More than 1,000 students earned degrees Saturday at Southern Oregon University's commencement ceremony. SOU’s Class of 2017 includes 866 recipients of bachelor’s degrees, plus 61 from the Oregon Health & Science University nursing program at the Ashland campus. Another 184 students received graduate degrees. Giving the commencement address was prominent Native American environmentalist and activist Winona LaDuke, who twice ran for vice president on a Green Party ticket headed by Ralph Nader. LaDuke, who now lives on a reservation in northern Minnesota, was raised in Ashland, and her mother, noted Oregon painter Betty LaDuke, was a member of SOU’s art faculty for 32 years.

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