Oregon’s Pacific University awarded an honorary doctorate to longtime university Trustee Tommy Thayer, the lead guitarist for legendary rock band KISS, at the university’s spring undergraduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 19 at Hanson Stadium on the Forest Grove Campus.
Thayer, who grew up in Beaverton and graduated from Sunset High School in 1978, has served on Pacific’s Board of Trustees since 2005. He has helped the university generate more than $3.5 million for its NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, primarily through a highly successful celebrity fundraiser Legends, which ran from 2007 to 2016. In 2016, the 10th anniversary Legends event launched the creation of the Tommy Thayer Endowments for Music and Athletics, benefiting students in both programs at Pacific.
Last spring, the Pacific University Board of Trustees approved awarding Thayer a doctorate of humane letters degree for his philanthropic leadership efforts that have directly helped thousands of Pacific student-athletes.
Prior to receiving his degree during the ceremony, Thayer gave the keynote address to the class of 2018 consisting of approximately 350 bachelor’s degree candidates.
Check out photos and an interview with Portland’s NBC affiliate KGW below.
#KISS guitarist #TommyThayer received a doctorate of humane letters degree from Pacific University and delivered the…
In 2009, as a Pacific trustee, Tommy Thayer helped present his father, Gen. James. B. Thayer, with an honorary doctorate…