NCU Winter Commencement is Dec. 13; Former Eugene City Manager is Commencement Speaker

Northwest Christian University’s (NCU) Board of Trustees will confer degrees for 92 students who have successfully met the graduation requirements to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree during commencement ceremonies on Fri., Dec. 13, 2019, at 6 PM, in the Morse Event Center located at the corner of West 11th Avenue and Alder Street in Eugene.

“We are proud of these graduating students, and their families, who have balanced academic rigor with the responsibilities of home, work, and campus involvement to reach this important milestone,” said NCU President Joseph D. Womack, Ed.D. “These are beacons of wisdom, faith, and service in their professions and in the community.”

Jon Ruiz

Jon Ruiz

Recently, retired Eugene City Manager Jon Ruiz, MBA, will deliver the commencement address. Ruiz served as Eugene’s City Manager from April 2008 to October 2019. During his tenure, he worked to ensure ongoing social, environmental and economic progress for the community. His emphasis on open communication and collaboration, and his positive, solution-oriented style strengthened community trust and confidence and helped promote a healthy, productive civic culture.

Since Ruiz came on board with the City if Eugene in 2008, he worked with City staff, elected officials and community members to tackle several challenges:

  • stabilized the budget through the Great Recession
  • reenergized Downtown development by filling the long vacant pits, building out a high-speed fiber network and restoring the “town square”
  • redeveloped the Riverfront
  • devised a 21st century land use plan through the Envision Eugene initiative
  • developing a regional prosperity plan to increase jobs and average wages
  • structured a transformational community safety initiative
  • passed bonds and levies worth $132 million to repair roads, expand library services, build new parks and enhance recreation facilities and services
  • addressed veteran and youth homelessness through community innovation

Ruiz is a retired U.S. Army Colonel. He earned an MBA from the University of Colorado and trained at the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executives Program at Harvard University. He also received a Masters of Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. In 2017, Ruiz was recognized by the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce with The First Citizen Award for his work with the community to address veteran homelessness, revitalize Eugene’s downtown, plan for Eugene’s long-term growth, and promote economic prosperity.

The main NCU parking lot next to the Morse Event Center will be open for parking, permit-free, beginning at 4 P.M., and city metered parking is located throughout the University district.