For the second consecutive year, Northwest Christian University will graduate a record number of students when its Board of Trustees confers degrees for 174 graduates (61 graduate degrees and 113 undergraduate degrees) during the University’s 119th commencement ceremony on Sat., May 12, 2018, at 10 A.M. in the Morse Event Center located on West 11th Avenue between Kincaid Street and Alder Street. In Spring 2017, NCU also graduated 174 students, the most in school history.
“An NCU graduate has completed a Christ-centered academic program built on a foundation fortified by wisdom, faith, and service,” said Joseph D. Womack, Ed.D., NCU’s president. “The 2018 spring graduating class are critical thinkers ready to lead and initiate innovative pathways that achieve success for all with whom they work and serve.”
Dr. Gustavo Balderas, superintendent of Eugene School District 4J in Eugene, Oregon, is the commencement speaker. He became the district’s 23rd superintendent on July 1, 2015. An educator for more than 25 years, he served as superintendent of the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach, Calif., and prior to that was superintendent of the Madera Unified School District in Madera, Calif., following 20 years in Oregon public education.
Dr. Balderas has served in elementary and middle school administrative roles and has served as a high school teacher and counselor in the Hillsboro School District in Hillsboro, Oregon. His central office experience includes being an area executive director overseeing a cluster of K–12 schools and coordinating district curriculum as well as serving as an assistant superintendent of support services, also all in the Hillsboro School District.
Some of his career highlights include his work around equity and cultural proficiency through the state-level work of the Oregon Leadership Network and the State Action for Educational Leadership Project, and with district work in developing equity systems around instruction, student behavior and hiring practices.
Dr. Balderas graduated from Western Oregon State College with a secondary education degree, received a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Portland State University, and completed a doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of Oregon.
Dr. Balderas focuses his community volunteer efforts on working with non-profit organizations that focus on underserved students. Most recently, prior to his return to Oregon in summer 2015, Dr. Balderas served on the Huntington Valley Boys and Girls Club Board and the Encuentros of Orange County Board, and was the Southern California Board representative for the California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators. He is the co-founder and past president of the Oregon Association of Latino Administrators.
The main NCU lot will be open for parking, permit-free, beginning at 9 A.M., and city metered parking is located throughout the University district.