April 13, 2004 :: Record Number of College Graduates Possible This Spring
If early estimates hold true, Oklahoma may have a record number of college graduates ready to enter the workforce this spring.
More than 28,000 students ranging in ages from 18 to 81 will earn college degrees this spring on Oklahoma’s public college campuses, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education estimate. More than half of the graduates will be receiving bachelor’s degrees.
Preliminary information relating to degrees awarded in spring 2004 was gathered in a survey of higher education institutions. Official data for the 2003-2004 academic year will be available later.
The most popular fields of study among the estimated 7,700 students who will be receiving associate degrees are business, nursing and general studies.
Business, education and journalism are the programs most frequently selected by the estimated 14,600 students earning bachelor’s degrees.
An estimated total of 4,500 students will receive master’s degrees in a variety of fields, most notably in business and education.
Another 500 students will earn doctorate degrees, while an estimated 800 others will receive professional degrees in areas such as law and medicine.
“This is an exciting time of the year for the thousands of students graduating from Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “They have devoted many years of their lives to fulfilling their educational goals, and now they are poised to make positive impacts as members of the workforce or continuing their education. We wish them the best.”
Distinguished representatives from various fields will deliver commencement addresses at this year’s graduation ceremonies. Ceremonies are listed alphabetically by city and include dates, times, locations and speakers’ names, where available.
- East Central University, Ada, will hold its commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 8 at the Kerr Activities Center and will feature four different speakers, all of whom have been named Distinguished Alumni for 2004. Randy Harp, chief operating officer for Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., Ada, and retired McKinney, Tex., businessman Bob Diamond will speak during the 10 a.m. ceremony, while Rep. Danny Hilliard, D-Sulphur, speaker pro tempore of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and retired McKinney, Tex., business owner Janice Diamond will give commencement addresses during the 2 p.m. ceremony.
- Western Oklahoma State College in Altus will welcome higher education Chancellor Paul G. Risser as its commencement speaker at 8 p.m. May 7 in the Herschel H. Crow Fine Arts Auditorium. It will mark the 76th annual commencement for the southwestern Oklahoma college.
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University will hold its 105th annual commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. May 8 at Ranger Field in Alva. Rep. Jari Askins, D-Duncan, speaker-elect for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, will address NWOSU graduates.
- The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, will hold its spring graduation ceremony at 8 p.m. April 16 in Troutt Hall Auditorium. Scott Meacham, director of Oklahoma’s Office of State Finance, will be the commencement speaker.
- Tulsa businessman Stuart Price, who was recently appointed to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will speak at Rogers State University’s 92nd annual commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 8 at the Claremore Expo Center.
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant will hold its 94th annual commencement at 10 a.m. May 15 on Paul Laird Field. Gov. Brad Henry will be the featured commencement speaker.
- The University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, will hold four separate commencement ceremonies over a two-day period inside Hamilton Field House on the UCO campus. The first is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 7 for bachelor’s degree graduates of the College of Education and the second is at 7 p.m. for master’s degree graduates from the College of Education and graduates from the College of Mathematics and Sciences. The third ceremony begins at 9 a.m. May 8 for the College of Business Administration graduates, followed by the 1 p.m. commencement for graduates of the College of Arts, Media and Design and College of Liberal Arts.
- Redlands Community College in El Reno will hold its 65th annual commencement at 8 p.m. May 14 in the Redlands Field House. Dr. Jesus “Jess” Carreon, president of the Dallas County Community College District and 2004 president of the American Association of Community Colleges, will give the address.
- Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin will be the guest speaker at Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s 94th graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. May 15 in the Oscar Williams Field House in Goodwell.
- The Honorable Vernon Parker, assistant secretary for civil rights, U.S. Department of Agriculture, will speak to graduates at Langston University’s 104th commencement, which is set for 11 a.m. May 15 inside the C.F. “Zip” Gayles Fieldhouse. Langston University-Tulsa will hold its third commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. May 6 inside the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Langston President Ernest L. Holloway will give the commencement address.
- Linda Werthheimer, National Public Radio correspondent, will speak to graduates at Cameron University’s commencement at 10 a.m. May 8 at Cameron Stadium in Lawton.
