Oklahoma Secretary of Education to Address OSUIT’s 201st Graduation Class

Natalie Shirley

OSU Institute of Technology will honor more than 360 graduates with two commencement ceremonies Friday, Aug. 21, in Covelle Hall on the Okmulgee campus.

Students from the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Construction Technologies, Culinary Arts, Engineering Technologies, Information Technologies, and Nursing & Health Sciences will graduate during the 2 p.m. event. Students from the Schools of Automotive Technologies, Diesel & Heavy Equipment, and Energy Technologies will graduate during the 7 p.m. ceremony.

Natalie Shirley, Oklahoma secretary of education and workforce development and OSU-Oklahoma City president will serve as keynote speaker for both graduation ceremonies.

I am very honored and delighted to speak at the commencement ceremony of a sister OSU campus and welcome these new men and women to their future careers, Shirley said. As both a university president and secretary of education and workforce development, it’s exciting to see what OSUIT is doing in terms of educating and preparing our state’s workforce. OSUIT’s practice of partnering directly with industry to meet their employment needs benefits both the employer and student and is a model that more universities should emulate.

Summer 2015 Commencement

Both ceremonies will be held at Covelle Hall on Friday, August 21, 2015.

1st Ceremony

  • Begins at 2:00 p.m.
  • Doors will open 12:45 p.m.

2nd Ceremony

  • Begins at 7:00 p.m.
  • Doors will open 5:45 p.m.

See more information about the upcoming 2015 Summer Commencement.

Shirley, OSU-OKC’s president since 2011, is the first female president in the OSU system. In January, she was appointed by Governor Mary Fallin to serve in her Cabinet as secretary of education and workforce development.

Shirley is currently working with Fallin to implement the Oklahoma Works program, designed to increase educational attainment for Oklahomans in order to produce a more educated workforce to support and cultivate the state’s economy.

“Meeting the workforce demands of the state, region and country has always been the mission of the university since it opened nearly 70 years ago,” said OSUIT President Bill R. Path.

“We pride ourselves on giving our students not only a well-rounded education, but also the skills and training to ensure that they have a bright future after they walk across our graduation stage,” Path said.

The newly formed School of Energy Technologies will graduate 26 students from the Natural Gas Compression program, one of the largest classes in program’s recent history.

Speaking on behalf of the student body are Martin McCurdy, who will address his fellow graduates during the afternoon ceremony, and Kevin Reed, who will speak in the evening ceremony.

McCurdy is graduating with a Bachelor of Technology in Information Assurance and Forensics as well as a Bachelor of Technology in Information Technology Enterprise Management from the School of Information Technologies.

“I absolutely enjoyed my time here at OSUIT because I learned how to be innovative with my thoughts, creative with my ideas and passionate about my actions. I feel these attributes have accelerated my life,” he said.

Reed will earn an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Collision Repair from the School of Automotive Technologies.

“College was about developing a very strong work habit, pushing myself, testing my limits and breaking down walls,” he said. “My educational experience was great at OSUIT; I learned all I could from all my teachers. I’ve learned things that I’ll be able to carry out into my everyday life.”

Both Reed and McCurdy are currently working in their chosen career fields prior to graduation, a testament to OSUIT’s reputable immediate job placement upon graduation.

On average, nine out of ten OSUIT graduates have a job waiting for them the moment they walk off the graduation stage, Path said. As a university, our responsibility isn’t just to educate our students, but also prepare them for the working world. And I believe OSUIT does that better than anybody.

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Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology is a recognized leader in applied technology education and is known for world-class teaching facilities, partnerships with industry, and a nearly 100 percent career placement rate.


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