It was a full house for the 109th Commencement Ceremony at Panhandle State held May 9, 2019. —Photo by A.J. Ingo

May 13, 2019

Panhandle State Communications

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Goodwell, Okla. — The Oklahoma Panhandle State University Class of 2019 was joined by an arena full of family and friends to celebrate the 109th Commencement Ceremony held Thursday, May 9, 2019 at the Anchor D Arena in Goodwell.

The ceremony began as faculty members and special guests took their stage seats to the sound of a drum cadence. The Class of 2019 entered to Fanfare and Processional played by the Panhandle State Concert Band and directed by Charla Lewis. 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. Pastor David Jenkins, Panhandle Centenary United Methodist Church in Goodwell gave the invocation.

University President Dr. Tim Faltyn welcomed graduates, parents, Board of Regents, honored guests, distinguished faculty and staff to the event and invited everyone to celebrate with enthusiasm, reflecting on the hard work and dedication of the graduates as well as making joyful memories.

Regent Joe Hall brought Greetings from the Oklahoma A&M Regents. Regent Hall is the owner and CEO of Joe D. Hall General Contractors, LLC and is involved in construction/engineering and real estate development in Western Oklahoma as well as ranching operations. Mr. Hall was appointed by Governor Brad Henry in 2003 and reappointed by Governor Mary Fallin in 2011 to serve as a member of the A&M Board of Regents. Mr. Hall received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1983, graduating with honors. The Board has provided wise leadership and service to Panhandle State since 1944.

Memorial resolution recognition was given to husband and wife team, Joe and Mary Anne Mayer. Mr. Joe Mayer began his career at Panhandle State in 1968 and he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech with a minor in Business Administration in 1972. Mr. and Mrs. Mayer were longtime residents of Guymon, Okla.

Dr. Sandol Johnson was recognized as a retiring faculty member. She first came to Panhandle in 1983 as an Instructor of Animal Science and Firestone Meat Lab Manager. Johnson has been the Department Chair of Animal Science and Professor of Animal Science since 2013. She has been a part of leading the meat judging team and has been an Academic Advisor for the Equestrian Team. One of her proudest accomplishments is when a new student will introduce themselves and say, “You taught my parents years ago and they said I had to take one of your classes.”

Jorge Rosas brought greetings as the Student Government Association President. Rosas came to Panhandle State from Felt, Okla. He is a double major in Marketing and Computer Information Systems and he has been a part of Video Game Club, AITP, PBL, and SGA.

A special commencement address was given by Mr. Kim Peterson, a life-long resident of the Oklahoma Panhandle as he is a fourth generation native. Peterson addressed the graduates saying “after tonight you join an elite group. Remember that you will always be Panhandle.”

Following Peterson’s speech, Perla America Nevarez-Ortiz was named the mortarboard decorating contest winner by Student Services Director Mike Harris.

Additionally, Harris recognized Hannah Hammack as this year’s J.R.P. Sewell Award winner. Hammack was selected from a strong class of graduating seniors. She has been an outstanding presence on campus and will continue her career at Panhandle State as an Admissions Counselor.

Alumni President Diane Murphey addressed the graduates on behalf of the Panhandle State Association of Alumni and Friends and 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 2019 for graduation and certification.

The graduates recessed to Fanfare and Recessional after the benediction by Pastor Jenkins.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

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