- The 83rd annual commencement exercises at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Miami, will take place at 8 p.m. May 6 at Robertson Field. Jay Parmley, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, will provide the commencement address.
- Dr. Pamela McCauley Bell, president and chief executive officer for Tech Solutions, Inc., Orlando, Fla., and graduate of Rose State College, will be the featured speaker during the Midwest City college’s 34th annual commencement at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 7 at the Communications Center on the RSC campus. This will mark the first time an RSC graduate will serve as commencement speaker.
- OU will hold its 112th annual graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. May 8 inside the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman.
- John Massey, chairman of the board for Durant’s First United Bank and Trust and member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will speak to graduates at Oklahoma City Community College’s 32nd annual commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. May 14 at the Cox Business Services Convention Center.
- Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City will hold its 43rd annual commencement at 7:30 p.m. May 17 at the Civic Center Music Hall. U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook Jr., R-Oklahoma, will serve as commencement speaker.
- Tom Sewell, president of Tulsa Gas Technologies, Inc., will be the commencement speaker at OSU Technical Branch-Okmulgee at 7:30 p.m. April 22 inside Covelle Hall Auditorium.
- Carl Albert State College in Poteau will hold its commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. April 30 inside the Mick Thompson Field House.
- Rep. Jari Askins, D-Duncan, speaker-elect for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, will address graduates during Seminole State College’s 71st annual commencement at 10 a.m. May 15 inside Raymond Harber Field House.
- Gallagher-Iba Arena will be the site of two separate commencements for OSU, Stillwater, May 8. The colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Arts and Sciences; and Education will hold their commencement at 10 a.m., while the colleges of Engineering; Architecture and Technology; Business Administration, Human Environmental Sciences; and Veterinary Medicine will hold their graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. Retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks will give the commencement address. He will also receive an honorary degree from OSU.
- Northeastern State University President Dr. Larry Williams will serve as commencement speaker for NSU’s 95th annual graduation ceremony at 9 a.m. and noon May 8 at Doc Wadley Stadium in Tahlequah. He will also speak to NSU-Broken Arrow graduates at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 10 during commencement exercises inside the VanTrease Performing Arts Center located on Tulsa Community College’s Southeast Campus.
- Murray State College will hold its 96th annual commencement at 7 p.m. May 7 on the north lawn of the college’s administration building in Tishomingo.
- Northern Oklahoma College will welcome Dr. David Schmidly, president of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, as commencement speaker at its 98th annual graduation ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 1 in Foster-Piper Fieldhouse in Tonkawa and at 3 p.m. in Briggs Auditorium on NOC’s Enid campus.
- Rod Risley, director of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges, will speak to graduates during Tulsa Community College’s 34th annual commencement at 7:30 p.m. May 7 inside Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center in Tulsa. The TCC commencement will also be the last for TCC President Dean VanTrease, who will retire July 1.
- The OSU Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, will hold its commencement ceremony for graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at 10 a.m. May 15 inside the VanTrease Performing Arts Center located on TCC’s Southeast Campus. Mike Fogarty, chief executive officer of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, will give the commencement address.
- Sen. Charles R. Ford, R-Tulsa, will serve as guest speaker during OSU-Tulsa’s 6th annual commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. May 10 in the historic Pavilion at Expo Square in Tulsa. During the ceremony, OSU-Tulsa officials will present the school’s first “OSU Alumni Honorary Award.”
- Samuel Combs III, president of Oklahoma Natural Gas, will be the featured speaker during Connors State College’s 95th annual commencement at 7 p.m. May 7 inside the Melvin Self Fieldhouse in Warner.
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s 100th annual commencement will take place at 10 a.m. May 8 at Milam Stadium in Weatherford. Ardmore physician Ron Graves, a graduate of SWOSU, will be the commencement speaker. He will also be inducted into the SWOSU Distinguished Hall of Fame during the ceremony.
- Eastern Oklahoma State College’s 96th annual commencement will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 7 on the front lawn near the clocktower on the college’s campus in Wilburton. Serving as commencement speaker will be Tim Tall Chief, deputy commissioner for the Oklahoma State Department of Health.