Ajay Davis


From taking senior portraits to surviving family brunch, graduation weekend can be overwhelming. Luckily, The Beacon created a comprehensive to do list for the class of 2020. Photo illustration by Molly Lowney.

Everything you need to know for graduation

Even though graduation is a few months away, preparation for the event has already begun. For both students and their families, there is a lot of planning involved in making sure the event runs smoothly. From ordering a cap and gown to taking a senior picture, this list has many of the important dates. It is recommended that students share this list with their friends and family in order to make the necessary reservations and plans for graduation.

Fationa Aliaj has immersed herself in foreign language and culture since her early childhood.

Spanish professor brings culture to her curriculum

When Fationa Aliaj was only 14 years old, she moved to the United States from Albania. At the time, she didn’t speak any English. Her family had just received the U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery, so she would have to learn. But it wouldn’t be the first non-native language she’d have to learn. She already spoke Greek, Italian and Albanian. Now, she speaks five languages: English, Greek, Spanish, Albanian and Italian. She also understands Arabic conversationally. Aliaj’s love for languages and cultures led her to become a Spanish professor at the University of Portland.

Ajay Davis, Beacon reporter.

STAFF OPINION: The greatest odyssey

“Ulysses” has become the go-to for people who long to appear intelligent and filled with endless complexity. To bring it up in conversation is equivalent to bringing up your status as a Sommelier; the reference is obtuse enough that nobody can challenge you, but acute enough that people have to shield their eyes from the sun while looking up at you. 

Members of the Hawai'i club and attendees of the Diversity Dialogue event enjoy a laugh together.

Hawai'i Club focuses on sustainability for Diversity Dialogues event

As part of Diversity Dialogues, the University of Portland Hawaiʻi club hosted an event on Saturday, titled “E Mālama Kākou i ka Honua a Mālama ka Honua iā Kākou (Care for the Earth and the Earth Will Care for You),” that aimed to teach students about indigenous water sustainability practices. The event was largely interactive and had six different stations that students could visit as the club members explained various concerns about sustainability.

John Goldrick slices a sandwich during lunch hour at the Bauccio Commons. Years prior, Goldrick served as the university's vice president for 14 years.

Former university vice president finds new purpose on campus

After serving as University of Portland vice president for over 10 years, John Goldrick, who has worked in various fields and locations all over the world, decided it was time to come back to UP. Today, he can be found preparing sandwiches in The Bauccio Commons. His impact on the UP community was, and still is, just as meaningful for him as it was for those around him.

Amanda Ryan (left) coats a crown with gold leaf as costume director Sue Bonde (right) observes her work.

The lights, the script and the wardrobe: Behind the scenes of 'The Penelopiad'

In the weeks leading up to opening night, the costume shop in Mago Hunt is alive with humming sewing machines, chattering costume technicians and mood boards for inspiration. Recently, those mood boards have been driven by the UP theater department production of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, a spin on the often-neglected story of Odysseus’ wife Penelope of Odyssey. Typically, the theatre department relies on costumes that are brought from home or dug out from storage. However, for The Penelopiad, a team of technicians has worked to create each costume from scratch. 

Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia speaks to the crowd during her lecture on cultural humility in healthcare.

School of Nursing kicks off 85th Anniversary Speaker Series

On Monday night, the UP Student Nurses Association welcomed Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia to campus to give a talk about cultural humility in health care. Murray-Garcia is part of the broader School of Nursing’s 85th Anniversary Speaker Series.

Rene Bouchard, played by sophomore Aidan Brown (left), offers Hallie Miller, played by senior Riley Olson, a cigarette.

'Inventing Van Gogh' to take center stage

This week, the theatre department’s first mainstage show of the season, “Inventing Van Gogh” by Steven Dietz, will journey into the tormented mind of an artistic genius. The production is a haunting drama centered around the relationships between art, love and obsession. With a five-person cast, the play will be thematically and dialogue-driven, providing an intimate experience for the audience. 

The new constitutional studies minor seeks to introduce students to U.S. law and history. Photo illustration by Paula Ortiz Cazaubon

UP adds constitutional studies minor

Starting this year, UP students can take a closer look at the Constitution through a minor in constitutional studies, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to understand the roots of the Constitution. During the year, guest speakers who specialize in constitutional studies will lecture on campus.

Ajay Davis, reporter for The Beacon.

STAFF OPINION: Corporations don’t care about you or the planet

Scrolling through Instagram or walking around campus, you will likely encounter numerous appeals to reduce meat consumption, switch to metal straws, reuse water bottles, etc. And undoubtedly, these are all helpful suggestions that we should consider adopting. Yet despite this, it is only possible to hold individual consumers accountable for environmental efforts to a certain point before we must begin to recognize the much larger impact corporate greed has.