law school will award 347 students degrees.

*On Sunday, June 10, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry will hold its Commencement ceremony. The dental school will award 209 students and residents degrees.

Commencement Speaker

Theodore B. Olson '62 COP is one of the nation's most accomplished lawyers. In 2010, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world for his work on the Proposition 8 case.

Olson has argued 58 cases before the Supreme Court, including the two Bush v. Gore cases arising out of the 2000 presidential election. He has prevailed in more than 75% of those arguments. His Supreme Court cases have involved separation

of powers; federalism; voting rights; the First Amendment; the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses; jury trial rights; punitive damages; takings of property and just compensation; the Commerce Clause; taxation; criminal law; copyright; antitrust; securities; campaign finance; telecommunications; the environment; the internet; and other federal constitutional and statutory questions.

Olson has twice been awarded the United States Department of Justice's Edmund J. Randolph Award, its highest award for public service and leadership, and has also received the Department of Defense's highest civilian award for his advocacy in the courts of the United States, including the Supreme Court.

In 2009 Olson teamed with attorney David Boies, who represented Al Gore in Bush v. Gore, to challenge Proposition 8, a voter-approved law banning same-sex marriage in California. The team successfully persuaded Chief District Court Judge

Vaughn Walker that the law violated the U.S. Constitution. They were successful again in 2012, persuading the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Walker's decision. The case is likely to go before the Supreme Court. In 2011, both Olson and Boies were awarded the ABA Medal - the highest award of the American Bar Association.

From 2001-2004, Olson served as Solicitor General of the United States under President George W. Bush. As Solicitor General, he was the Government's principal advocate in the United States Supreme Court, responsible for supervising and coordinating all appellate litigation of the United States, and a legal adviser to the President and the Attorney General. With the exception of his service as Solicitor General and his service from 1981-1984 as Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Regan, Olson has been a lawyer with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. since earning his law degree in 1965 from the University of California at Berkeley. Today he is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's Washington, D.C. office.

2012 marks Olson's 50th reunion at University of the Pacific. He received his bachelor's degree cum laude in 1962 from the College of the Pacific, where he was recognized as the outstanding graduating student in both forensics and journalism. While at Pacific, he was an active member of the speech and debate team under legendary coach Dr. Paul Winters. Olson previously was the Commencement speaker for Pacific in 2004, when he also was awarded an honorary degree.

Olson is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. The National Law Journal has repeatedly listed him as one of America's Most Influential Lawyers. The American Lawyer and Legal Times have characterized Olson as one of America's leading advocates. In 2011, Washingtonian magazine listed him as number one on its compilation of the finest lawyers in the nation's capital. The late New York Times columnist William

Safire described Olson as this generation's "most persuasive advocate" before the Supreme Court and "the most effective Solicitor General" in decades.

Reflecting on the Past, Prepared for the Future

Watch a video featuring two graduating seniors and their plans for the future  more


There will be 21 Marshals participating in the 2011 Commencement ceremony. Marshals assist students in lining up for the procession and directing students to their seats in addition to recessing out of the ceremony in a clear and organized fashion. Marshals also provide assistance to students that may need special accommodation.

Camilla Saviz is the University Marshal and the Associate Marshall is Balint Sztaray. Both individuals are tenured faculty members who collaborate with the Office of the Provost and the Center for Professional and Continuing Education (CPCE) in planning, organizing, preparing and directing University Commencement.

Historical Significance of the Mace

The mace is displayed at all academic ceremonies and generally is carried by the chair of the Academic Council at Convocation and Commencement ceremonies.

Robert E. Burns, Pacific president from 1946-1971, asked Stuart Devlin, an internationally known London silver designer, to create the University of the Pacific Mace. It was commissioned in recognition of the University's transition from a college to a university. It was first used at a Founders Day ceremony on March 6, 1966, and is constructed entirely of silver with a gold plated seal of the University in its head. The mace is approximately 4 feet long and weighs 15 pounds.

Originally a weapon used in medieval warfare by a king or a noble, the mace has been refined to a symbolic device used on ceremonial occasions. The mace as an academic symbol dates back to 16th century England when Queen Elizabeth I presented a replica of her own royal mace to the corporation of the University of Oxford. She ordered that it be used in all ceremonies to represent the royal presence and the authority given to the university to grant degrees under the royal insignia. King Charles I made a similar gift to Cambridge University in 1625. This year's Mace Bearer is Professor Chris Goff.

Significance of Academic Regalia

Distinctive academic regalia can be traced back to the universities of the Middle Ages when students and faculty of universities wore the robes of the clergy. Today three ranks of degrees are distinguished through variations in the robes, which also indicate the discipline and the university that awarded the degree.

In the United States, gowns generally are black, although a few universities have adopted other colors for their doctoral gowns. The field of learning in which the degree is awarded is shown by the color of the edging of the hood, Some of the more frequently seen colors are: white (Arts and Letters), pink (Music), dark blue (Philosophy), light blue (Education), scarlet (Divinity), golden yellow (Science), lilac (Dentistry), olive green (Pharmacy), and purple (Law).

