May 20, 2019
Goodwell, Okla. — It was standing room only at Anchor D Arena this past Thursday, May 10, 2018 as family and friends gathered for the 2018 Oklahoma Panhandle State University Commencement Ceremony at Oscar Williams Field House. Over 155 graduates walked across the stage and received their diplomas.
Panhandle State faculty and special guests took the stage to the sound of bagpipes played by Lead Marshal Ian Briggs. The Panhandle State Concert Band, directed by Charla Lewis, performed a musical prelude, All Glory Told followed by Fanfare and Processional as the graduates marched in and took their seats. The Guymon Fire Department presented the colors and the Panhandle State Chamber Singers sang The Star-Spangled Banner and the Alma Mater-Crimson and Blue under the direction of Dr. Dee Wilkins. Father Mike Wheelahan, Pastor of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Guymon, Okla., gave the invocation.
Dr. Tim Faltyn, Panhandle State President, welcomed everyone to the ceremony encouraging all to celebrate the special day saying “This is a time to make joyful memories and reflect on the hard work and dedication of our graduates.”
CEO of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents Jason Ramsey brought greetings form the A&M Board. The Board has provided wise leadership and service to Panhandle State since 1944. Jason Ramsey has served the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents since 2003 and has been the CEO since 2012. A graduate of OSU and OU, Mr. Ramsey, his wife Natalie and their two children live in Edmond.
A memorial resolution was presented to Rose Miller in honor of David Miller. Mr. David Miller served at Panhandle State for 28 years. He began his career at Panhandle in 1988 as an adjunct business instructor. In 1993, he became a fulltime instructor of Business and was promoted to Assistant Professor of Business in 1998. In 2004, Mr. Miller became the chair of the Business Department and was holding that position at the time of his passing, May 24, 2017.
Recognition was given to two Panhandle State faculty members who are retiring this year, Dee Seaman and Mindy Davis. Seaman, an Assistant Professor, Behavioral Science, has been with Panhandle State since 2002. She single-handedly developed the criminal justice program, is beloved by her students and enjoys the reputation as one of the most organized people on campus. Mindy Davis, Associate Professor, Accounting began teaching at the University in 1980. She is a legend on campus and in her field but many will miss her infection laugh the most.
The graduates had the opportunity to hear from one of their very own Student Government Association President David Peebles. Peebles came to Panhandle State from Hermitage, Ark. He is a senior majoring in Health and Physical Education with minors in Social Studies, Education and Music. He has participated in SGA, Concert Band and Choir, SOEA, History Club, NAFME, OIL, is the Head RA at Field Hall, and is a student coach with the Aggie Football Team.
The commencement address was given by Dr. Sara Jane Richter, one of Panhandle State’s very own legends. She encouraged the graduates saying, “If you wake each morning passionate about your career, you will thrive. If you wake each morning eagerly embracing the day, you will be happy. If you wake each morning knowing you must be at your best mentally, physically, morally, and emotionally, you will succeed.”
Dr. Richter added, “Whatever you want, do it. Don’t settle for second best. Throw yourself into whatever you have chosen to do.” She concluded with, “That is your charge when you leave Anchor D Arena and walk right smack dab into the future outside. Rope it, ride it, bulldog it, and make it yours.”
Following Dr. Richter’s speech, Charly Bloesser was named the mortarboard decorating contest winner by Student Services Director Mike Harris. He also presented Sarah Brady with the J.R.P. Sewell Award. The J.R.P. Sewell Award was established in 1949 and honors the memory of the late J.R.P. Sewell, a local banker and strong supporter of this University. The award promotes and encourages leadership and citizenship among the students. Graduating seniors who have completed all coursework here and have above a 3.0 cumulative GPA are eligible, and faculty vote for the winner. Sarah excelled in and out of the classroom as a student at Panhandle State. Brady completed her coursework in the fall of 2017 magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
Alumni President Diane Murphey addressed the graduates on behalf of the Panhandle State Association of Alumni and Friends. Murphey encouraged the graduates to stay connected with Panhandle State. Each graduate received a complimentary one-year membership to the Alumni Association.
Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Julie Dinger presented the Class of 2018 for graduation and certification.
The graduates recessed to Fanfare and Recessional after the benediction by Father Mike Wheelahan.
Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2018!
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