Bastyr University Graduates 283 Students at 2011 Commencement

Bastyr students stand and cross their hearts as they read an oath at graduation.

Bastyr University proudly sent 283 graduates into the world at its 30th annual commencement exercises Monday, June 20, 2011, at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle. Graduating students came from 35 states and 12 countries, and ranged in age from 21 to 63.

Commencement speaker and former NBA All-Star James Donaldson congratulated the graduates, advising them on their new lives with a sports analogy: "I know you've crossed your goal line, but it is up to you to maximize your potential. Never, ever become satisfied until you are ready to close that chapter and say, 'Job well done,' and move on to another."

Additionally, an honorary Doctor of Natural Health Arts and Sciences was awarded to Penny Simkin, senior instructor and the namesake for Bastyr University's Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations. Simkin touched upon the irony that even though our country spends more on maternity care than any other, we are seeing worsening outcomes in infant mortality, maternal mortality and prematurity.

Simkin called on the graduates to help turn the tide. "You are and will continue to be living examples of the knowledge, skills and ideals exemplified by Bastyr University to the benefit of not only your clients, but the next generation," she said. "Our world needs you!"

Student speaker and new graduate Kelsey Klausmeyer, ND, declared to his peers: "This education is a gift. After years of studies, hard work, dedication, sacrifice and faith, today we inherit this profession. We have those to thank before us, our naturopathic elders and teachers who have preserved our education."

Bastyr awarded students with undergraduate and graduate degrees in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, nutrition, herbal sciences, exercise science and wellness, and health psychology, as well as certificates in naturopathic midwifery and Chinese herbal medicine.