OSU President Burns Hargis and OSUIT President Emeritus Robert Klabenes Set to Address Spring Graduates

OSU President Burns Hargis and OSUIT President Emeritus Robert Klabenes Set to Address Spring Graduates

OSU President Burns Hargis and OSUIT President Emeritus Robert Klabenes Set to Address Spring Graduates

Nearly 230 career-ready graduates will be celebrated during OSU Institute of Technology’s 218th Commencement at 2p.m. Tuesday, April 20, in Covelle Hall. Nursing graduates also will receive their pins during a ceremony at 10 a.m.

Celebrating 75 years of educating Oklahoma’s workforce, OSUIT will feature two notable figures in its history: Burns Hargis, the 18th president of Oklahoma State University and the OSU System, and Dr. Robert E. Klabenes, president emeritus of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.

As system president, Hargis has enthusiastically united the broad OSU community of students, employees, alumni and donors behind his bold vision of a modern land-grant university that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. He is set to retire July 1.

Dr. Klabenes became OSUIT’s third president in 1983 and served in that capacity for 28 years before retiring in January 2011. 

During Klabenes’s tenure, he was responsible for creating a unique niche for OSUIT in Oklahoma’s system of public higher education. That niche was an advanced technological education that culminated in Associate in Applied Science and Bachelor of Technology degrees that prepare graduates to enter the workforce as technical professionals immediately upon graduation. These standards represent OSUIT’s business model to this day.

Klabenes will reflect upon OSUIT’s history and heritage, going back to its post-WWII roots as part of the campus’s 75th anniversary celebration.

Julie Esther Orellana-Muy from Mounds, who will serve as this year’s student respondent, is graduating from the School of Creative & Information Technologies with an Associate in Applied Science in Information Technologies.

Orellana-Muy was a member of the All-Oklahoma/All-USA Academic Team, Phi Theta Kappa, Jenks Swim Club, President’s Honor Roll and is graduating Summa Cum Laude. She was also a two-time recipient of the $5,000 Milliman Scholarship and received the President’s Tuition Waiver.

“I never dreamed it was possible to be chosen as the student respondent,” she said. “It is a high honor, and I do not take it lightly. It comes with hard work and dedication.”

This summer, Julie will train for her first triathlon and later plans to return to OSUIT in the fall and pursue a Bachelor of Technology in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration of graduates has been modified to deliver an event that holds the same traditions of pomp and circumstance with the safety and well-being of the campus community in mind.

The spring 2021 commencement exercises will be held as private functions and without guests. Covelle Hall will be closed to the public, and only graduating students and the platform party will be permitted entry.

The ceremony will be streamed live to the OSUIT Facebook page and made available for on-demand viewing on OState.TV and the OSUIT website so that friends and family may see their graduate crossing the stage and share in that moment.

Changes to the staging and processionals will also be made to enforce social distancing, such as spaced seating and the requirement of facial coverings. All graduates will be provided an OSUIT facial covering for the ceremony.

For more information on the speakers and updates regarding the 218th commencement ceremony, please visit osuit.edu/commencement.