More than 300 graduates and their families celebrated the class of 2011 at the school’s 95th commencement on Monday, June 13. Faculty members Rebecca Force and John Mitchell were honored with this year’s Marshall and Outstanding Adjunct Teaching Awards.

The skies threatened rain, but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the class of 2011. After a last-minute move to Hayward Field to keep graduates and their families undercover, the class of 2011 was inspired by a speech by Robert K. Elder ’00, the SOJC’s 2010 Eric Allen Award winner.

Elder told the graduating students to “Sacrifice something.”

“There’s a ton of competition out there for readers, views, agents, for shelf space, for attention, for Internet readers, for customers, etc.. So if you don’t think it’s a competition, you’ve already lost. So get out there and start. Think: short-term sacrifice for long-term gain. If you’re not sacrificing sleep or food or some aspect of your life, then something is wrong because you’re not working hard enough.”

A number of awards were presented, including the Marshall Award for Innovative Teaching to Assistant Professor Rebecca Force. The Jonathan Marshall Award is given annually to teachers who help students gain new insight and strengthen their professional skills. The award was established by the late Jonathan Marshall, MS ’62, and his wife Maxine. Teachers are nominated by students and then judged by a panel of emeritus professors.

In presenting the award, Dean Tim Gleason said “this teacher brings compassion and professionalism to every class, every production issue, every student interaction. Her energy, enthusiasm and thoughtfully presented expectations inspire and guide students, who are equally enthusiastic in their appreciation and praise. She is a two-time winner of the Adjunct Teaching award, and we are glad that she joined the faculty as an assistant professor this year. She is a most dedicated teacher and mentor.”

The adjunct teaching award had been presented to John Mitchell at the SOJC’s fourth annual student recognition event on Sunday, June 12. The Adjunct Teaching Award is a student-nominated award that is voted on by a panel of emeritus professors. In making the award, the judges noted that Mitchell “always has found quality time for his students, coordinating his busy career in public relations with highly regarded adjunct teaching in the SOJC. In addition to improving student writing through carefully constructed assignments and professional-caliber reviews, he has offered great service to chapters of PRSA and its student branch, as well as helping with contacts and portfolio review for the 2011 Portland Paddle. We are thankful for his energy and dedication.”

SOJC Award Winners, Kappa Tau Alpha initiates, and the SOJC’s signature scholarship winners also were honored at that event.