Southern Oregon alumni and current head coach of the Oregon Ducks football team, Mark Helfrich, will be the featured speaker during the commencement ceremony on June 13th. In a letter to President Saigo, Helfrich wrote, “It is with great humility and pleasure that the offer to deliver the commencement address at this year’s graduation ceremony is officially accepted. Thank you very much for this distinguished honor.” Helfrich played quarterback here at SOU from 1992-1995 and earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1993. During his time as a raider, he set a variety of records including pass attempts in a season, passing yards in a season, passing touchdowns in a season, and total offense. In the classroom, Helfrich received the honors such as an NAIA scholar athlete and FA Academic All-Star while obtaining a bachelor’s in Biology. Initially, he wanted to learn to become an orthopedic surgeon, but after a couple years of coaching at Boise State, Helfrich’s path became set in stone. In 2012 he was inducted into the SOU hall of fame for being one of the greatest quarterback’s the university has seen.
This will be the first commencement speech for Helfrich, who has gained major notoriety after leading the Ducks to the National Championship Game in January. The commencement speech will take place at 9 a.m. in Raider Stadium, June 13th.