Q&A - April 28, 2017

Despite state budget cuts to our operational funding, OSUIT continues to fulfill its mission to serve as Oklahoma’s leading technical training institution of higher education. We have always done our best to provide students with a valuable and worthwhile learning experience while they study in Okmulgee. We combine top notch student life programs with the absolute finest applied learning opportunities to produce a technical learning experience that is second to none.

The proof of concept for our applied learning model is in the success of our graduates. For decades, they have leveraged their training and internships from OSUIT to become extremely successful in the workforce. So one graduate at a time, OSUIT is satisfying state and regional workforce needs. Every graduate is part of our story of success, and as of last Friday, we have a lot more new stories to tell.

Q:How was graduation last week?

Once again, crowds gathered in Covelle Hall to honor the academic achievements of OSUIT students, and it was so nice to have the north end of the building reopened after recent renovations. Last Friday’s commencement ceremony was for the 206th graduating class of OSUIT where 181 students graduated in 29 different majors. This represents 181 graduates who are either entering the workforce or continuing their education. More than 60% of our students graduated with academic honors—with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher. Leading our processional march with two wonderful performances was the Oklahoma State University Pipe Band under the direction of Major Bill Tetrick. Our commencement speaker was Dr. Jerry Dawkins, the principal security consultant and founder of True Digital Security, a Tulsa-based security consulting firm positioned to be a leader in information assurance consulting and product development. And our student response was provided by Jacob Allen, from Leonard, Texas, who was graduating with an Associate in Applied Science in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration from the School of Construction Technologies. Hundreds of excited friends and family members of our graduates were proudly in attendance making this a lively and enthusiastic ceremony for all. It was my honor to preside over this celebratory event.

The day of celebration started out with many smaller gatherings in departments all across campus. OSUIT faculty members take great pride in their students and enjoy hosting special events honoring their latest graduates. Most noteworthy was the nursing pinning ceremony. It is a time-honored practice for the faculty of a nursing school to present their graduates with a special lapel pin during a public gathering of the graduates’ closest family and friends. The tradition of the nursing pin and the ceremonial pinning we know today originated in the 1860s at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing in London. Since the earliest days of professional nursing in America, graduate nurses have proudly displayed on their uniform the distinctive pin that represents their individual school of nursing. This spring, the OSUIT School of Nursing & Health Sciences so honored 31 nursing graduates.

Please continue to send me your questions and comments for this weekly column. You may forward them to osuit-president@okstate.edu.