Professor/poet/scholar Arthur Roberts speaks at commencement
A man whose legacy at George Fox spans more than five decades will speak at this year's spring undergraduate commencement ceremony, scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, in the Wheeler Sports Center.
Arthur O. Roberts – a Quaker scholar, historian, professor, songwriter, minister, small-town mayor, poet, author and 1944 graduate of then-Pacific College – will speak. Among other accomplishments, he helped George Fox establish academic credibility and was instrumental in selecting its current name.
His position now is professor at large – a fitting title considering his larger-than-life impact on the university. When he arrived on campus to teach religion and philosophy in 1953, he was the only faculty member with a doctorate. And in the late 1950s, he wrote a 170-page report that helped the college regain accreditation – a pivotal accomplishment that enabled the school to survive in a time of financial and economic uncertainty.
He even had a say in the George Fox name: While a doctoral student at Boston, he wrote a four-page letter to his alma mater’s leaders advocating for the George Fox name. The college’s board, seeking a new name because of the plethora of “Pacific” colleges, was swayed, and the supporting vote was unanimous.
Roberts has been influential as an administrator – as faculty dean from 1968 to 1972 he encouraged faculty to earn their doctorates, enhanced the liberal arts curriculum and established equal pay for female professors – and as an author, pastor, professor and political leader. A recorded Friends minister, he has written more than a dozen books, including Drawn by the Light (autobiographical), Sunrise and Shadow, Look Closely at the Child, Through Flaming Sword, Exploring Heaven, Prayers at Twilight and The Sacred Ordinary.
As a minister, he did pastoral work in Everett, Wash., Kansas City, and Goffstown, N.H., before returning to Oregon, where he helped start the Tigard Friends and North Valley Friends churches and served for a time at Reedwood Friends in Portland.
As a professor, he specialized in teaching philosophy, church history and Quaker studies. He taught his last regular class in 1988, the year he and his wife Fern moved to Yachats, Ore., where he served for two terms as the town’s mayor. Now living in Newberg, he’s dedicated his energy to writing and lecturing.
Roberts' commencement speech is entitled "Working as a Team."
Graduate/Seminary/Adult Degree Completion Ceremony
Mohan Nair will speak in the graduate/seminary/professional studies commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 30.
Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.
Wheeler Sports Center
Nair is chief innovation officer at Regence, the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Mountain State Region, operating not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Oregon, Washington, Utah and Idaho. He guides an agile and multitalented team of idea igniters. This team, called Innovation Force (IF), inspires ideas from every source; isolates and incubates select, execution-focused ideas and ignites them into products or new businesses.
For six years prior to this, Mohan served as executive vice president and chief marketing executive at Regence. He was accountable for the marketing activities of all four plans within Regence, including product development, brand management, consumer-directed health systems/e-business, business intelligence and corporate performance management/planning.
Prior to joining the Regence team, Mohan founded venture and consulting firms, and held chief executive positions with two emerging software companies, ABC Technologies and ProTools, Inc. He has served as Kellogg School of Management adjunct professor of business and authored the books Essentials of Balanced Scorecard and Activity-Based Information Systems: An Executive's Guide to Implementation.
Nair has served the nation in several capacities. He has been a member of the Armed Services Interest Group on Cost and Performance Management and the Government's Committee on Performance and Accountability for the State of Oregon. He has been called by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the Chronic Care Workgroup.
He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and business and a master's degree in computer and information sciences from the University of Oregon. He has accreditation for advanced management college with Stanford University.
Nair will speak on "Transformation: How You and Your Organizations Deal with the Unknown Unknowns."
For more details on spring commencement, visit commencement.georgefox.edu.