Over 300 students walked across the stage during OSU Institute of Technology’s 225th Commencement on August 24. They are now off to their next chapter as the newest members of Oklahoma’s growing workforce.
In his opening remarks, outgoing OSUIT President Dr. Bill R. Path celebrated the accomplishments of the 225th graduating class. Among these graduates, 79% achieved honor status due to their exceptional academic performance. The distinctions included 122 graduates achieving Cum Laude, 94 attaining Magna Cum Laude, and 53 earning Summa Cum Laude recognition.
Melody Shulse, director of training and development at Kodiak Gas Services, served as keynote speaker for the day. She shared valuable lessons about personal responsibility, getting out of comfort zones and embracing the opportunities that come from a solid education.
“Each of us has our unique story of growth, change, and learning throughout our lifetime … We have to take each twist and turn, each experience, each relationship, each challenge, each opportunity and learn from it,” Shulse stated. “As you leave here today, keep your eyes open for opportunity, your mind open to learn new things, and your hands open to share what you have learned with someone else.”
A School of Transportation and Heavy Equipment graduate, Wesley Grizzle, represented his peers as the student respondent for the 10 a.m. ceremony. Grizzle reflected on his journey at OSUIT, cherished moments with classmates and instructors, and the strong sense of community that has shaped the collective experience.
“Their unwavering support and willingness to be there for us are the heart of our collective achievement. They embody the essence of partnership and remind us that our journey isn’t solitary; it’s a shared voyage where every obstacle can be transformed into an opportunity to collaborate and emerge stronger,” expressed Grizzle. “So here’s to the memories we’ve created, the friendships we’ve cherished, and the laughter that carried us through. As we step into the world beyond, let’s keep these lessons close to our hearts and these connections within our reach.”
During the afternoon session, Joseph Friesen, a School of Engineering & Construction Technologies graduate with a Bachelor’s in Instrumentation Engineering, offered reflections on post-graduation uncertainties and the value of God’s guidance. Drawing inspiration from Proverbs and Philippians, he highlighted the importance of embracing knowledge and seemingly insignificant information as a foundation for future opportunities.
Friesen summarized his college experience by saying, “I am incredibly grateful that OSUIT not only gave me practical skills but also opened doors for me in the industry where those skills are applicable. Going here gave me a quality of experience and knowledge in an amount of time that I do not think I could have replicated through YouTube, trial, and error.”