USAO graduates 72 in Fall Commencement
President John Feaver encouraged the 72 graduates at the Fall commencement for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma to appreciate their degrees as an achievement of effort and not to allow an increasingly consumerist culture to reduce its value to an object for purchase.
“These are not skills that you learn and develop online,” Feaver said. “These are not skills that you learn from proprietary schools that sell interchangeable college credits.”
“Are they not skills necessary to the pursuit of happiness, both as individuals and members of the multiple communities that you will find yourself living and working in? We think so here at this college and we hope you do too.”
Nancy Powell of Midwest City, president of the USAO Alumni Association, presented the Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Newport, R.I. native Molly K. Tracy.
Tracy graduated cum laude with a bachelor of art degree in political science. She is a graduate of Middletown High School. She has worked as an admissions counselor during her final trimester at USAO and plans to attend graduate school.
“Molly loves to learn and takes the opportunities to do so serious,” said Dr. Aleisha Karjala, associate professor of political science. “She is not afraid to speak up and ask tough questions or even voice her opinion. She is willing and able to take on leadership roles even in classroom settings.”
Tracy is president of the USAO Hypatia Honor Society, a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and is a volunteer for Early Head Start. She has served as chair of the USAO Student Homecoming Committee, vice president of the USAO Student Government, as a member of the Student Advisory Board to the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education, as the southwest regional director and congressional chair of the Oklahoma Student Government Association and as delegation chair of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature.
While at USAO, she received the Dex Marble Scholarship, the Dr. Anna Lewis Scholarship, the Laron Short Scholarship for Nonviolent Social Change, the Marguerite Martin Pinkston Scholarship, the Drover Pride Award and the Emerging Leader Award.
Three graduating seniors were recognized as the Fall 2013 Distinguished Graduates.
Fine arts candidate Brad Burris, of Mustang, received the distinction of outstanding graduate from the division of arts and humanities.
Sky Corby, a psychology major from Norman, was named the outstanding graduate from the division of business and social sciences.
The division of education and speech pathology bestowed their distinction on Jamie Harvey, an early childhood education major from Chickasha.
The biggest surprise of the evening came when Feaver called graduate Dexter Nelson II to the lectern.
Nelson, who served in positions of leadership with the Student Association and Student Advancement Team, began his short speech by thanking friends and faculty for making his college experience a memorable one.
The speech took an unexpected turn when Nelson acknowledged his girlfriend, graduate Kylee Taylor and asked her to come to the stage.
As she walked towards the stage, Nelson noted that, "It was here at USAO that we first met and it was also here that first started dating."
"It was also here that I fell in love with her," Nelson said. "So, I figure, it seems only appropriate if it was here that I should propose."
Nelson fell to one knee in front of the astonished Taylor as Te Ata Memorial Auditorium erupted in cheers. Taylor took the ring and the couple embraced before exiting the stage to the applause of the room.
[WATCH NELSON'S SPEECH HERE]
The evening ceremony began with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” processional performed by Dr. Stephen Weber, professor of music and chairman of the arts and humanities division.
Graduating senior Christopher Jordan, a music major from Ardmore, performed “Morceau de Concours” by composer Edmund Missa, accompanied by Rhenada Finch, special adjunct and staff accompanist.
Weber, Hanson, and Dr. Ken Bohannon, associate professor of music and music department coordinator led graduates and guests in singing “The College Hymn.”
Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music, performed the recessional, a solo keyboard arrangement of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Wizards in Winter.”
For persons who missed the ceremony, it can be viewed online at link.usao.edu/GradF13. Copies of the ceremony also are available on DVD in the USAO Media and Community Relations office or by phone at 405-574-1318.
Feaver issued 55 bachelor of science degrees, 13 bachelor of arts degrees and four bachelor of fine arts degrees.
These students received bachelor of science degrees:
Alex: Regina Louise Baker
Anadarko: Stephanie Dian Dubcak Jared
Blanchard: Haley Marie Broyles, Dustin Troy Cryer, Charissa E. McKinzie-Hannabass, Twila D. Misenheimer, Jessica Dawn Stockton
Chickasha: Elizabeth Corene Bates, Mica Dawn Campbell, Jairus Daniel Greco, Jamie Marie Harvey, Shawna Dawn Howard, Richard Paul Job, Anthony Richard Klipp, Jerry Mosqueda Muñiz, Nicole Danielle Stege, Sara Nicole Stinson, Lauren Elizabeth Pearl Travis, Bethany Ann Whitener, Heath Ryan Wilda
Dibble: Crystal Dawn Carroll
Elgin: Kimberly Eden Knapp
Lindsay: Blair Elizabeth Bolles, Aubrey Lauren Dorman
Locust Grove: Emily Noel Potter
Medford: Joshua Morgan Goodman
Moore: Kathryn Renee Francis
Mustang: Rachel Nicole Rowe, Kaitlyn Marie Witty
Newcastle: Brooke Anne McLeod, Meghann Elizabeth Neeley, Amanda Ilene Russell, Rachael A. Schlittler
Norman: Calli Jordyn Cooper, Hailey Nicole Odell
Oklahoma City: Anthony Nesbit
Piedmont: Katherine Ann Jirak
Pocasset: Elizabeth Jean Agpalo, Laci Renee Weger Garrett
Prue: Jessica LeeAnn Horton
Sapulpa: Mindi Faye Locke, Aaron Wayne Manuel
Springer: Kayla Diane Wilson
Tulsa: Rachel Katherine Sharpe, Lyssa Lee Snow
Warr Acres: Alisa Danielle Bermudez
Washington: Larissa Noell Brown
Yukon: Audrey Dixon, Markie Larcene LaFerney
Out of State
Fort Worth, Texas: Brian A. Vigo-Suárez
Frisco, Texas: Amanda Nicoale Cave
Rowlett, Texas: Brittany Nicole Scott
Vernon, Texas: Clinton Thomas Selman
Out of Country
Liverpool, England: Scott Parkinson
Glasgow, Scotland: Christopher Douglas Lee
These students received bachelor of arts degrees:
Anadarko: Kiowa Lynn Dupoint
Chickasha: Jennifer Ashley Hammersberg, Donald David Leland, Franklin Eugene McLaughlin
Norman: Michael R. Deatherage, Andrew Jacob Flanagan, Clanadra Skye McCool, Bryce Aaron Shearer
Rush Springs: Morgan Kendal Singleton Bratcher
Tecumseh: Kelsey Jordan Warren
Tulsa: Lauren Nicole Carter
Tuttle: Dexter Anton Nelson II
Out of State
Middletown, R.I.: Molly Katherine Tracy
Receiving bachelor of fine arts degrees were:
Chickasha: Kerye Leigh Hartzell
Mannford: April Dawn Self
Mustang: Bradley Kyle Burris
Norman: Elizabeth Katie Jones