Oklahoma State University Celebrates 145th Commencement

KTUL - December 19, 2022 6:07 am

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas speaks at the 145th commencement ceremonies in Gallagher-Iba Arena on Dec. 17, 2022. (Courtesy Oklahoma State University)

U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas had a dream of a long career in Congress during his time at Oklahoma State University.

On Saturday, Dec. 17, Lucas reminded over 1,100 graduates at OSU’s fall commencement ceremonies that dreams do come true.

Lucas graduated in 1982 with a degree in agricultural economics and currently represents Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District, which takes up nearly half of the state’s land mass.

He’s native to Cheyenne in Rogers Mills County and graduated from high school with about 40 other people.

But Lucas said he never let his rural roots deter him from the career that would one day take him to Washington D.C.

“Remember this, the size of your hometown does not have to determine the size of your dreams,” he said.

OSU President Kayse Shrum presided over the school’s 145th commencement and was joined by Lucas, OSU Faculty Chair Dr. Ki Cole, OSU A&M Board of Regents Chair Jarold Callahan, and Student Government Association President Riley Pritzlaff.

“For many of us, our time at OSU played a very critical role in our lives,” Callahan said. “Whether it was learning skills for our future careers, taking advantage of leadership opportunities on campus, or making friends that will last a lifetime, OSU has made a difference in your life.”

OSU President Kayse Shrum speaks at the 145th commencement ceremonies in Gallagher-Iba Arena on Dec. 17, 2022. (Courtesy Oklahoma State University)

Shrum also bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters upon Gene Rainbolt, a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame who made a name for himself in the state’s baking industry and who has continuously been a supporter of higher education.

Rainbolt’s son, David, was present to receive the degree.

Higher education is what Lucas says will continue to push Oklahoma toward the future.

He discussed the mission of the land-grant institution and how OSU helped his parents’ generation through the Dust Bowl.

Lucas also mentioned those same land-grant institutions are solving today’s problem, and that Saturday’s graduates are going to be crucial for the state’s future.

“Ultimately, you are all the reason why Oklahoma State will be the preeminent land-grant institution,” Lucas said. “Your innovation, your discoveries, your wealth of knowledge, and generosity to give back to OSU will help make our university a better place for generations. You are all examples that OSU is and will for generations continue to be the preeminent land-grant university. I believe now more than ever, Oklahoma and our nation, the graduates of land-grant universities, you are the ones who will go on to educate, serve our communities, solve problems and improve our understanding of the world around us. Going forward, I challenge you to always remember what it means to be a Cowboy. Remember to challenge yourself intellectually and never stop learning.”

Alyssa Parker was a summer graduate, but finally got the opportunity to walk across the stage at Saturday’s ceremony.

She said it was a surreal experience. Parker received a degree in university studies from the Ferguson College of Agriculture and is now working to become a high school teacher in Tennessee.

“It didn’t feel real at first, but now it feels really real,” said Parker, a native of Yuba City, California.

A similar reaction was held by Megan Wines, who just received her bachelor’s degree in sociology.

Wines said she took what Lucas said about graduation being the first step in her career to heart.

Wines is originally from Fort Worth, Texas, and says she is hoping to go into the forensic science field, but she will always remember her time in Stillwater.

“I am just going to miss the friends and the people,” she said. “Everyone is so friendly. You never really find people like you do in Stillwater anywhere else.”

Saturday morning’s exercises recognized students from the Ferguson College of Agriculture, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The afternoon consisted of ceremonies for the Spears School of Business and the College of Education and Human Sciences. Graduate student ceremonies were held Friday.

Commencement ceremonies can be found at insideosu.com.


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