It was the day of graduation, and the forecast called for rain. In a community that boasts 300 days of sunshine a year as its unofficial slogan, the grey cloud-graphic that filled the May 18 forecast block felt like an unfortunate turn of bad luck. In fact, throughout the vast majority of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences’ Commencement Ceremony history, graduation attendees had basked in the valley’s famously and predictably pleasant weather, with celebrations commonly spilling into the buzzing downtown streets that surround the historic Capitol Theatre.
Perhaps this would finally be the year that broke the fortuitous pattern.
As the Class of 2019 filed into the theatre, with organizers laying out the final decorative flowers and placing the final programs on plush red seats, that gloomy forecast gave way to something brighter:
blue skies, bright sunshine, and a renewed hope.
Fittingly, the resplendent turn served as a perfect analogy for the celebration that would soon spill out onto sun-soaked South 3rd Street, as it had in so many years past.
As 131 PNWU Osteopathic Medical Students prepared to cross the Capitol Theatre stage and receive the doctorate degrees, communities throughout the Pacific Northwest could — for the eighth year in a row — bask in a parallel sense of renewed warmth, hope and relief. After all, those 131 students would soon emerge from Eighth Annual PNWU Commencement as Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, prepared to turn the university's mission of bringing exceptional doctors to underserved communities throughout the Pacific Northwest’s into a momentous reality.