April 11, 2006 :: Thousands of Oklahomans Receiving College Degrees This Spring, Eying Job Prospects
Severe weather isn’t the only thing hitting Oklahoma this spring. From every corner of the state and points in between, thousands of college graduates will soon be flooding the job market, hoping to land that first big job.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education estimate that approximately 28,400 students will have earned college degrees during the 2005-06 academic year throughout the state system. More than half of the graduates will be receiving bachelor’s degrees.
Preliminary information relating to degrees awarded in 2005-06 was gathered in a survey of higher education institutions. Official data for the 2005-06 academic year will be available later.
The most popular fields of study among the estimated 7,000 students who will be receiving associate degrees are business, nursing and general studies.
Business and education are the programs most frequently selected by the estimated 16,000 students earning bachelor’s degrees.
An estimated 4,300 students will receive master’s degrees in a variety of fields, most notably in education and business.
Estimates show that 400 students will earn doctoral degrees while 800 others will receive professional degrees in areas such as law and medicine.
“This is an exciting time for the thousands of Oklahoma college graduates who have achieved their educational goals and are now ready to make an impact throughout our state,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “They have put in long hours and made many sacrifices. The State Regents applaud their efforts and wish them well in their job searches, careers or further education.”
Distinguished representatives from various fields will deliver commencement addresses during this spring’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 two separate commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 13 in the Kerr Activities Center. Brad Fenton, chief executive officer of Fenton Motors, Inc., Oklahoma City, will serve as commencement speaker. Fenton is also ECU’s 2006 Distinguished Alumnus.
- Western Oklahoma State College in Altus will hold its 78th annual graduation ceremony at 8 p.m. May 12 in the Herschal H. Crow Fine Arts Auditorium. Dr. Dustin Lively, an alumnus of WOSC, will give the commencement address.
- Northwestern Oklahoma State University will hold its 107th annual commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. May 6 at Ranger Field in Alva. Rep. Todd Hiett, R-Kellyville, Speaker, Oklahoma House of Representatives, will address NWOSU graduates.
- The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, will hold its 98th spring commencement at 8 p.m. April 21 outside on the Campus Oval. Dr. Ric Baser, vice president for academic affairs at Rose State College and a USAO alumnus, will serve as commencement speaker. This marks the first time since the late 1950s that the commencement ceremony has been held outdoors. The normal venue, Troutt Hall Auditorium, is currently closed for renovation.
- Rogers State University, Claremore, will hold two commencement ceremonies on May 6 in the Claremore Expo Center. Associate degree candidates will hold their ceremony at 10 a.m. while the bachelor’s degree ceremony will be at 1 p.m. RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley will serve as commencement speaker. This is the 94th year that RSU has held a spring commencement.
- Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant will hold its 96th annual commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. May 13 at Paul Laird Field. Judge Robert Henry, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, will serve as 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 5 for bachelor’s degree graduates from the College of Education and Professional Studies, and the second is at 7 p.m. for master’s degree graduates from the College of Education and Professional Studies and graduates from the College of Mathematics and Science. The third ceremony begins at 10 a.m. May 6 for the College of Business Administration graduates, followed by the 2 p.m. commencement for graduates of the College of Arts, Media and Design and College of Liberal Arts. UCO President Dr. Roger Webb will give the commencement address.
- Redlands Community College in El Reno will hold its 67th annual commencement at 8 p.m. May 12 in the Redlands Field House. Vince Orza, dean of the Meinders School of Business, Oklahoma City University, will give the commencement address.
- U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., will be the guest speaker at Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s 96th graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. May 20 in the Oscar Williams Field House in Goodwell.
- Langston University will hold its 106th commencement at 11 a.m. May 6 at Anderson Field. LU-Tulsa’s fifth annual graduation ceremony is scheduled for May 4 at 7 p.m. in the Greenwood Cultural Center in Tulsa.