An individual's degree is revealed by the type of gown and width of the edging on the hood.

·         BACHELOR'S GOWNS have full, pointed sleeves with no trimming. The hoods have a two-inch edging.

·         MASTER'S GOWNS prior to 1960 had full, closed sleeves with the arm emerging through a slit at the elbow. The gown was the despair of wearers because, no matter how hot the day, a coat must be worn under it. In 1960, however, the gown was modified; in place of the elbow slit, an opening was made at the wrist and the gown was made to close. The hoods have a three-inch edging.

·         DOCTOR'S GOWNS are of silk, have rounded sleeves, velvet facing down the front, and three velvet crossbars on each sleeve. The hoods have side panels and a five-inch facing.


Traditionally, the processional begins with the candidates for graduation and ends with the highest ranking officer at the institution, followed by an institutional symbol, such as the mace. At Pacific, the college and schools are able to establish their own processional tradition. The Commencement ceremony follows traditional academic processional guidelines.

School Banner
Faculty Marshals
Candidates for Degrees
Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral

Faculty beginning with instructors, lecturers, assistants, and associates
Professors by rank (in order of seniority, newest last)
Dean of (School or College) in order of founding
Officers of the University
Honorary Degree Recipients
Board of Regents
Provost of the University
President of the University
Mace Bearer   

School and College Banners

School and college banners signifying each of the academic units of the University precede a unit's faculty in the procession and are displayed during the ceremony. Each banner contains symbolism that relates to the various disciplines. The white field at the center symbolizes the arts and letters, which form a basis for all academic programs of the University. The primary color of the banner symbolizes the specific academic discipline. Within the white field is the official emblem of each school or college.

College of the Pacific

The gold field of this banner signifies the sciences, which combined with the arts and letters, forms the basis for the liberal arts programs offered in the central division of the University. The torch emblem is symbolic of the lamp of knowledge and served as a predecessor to the Mace in the Seal of the University. The emblem also contains a cross which signifies the role of the Methodist Church in the founding of the college in 1851.

Conservatory of Music

The pink field is the accepted color for all disciplines relating to music. The emblem, a contemporary graphic of a musical symbol, was developed in 1987 to signify new directions for the Conservatory, which is the oldest university affiliated conservatory in the West. It was founded in 1878.

School of Dentistry

The lilac colors of dentistry form the field for this banner. The emblem of the dental caduceus surrounded by a triangle represents the three corners of dentistry's program: education, research and service.

Pacific McGeorge School of Law

The purple color of law surrounds the logo of McGeorge School of Law, depicting a law book and judicial column symbolizing the study and practice of law. 

Gladys L. Benerd School of Education

The blue field shows disciplines related to education. The lamp of learning forms an emblem for the school, which was founded in 1924 when the University moved to Stockton.

Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

The green field depicts the pharmacy profession. It surrounds the emblem for the school, the Bowl of Hygeia, who was the Greek goddess of health and is the traditional emblem of pharmacy much as the caduceus represents medicine. The

school's modernized version is an adaptation of the official emblem of the American Pharmaceutical Association. Pharmacy and Health Sciences was established in 1955.

Research & Graduate Studies

Although graduate degrees were offered early in the history of the University, a formal organization was not established until 1956. The banner combines the elements of the arts and letters and sciences with the orange and black colors of the University. It shows a portion of the University seal.

School of Engineering & Computer Science

The orange field surrounds the symbol which reflects the major areas of study within the school: a wheel signifies mechanical engineering; the bridge is for civil engineering; and the center figure illustrates the combined fields of electrical and computer engineering. The School of Engineering and Computer Science was founded in 1958 from a department that dates to the 1930s.

Eberhardt School of Business

The beige colors of business provide a background for this banner. The emblem was selected from several submitted in a competition among students when the school was renamed in honor of Robert M. Eberhardt, the Eberhardt Family and the Bank of Stockton in 1955, in recognition of a long and enthusiastic support of Pacific.

School of International Studies

The gold on this banner, coupled with white, reflects the arts and letters and sciences just as they do in the College of the Pacific flag. The blue globe shows the

international nature of the programs that include study-abroad opportunities in more than 100 locations. The school opened in 1987.

University Library

This banner's emblems are a key and a book, symbolic of knowledge and wisdom. The lemon-yellow background is representative of the library science discipline. The Library's faculty and staff have served all academic areas of the University since its founding in 1851. Collections and services include a variety of print, audiovisual and electronic resources. Original papers and sketches of materials relating to the Gold Rush along with many other special collections are a primary attraction for researchers from around the world.

Pacific Hail!

Words & Music by Lois Warner Winston COP '23, '58

From o'er the rugged mountains standing high;
From Out the broad low valleys, 'neath the sky;
Our alma mater calls, We cannot fail,
Our voices blend in praise, Pacific Hail' Pacific Hail!

Long may her flaming torch give out its light;
Long may her spirit guide us in the right;
To her we pledge Out' hearts, We dare not fail;
To her we raise our song,
Pacific Hail! Pacific Hail!

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