*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
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
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.