- Martin Luther King III will speak to graduates at Cameron University’s 94th annual commencement at 10 a.m. May 6 at Cameron Stadium in Lawton. In case of inclement weather, two ceremonies will be held in the Great Plains Coliseum at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- The 85th annual commencement exercises at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Miami, will take place at 8 p.m. May 4 in the Student Activity Center. NEOAM alumnus Steve Turnbo, chief executive officer of Schnake Turnbo Frank, Inc. in Tulsa, will provide the commencement address.
- Robert J. Conner, director of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base, will be the featured speaker during the 36th annual commencement ceremonies at Rose State College, Midwest City, May 5. Two separate ceremonies will be held at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the RSC Communications Center Performing Arts Theatre.
- The University of Oklahoma, Norman, will hold its 114th annual graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. May 12 inside the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Katie Couric, co-anchor of NBC-TV’s “Today” show, will address OU graduates.
- Oklahoma City Community College president Dr. Paul Sechrist will speak to graduates at OCCC’s 33rd annual commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. May 12 in the Cox Business Services Convention Center.
- Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City will hold its 43rd annual commencement at 7:30 p.m. May 15 in the Cox Business Services Convention Center. Dave Lopez, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., will serve as commencement speaker.
- Richard A. Hesel, principal of Art & Science Group, LLC, will be the spring commencement speaker at OSU Technical Branch-Okmulgee at 7:30 p.m. April 21 in Covelle Hall Auditorium.
- Carl Albert State College in Poteau will hold its commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. May 5 in the Mick Thompson Fitness Center. CASC President Dr. Joe E. White, will address graduates.
- Seminole State College will hold its 73rd annual commencement at 10 a.m. May 13 in Raymond Harber Field House.
- OSU, Stillwater, will celebrate its 116th annual commencement over two days. The Graduate College commencement is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 5 in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Arts and Sciences; and Education will hold their commencement May 7 at 10 a.m. in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The William S. Spears School of Business and the colleges of Engineering, Architecture and Technology; Human Environmental Sciences; and Veterinary Health Science will hold their commencement at 2 p.m.
- Northeastern State University President Dr. Larry Williams will serve as commencement speaker for NSU’s 97th annual graduation ceremonies at 9 a.m. and noon May 6 at Doc Wadley Stadium in Tahlequah. He will also speak to NSU-Broken Arrow graduates at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 8 during commencement exercises in the Tulsa Community College Performing Arts Center located on TCC’s Southeast Campus.
- Murray State College will hold its 98th annual commencement at 7 p.m. May 5 on the front lawn of the college’s administration building in Tishomingo. Serving as commencement speaker will be U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.
- Dr. Joe Anna Hibler, former president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University and member of the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame, will serve as commencement speaker during Northern Oklahoma College’s 100th graduation ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. April 29 in Foster-Piper Fieldhouse in Tonkawa and at 3 p.m. in Briggs Auditorium on NOC’s Enid campus.
- Susan Neal, former Tulsa city councilor, will speak to graduates during TCC’s 36th annual commencement at 7:30 p.m. May 5 inside Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center in Tulsa.
- The OSU Center for Health Sciences, Tulsa, will hold its 30th commencement ceremony for graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at 10 a.m. May 13 inside the TCC Performing Arts Center on TCC’s Southeast Campus.
- Hans Helmerich, president and chief executive officer of Helmerich and Payne, Inc. of Tulsa, will serve as speaker during OSU-Tulsa’s seventh annual commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. May 8 in the historic Pavilion at Expo Square, mid-town Tulsa.
- Connors State College, Warner, will hold its 97th annual commencement at 7 p.m. May 5 inside the Melvin Self Fieldhouse. Duwayne Briley, chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Armstrong Bank in Warner, will serve as commencement speaker.
- Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s 102nd annual commencement will take place at 10 a.m. May 13 at Milam Stadium in Weatherford. John Aaron, retired chief of the systems engineering office at NASA, and Dr. Benny Hill, retired researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and former chair of the SWOSU Physics Department, will give commencement addresses. They will also be inducted into the SWOSU Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
- Eastern Oklahoma State College’s 97th annual commencement will be held at 6:30 p.m. May 5 on the college’s Quadrangle in Wilburton.