Nearly 200 graduates from OSU Institute of Technology walked into Covelle Hall Friday afternoon as students, but left as young professionals prepared to join the workforce as OSUIT’s 209th graduating class closed one chapter and began a new one.
The gym was packed with friends, family and OSUIT faculty and staff Friday, April 20. The ending of this trimester marked a time for each student to reflect during the ceremony how attending OSUIT has made a positive impact on them, whether providing a greater quality of life, or giving them a second chance in life to do something truly great.
Terry May, featured speaker for the commencement gave an inspiring speech, discussing his success in life and the hard work that comes with it. May is the founder of MESA, a Tulsa-based company that provides services and material distribution specializing in corrosion control and pipeline integrity solutions.
“If I could leave you with anything, it would be this: live your life well. Do what you love. It took me many years to realize that being an engineer or working in the pipeline industry was not my passion,” said May.
May said his passion is building a team, creating a shared vision, and executing a strategy to achieve that vision.
“Corrosion engineering just happened to be my vehicle to achieve that passion. Never
stop learning. Learning is growing. Learning is preparing,” said May.
Terry gave his input on leadership to the students and its potential influence to their decision making.
“I have been the president of MESA for almost 40 years, and I’m not an expert on leadership, but there is one thing I know for sure – leadership is not about a title, a salary or a position,” said May.
May said anyone can be a leader and challenged the students to take what they learned at OSUIT.
“I challenge you to be the leaders we need for the future,” said May.
During the ceremony, Ashley Barton served as the student respondent. Barton graduated with a Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology, with an emphasis in Software Development and Information Assurance and Forensics.
Ashley said long nights and weekends studying with little sleep, all while finding quality time to spend with her child meant sacrifices that in the end were worth it.
“Every one of us have given up something, made some sort of sacrifice just to be here today, looking forward to the brighter future because of it,” said Barton.
Ashley explained that some sacrifices are bigger than others and much harder to make.
“What this has taught me is that all things great come at a cost,” said Barton. “Despite everything that wanted to knock me down, I stand here with you all today as a success.”