Granddaughter, grandfather graduate PSU together

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Jack Whitmore and his granddaughter Bailey Pederson are set to graduate from Portland State University together this weekend.

Bailey is finishing her masters in communications. Jack was enrolled at PSU over 50 years ago, starting in 1964, but he dropped out before he finished.

“I had one too many glasses of wine and I opened my mouth about getting a degree, and then she followed up,” he said.

“He had some credits left but he never finished them, I was like, well what if we actually follow up with this?” Bailey said. 

Jack only had two credits to finish. The university signed him up for a writing course and his assignment was to write an autobiography of his education through the years. Bailey was by his side giving him feedback while he did the work.

“He helped me out with undergrad and grad school, so I felt it was really important to help him with this,” she said.

They will both walk down the aisle to get their diplomas on Sunday. Then they will have a joint graduation party next month.

Jack said he doesn’t plan on following in his granddaughter’s footsteps to also get a masters degree.

“No, no, I have my masters in life,” he said.

‘I want to change the mindset in architecture’

One of this year’s featured Top Grads is Cosette Hardman, who earned a Masters degree in architecture. But to fully appreciate her work, you may need to walk around barefoot.

That’s because Hardman, who is deaf, hopes to design performance spaces that use physical vibrations as well as sound and images to tap into an individual’s multiple senses.

“I want to change the mindset of architecture. That is my main goal,” Hardman told KOIN 6 News. “To have diverse bodies have a voice in architecture.”

This year’s PSU graduating class ranges in age from 18 to 76.

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