OSU Institute of Technology's 226th graduating ceremony included nearly 250 graduates, equipped and ready to join the workforce. The commencement was held on December 15 in Covelle Hall on the OSUIT campus.
Of the graduates, 66% of students received honor status for their exceptional academic
performance, with 70 graduating Cum Laude, 58 Magna Cum Laude and 34 Summa Cum Laude.
Speakers for the event shared their personal, non-traditional journeys, highlighting the triumphs that led each of them to the graduation stage.
Vice President of Operations at OSUIT and Former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Chris Benge, served as the commencement's keynote speaker and shared his personal and professional path and the lessons he has learned along the way as a non-traditional student obtaining his degree at the age of 44.
"I've learned that putting the team and others first, without caring about credit, is key. Opportunities seem to pop up when you're not even looking, especially when the team comes first. Honesty is a big deal – being upfront pays off. A positive attitude is like your own secret power, lifting you up while negativity drags you down. And don't forget, listening before speaking is a game-changer in communication," said Benge.
He also shared with the audience the importance of OSUIT's next chapter and the new
OSU Polytech initiative's meaning for our campus.
"Looking ahead, the next chapter for OSUIT is truly going to be an exciting one, and I celebrate with you on your educational milestone. With the recent rebranding to OSU Polytech, our campus is now widely recognized as a Polytech leader for the system and in Oklahoma, showcasing our diverse approaches to technology. OSUIT has leveraged itself as a nationwide leader with our hands-on approach to learning guided by industry. This trend aligns with what our country needs."
Kiki Davis served as the student speaker for the 5 pm ceremony. She graduated from the School of Arts, Sciences & Health with an associate degree in applied science in pre-professional studies. She shared with her peers that her time at OSUIT began in the M-Power program and at a difficult personal time.
"To my fellow graduates, I tell you this story to let you see that it doesn't matter
where you start; it only matters where you stop! Reach high for your goals, and don't
let anyone or anything stop you. Hold on to those who believe in you even when you
don't believe in yourself. Today, as we walk this stage, be proud of the demons you
overcame to be here and hold your head high. I know I will because I have four miracles
in the audience watching their momma soar," encouraged Davis.
As she concluded her speech, Davis recognized those who supported her here at OSUIT and reminded us all to be the reason that someone doesn't give up today.
"As a proud first-generation college student, today's celebration is made even more meaningful surrounded by my family and friends. I am grateful for the journey. I owe it all to OSUIT's MPower program, where the unwavering support of Katie Quillin and Fran Colombin became my guiding light. Thank you all for letting me share my story, a testament to the power of education and the bonds that carry us through," inspired Davis.