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Laura Dahl, Director
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, Oklahoma 73939
Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu

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Dignitaries gathered for a group photo prior to the commencement ceremony. Back, left to right, Troy Morris, President of Panhandle Association of Alumni and Friends; Don Scott, Chairman of the Guymon Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee; Jimmy Draper, OPSU Alumnus and Supporter; Frank Lucas, U.S. Representative for the Third District of the State of Oklahoma; Owen Laughlin, State of Oklahoma Senator; Dr. Justin Collins, OPSU’s Dean of Science, Mathematics and Nursing; and Dr. Doug Wilson, Executive Secretary of the Board of Regents for the Oklahoma A&M Colleges. Front, left to right, Mike Shannon, Guymon City Manager; Dr. Dave Bryant, OPSU President; Terry Peach, Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Oklahoma; Gus Blackwell, Oklahoma District 61 Representative; Roy Ehly, Guymon Economic Development Committee; David Elder, OPSU Fine Arts professor.- Campus Communications Photo

*For Immediate Release*
96th Annual Commencement Ceremony Held
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 05/23/06
by Laura Dahl

Goodwell, Okla.-- New alumni of Oklahoma Panhandle State University celebrated their graduation at OPSU’s 96th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20.

The Honorable Frank Lucas, who represents the Third District of the State of Oklahoma, delivered the commencement address. He encouraged the graduates to recognize the dignity in every position they may fill and to exceed their superior’s expectations. Lucas quoted Vince Lombardi: “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm!” After relating a story about being put on the spot to deliver a speech to Congress shortly after he was sworn in, Lucas also advised the degree-holders to be prepared for the unexpected.

Following the congressman’s address, Ms. Jessica Lofland, OPSU’s Director of Student Services and Enrollment Management, presented the J.R.P. Sewell Award to surprised Ms. Katie Dollins. The honor is bestowed on a graduate based on scholarship and leadership. In addition, recipients must have completed all of their undergraduate work at OPSU. Mr. Troy Morris, President of the Panhandle Association of Alumni and Friends welcomed the graduates as alumni and explained the importance of the Alumni Association.

Dr. Wayne Manning conferred a posthumous Associate of Science degree in Business Administration to Jeramy Paul Hawthorne, an OPSU student from Guymon who passed away earlier this year. As the crowd stood and applauded, Jeramy’s aunt and uncle, Steve and Sherry Hawthorne and his brother, Chris, received the degree in his honor.

Senior Class president Rajeanna Manross presented Sam Nelson, an OPSU history professor who retired last year, and Dr. Sara Jane Richter, Dean of Liberal Arts, special awards for their service and dedication to students.

The OPSU Concert Band provided prelude and recessional music and the OPSU Chamber Singers performed several selections, including the OPSU Alma Mater, Crimson and Blue.

Following the ceremony, over 650 people including graduates, family and friends enjoyed the free annual barbecue in the Plaza sponsored by Seaboard Foods, the President’s Office and the Methodist Men from Guymon.

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