Thousands of Oklahoma College Graduates Poised to Enter Work Force

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education estimates that 25,500 students will earn college degrees this spring from state higher education institutions.

Preliminary information relating to degrees awarded in spring 2003 was gathered in a survey of higher education institutions. Official data for the 2002-2003 academic year will be available later.

The most popular fields of study among the estimated 7,400 students who will be receiving associate degrees are business, general studies and nursing.

Business, education and psychology are the programs most frequently selected by the estimated 12,700 students earning bachelor's degrees.

An estimated total of 4,200 students will receive master's degrees in a variety of fields, most notably in business and education.

Another 400 students will earn their doctorate degrees, while an estimated 800 others will receive professional degrees in areas such as law and medicine.

"They will play an integral role in helping shape Oklahoma's economy for many years to come," said Chancellor Paul G. Risser.

Representatives from various fields will be among the commencement speakers at this year's graduation ceremonies.

East Central University, Ada, will hold its commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 10 at the Kerr Activities Center. ECU Distinguished Alumnus Kevin Turner, chief executive officer and president of Sam's Club Division of Wal-Mart Stores, will provide the commencement address.

Western Oklahoma State College in Altus will welcome Kermit McMurry, vice chancellor for student services for the State Regents, as its commencement speaker at 8 p.m. May 9 in the Herschel H. Crow Fine Arts Auditorium. It will mark the 76th annual commencement at the southwestern Oklahoma college.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University will hold its 104th annual commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. May 10 at Ranger Field in Alva. Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Okla., will give the commencement address.

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, had its spring graduation ceremony on Friday. J. Blake Wade, executive director of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, was the speaker.

State Rep. Jari Askins, D-Duncan, will speak at Rogers State University's graduation ceremony at 4 p.m. May 10 at the Claremore Expo Center. This marks the 91st commencement for RSU and will feature the university's second group of bachelor's degree graduates. RSU was accredited as a four-year university in August 2000.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant will hold its 93rd annual commencement at 9 a.m. May 10 on Paul Laird Field. Sen. Brad Carson, D-Okla., will be the speaker.

The University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, will hold four separate commencement ceremonies over a two-day period inside Hamilton Field House on the UCO campus. The first is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 9 for bachelor's degree graduates of the College of Education, and the second is at 7 p.m. for master's degree graduates from the College of Education and graduates from the College of Mathematics and Sciences. The third ceremony begins at 9 a.m. May 10 for the College of Business Administration graduates, followed by the 1 p.m. commencement for graduates of the College of Arts, Media and Design and College of Liberal Arts.

Redlands Community College in El Reno will hold its 64th annual commencement at 8 p.m. May 16 in the Redlands Field House. Phil Moss, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs for the State Regents, will give the address.

Former Oklahoma State Attorney General Mike Turpin will speak at 3 p.m. May 3 at the Enid branch of Northern Oklahoma College during the institution's 97th commencement ceremony.

Rep. Larry Adair, D-Stilwell, speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, will be the guest speaker at Oklahoma Panhandle State University's 80th graduation ceremony at 10 a. …

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