Paul Hawken Commencement Speaker
Author: Kerri Griesbeck, Office of University Communications, (503) 725-8784
Posted: May 20, 2009

(Portland, Ore.) April 29, 2009 – Paul Hawken, a founder of Smith & Hawken and an internationally recognized proponent of sustainable business practices, will deliver the Spring 2009 Commencement address and receive an honorary degree Saturday, June 13, 2009.

“Paul Hawken’s dedication to sustainability mirrors the principles and commitment of PortlandState,” said Wim Wiewel, president of PSU. “His achievements and expertise make him an ideal selection as our Spring 2009 Commencement speaker and we are honored that he has accepted our invitation.”

PortlandState's spring commencement ceremonies will take place Saturday, June 13, 2009, at 10 a.m. in Portland’s Rose Garden Arena. For additional information, members of the media should contact the Office of University Communications at 503-725-3711. Students and families needing additional information should visit

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, and bestselling author who has dedicated his life to sustainability. In particular, his life’s work has focused on exploring and changing the relationship between business and the environment. During his career, Hawken has founded or co-founded numerous ecologically minded companies, written and taught about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulted with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.

A prolific author, Hawken’s work has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Boston Globe, and numerous other publications. He’s also the author of six books, which have been published in over 50 countries in 27 languages and have sold over two million copies. President Bill Clinton called the book that Hawken co-authored with Amory Lovins, Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, one of the five most important books in the world today. Hailed by both Utne Reader and the International Society of Industrial Design as a “visionary,” Hawken has received frequent recognition and numerous awards over the years for his entrepreneurial, environmental, and artistic contributions to society.

For a photo or more information about Paul Hawken, visit http://

Portland State University (PSU) serves as a center of opportunity for over 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation’s most livable cities, the University’s innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The University’s 49-acre downtown campus exhibits PortlandState’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while many of the 125 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. PSU’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe.