For those honored at OSU Institute of Technology’s annual Alumni Homecoming & Hall of Fame Reception, it’s an opportunity to go back to their alma mater to thank those who got them started on their career path.
For the fourth year, a select group of OSUIT graduates were chosen and inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame. Eight alumni were honored at this year’s reception.
One of those who expressed heartfelt thanks for their experience at OSUIT was Brandon Harn, associate creative director of publishing at Ackerman McQueen in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“I want to thank my professors for pushing us to be everything we could be. There are times I really lean on the things I learned here,” Harn said. “I could hear [Visual Communications dean] James McCullough’s voice in my head saying ‘I think it could be better’ and that has really helped me.”
Some of the honorees got a little nostalgic after being presented with their awards, including Mark Wyatt, owner of Agency Creative in Dallas.
“Inductees, think back to when you went to school here. Remember the instructors that pushed us, can you see their faces? Do you remember the graduates who came back and talked with us?” Wyatt said. “What a journey we’ve all gone on since our graduation day.”
Bob Smith, owner of Bob Smith Coachworks in Gainesville, Texas; as well as Charley Been, shop foreman at MHC Kenworth in Tulsa, both remarked on how much technology has advanced since they graduated.
“Looking back at the last 40 years, it’s amazing how technology has changed. Technology today is growing so fast,” Been said.
Touring the campus again made Smith almost envious.
“We saw all the equipment and the facilities. I asked ‘If I could turn back time, could I enroll tomorrow?’” he said, but something that hasn’t changed is the dedication of instructors. “There are teachers, and there are masters. The people at OSUIT are masters. I would not be where I am today without them.”
Several of the honored alumni spoke about finding their right fit at OSUIT.
“I have wanted to be an artist since I was 6 years old. I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer since I set foot on this campus, specifically the School of Visual Communications,” said Kyndl Rowland, creative designer at Saatchi & Saatchi X in Fayetville, Arkansas.
For Dylan Ingram, field engineer at Sherwood Construction Co., Inc., in Tulsa, OSUIT’s mission of applied technology is what helped him succeed.
“It was a lot more hands on, smaller classes so you weren’t just a body in a seat, but you could interact with your teachers,” Ingram said. “The hands-on aspect really helped me. It was a lot different than at other schools where you just read about it in a book.”
Mike Rampey, owner of Air Assurance Company in Broken Arrow, took time to recognize some of his former instructors who made such a difference in his life.
“I want to thank OSUIT for bestowing this honor on someone who hated to go to school until I came to OSUIT,” he said. “There’s not a school in this country that holds a candle to OSUIT.”
Scott Johnson, director of healthcare solutions at York Electronic Systems, Inc., in Broken Arrow, gave much of the credit for his success to his alma mater after receiving his award.
“Everything I learned here at OSUIT is the reason why I got to the point I am in my career at York, and the reason I got to this point here,” Johnson said.
Bruce Force, director of Student Life and Alumni Coordinator, said a highlight of the event for him was seeing alumni honored for their accomplishments and how grateful they are for the foundation OSUIT gave them.
“I am honored to be part of this event and share with the audience a little about our alumni, but my favorite part is listening to them,” he said. “They often reflect on their time here on our campus, and you can tell by their emotion and comments that OSUIT was a very special place for them.”
Charley Been, ’77 School of Diesel & Heavy Equipment
Scott Johnson, ’00 School of Engineering Technologies
Mike Rampey, ’74 School of Construction Technologies
Bob Smith, ’73 School of Automotive Technologies
Mark Wyatt, ’82 School of Visual Communications
Brandon Harn, ’08 School of Visual Communications
Dylan Ingram, ’14 School of Construction Technologies
Kyndl Rowland ’14 School of Visual Communications