USAO’s spring 2020 virtual commencement honors 114 graduates

Online ceremony highlights students’ remarkable achievement in spite of physical distance
Online ceremony highlights students’ remarkable achievement in spite of physical distance

While the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma’s spring 2020 term was deeply affected by the sudden emergence of COVID-19, the institution leveraged technology so that graduates of the spring 2020 term could still have their achievements publicly recognized during a virtual commencement ceremony held May 22.

In addition to a highlight reel for each individual graduate, the virtual commencement program had all the features of USAO’s traditional ceremony, including an address to the class from President Feaver, the presentation of the Outstanding Graduate Awards for each of the university’s four academic divisions, the hooding of participants in the Mentored Research Program and the presentation of the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award.

“While it pains me greatly that I cannot be there to shake each and every graduate’s hand as they cross the stage in Te Ata Auditorium, I am grateful that we have still found a way to honor these bright young minds,” said USAO President John Feaver. “Our university prides itself on teaching our students to think critically and to be adaptable to changing situations, so, despite the unprecedented crisis we now find ourselves in, I know that these graduates now possess an incredible array of tools which they can put to work towards building a brighter tomorrow.”

Rebekah Willoughby, who graduated with a degree in music and sociology, provided the ceremony’s special music: an arrangement of Andrew Gold’s “Thank You for Being a Friend.”

Nationally ranked for quality and value, for over a century USAO has remained committed to providing a broad and accessible undergraduate education as the state’s only public liberal arts college.

The university awarded 71 Bachelor of Science degrees, 35 Bachelor of Arts degrees and eight Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees during the May 22 ceremony. 

Bachelor of Arts

Hayley Allen

Jaime Allred

Shevon Blair

Jacob Blue

Baylee Bozarth

Sean Brown

Jaiden Campbell

Cora Clegg

Hannah Cook

Colt Ferguson

Emily Hoebing

Isabella Hurst

Daniel Jones

Lynsey Karraker

Denise Kimball

Boniface Kiptoo

Summer Laurick

Deanie Lucero

Sylvia McClanahan

Tale' McKinzie

Kyra Merchen

Je'Ree Mitchell

Morgan Montgomery

Corey Pritchard

Joseph Quickle

Emily Rand

Alexia Robbins

Ian Shofner

Leah Sweet

Kylee Vancoevering

Jorian Vaught

Dominique Washington

Brenna Willie

Rebekah Willoughby

Emma Wilson

Bachelor of Science

Hannah Allison

Rebekah Alston

Reyna Ammons

Reilly Anderson

Angela Apauty

Taylor Baugh

Cassidy Bennett

Donna Bitsche

Robert BlueBack Jr.

Destiny Bolles

Kylee Bryen

Roshae Burrell

Nadorjaye Cage

Nicholas Campisi

Hannah Carpenter

Kelly Carpenter

Carmelita Carson

Kylea Caughman

Dylan Causwell

Pau Celma

Willie Clark

Dakota Clouse

Cody Corser

Tiffany Hood

Kamri Dickson

Michelle Duarte

Erin Dunagan

Treyber Ferguson

Lauren Fixico

Hannah Freeman

Christopher Garcia

Seny Gueye

Justin Hasek

Randa Hatter

Kaitlyn Hodgins

Adrian Hughes

Morgan Jackson

Carly Jenne

Amber Johnson

Pierce Jones

Melia Kane

Jasa Lightfoot

Morgan Loud

Haddon McIntosh

Kadie McLemore

Kira Derr

Kime Newborn

Chandler Nichols

Tania Olivas

Cassidy Pannell

Jaci Peoples

Hope Radtke

Grant Ray

Alexander Rimmer

Glen Shoemake

Jazmyn Short

Andre's Slaughter

Jeffery Smith

Kaylee Smith

Shelby Strangfeld

Edgar Tafoya-Acosta

Blake Tasos

Tania Thrash-Jackson

Caleb Townley

Andreanna Turner

Starling Valera

Zachary Waldroup

Syrena Wallenberg

John Warden

James Weidenmaier

Colline Xiong

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Taylor Bauman

Logan Clark

Ashley Glandon

Bailey Johnson

Araina Leatherock

Eduardo Martinez

Shequtta McCaskill

Duncan Payne

Faculty-Mentored Research Program

The following students produced original research projects suitable for conference presentation and/or professional publication under the mentorship of USAO faculty:

Robert BlueBack

Kylea Caughman

Cora Clegg

Cody Corser

Erin Dunagan

Hannah Freeman

Edgar Tafoya

Andreanna Turner

Emma Wilson

The USAO Faculty Association honored these students with Outstanding Graduate Awards:

Morgan Montgomery for the Division of Arts and Humanities

Haddon McIntosh and Andreanna Turner for the Division of Science and Physical Education

Kylea Caughman and Hannah Freeman for the Division of Social Sciences and Business

Erin Dunagan for the Division of Education and Speech-Language Pathology

Distinguished Graduate Award

Chris Collins, president of the USAO Alumni Association, presented the Association’s Distinguished Graduate Award to Hannah Freeman, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in psychology.

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