NSU Spring 2019 College of Education Commencement, Tahlequah

(Processional music) (Dr. Landry) Students, family members, friends, faculty,
and distinguished guests, welcome to Northeastern State University’s Spring
2019 Commencement for the College of Education.
My name is Debbie Landry and I serve as Provost and Vice President of Academic
Affairs. Please remain standing for the National Anthem sung by Carrie Bell and
accompanied by the NSU Brass Quintet consisting of Timmy Caputo, trumpet;
Jackson Washburn, trumpet; Denario Shoates, French horn;
Lilly Lewis, trombone; and Brady Hacker, bass trombone. Miss Jameie Combs will
serve as our interpreter for this ceremony. (Singing of the National Anthem) Please be seated. It is now my honor to introduce (Dr. Landry) Northeastern State University’s 19th
president, Dr. Steve Turner, who will extend his greetings. (Dr. Turner) Thank you. Good evening, everyone. Welcome to the first of four commencements for
Northeastern State University. Tonight we recognize the undergraduate and graduate
candidates from the College of Education. To our degree candidates, look around.
What a great-looking audience tonight, right? Don’t we love these folks that
have supported you for a long time? So let me say to the moms and dads and
grandparents and husbands and wives and brothers and sisters and children, thank
you for your contribution in the lives of these folks before you. So let’s give
a big round of applause to all of these good folks. (Applause from crowd) Spring is a beautiful time in
Oklahoma and certainly in Green Country. The colors, the campus looks great. The
auditorium or the venue looks great tonight. That doesn’t happen without both
employees and volunteers. In fact, we have a lot of our employees that are giving
their time this weekend and on Monday night to make sure that our commencement
ceremonies go without a hitch. So would all of our volunteers, we’ve got some in
the camera room, the video room, would you step back in and let’s wave and let’s
thank all of the volunteers that made tonight possible. Thank you all. (Applause from crowd) We have a long history of when our
nation calls for action in issue students respond. We are so proud of
those veterans that have served or are serving we always like to say thank you
so if you are here tonight you’re a veteran, you have served or you are
serving, would you stand as a group so we can say thank you. All veterans please
stand. (Applause from crowd) Thank you again for your service. This is
a special weekend and I think we all know that in two days will be Mother’s
Day. My mother Betty Turner passed away about 11 years ago at far too young of
an age. Moms are special and the fact that I can share her name with you tells
you that she was special in my life. So let me ask all of the moms in the room
let’s let you stand, and let’s say happy Mother’s Day to our moms. (Applause from crowd) Northeastern State University has some
outstanding faculty and staff and I appreciate and applaud what all of our
employees do on a, on every day to provide a great education but let me let
me say this very succinctly. No one, no employee has a greater effect on a
student’s ability to graduate than a faculty member so I want to say to each
of our faculty members thank you for your job and and sharing the craft of
teaching. Thank you. (Applause from crowd) (Dr. Landry) I would like to introduce some members
of the platform party and those who have logistical roles in the ceremony. Others
will be introduced later. Please hold your applause until all have been introduced. Dr. Pamela Fly, Associate Vice President
for Academic Affairs. Dr. Sophia Sweeney, Interim Assistant Vice President for
Academic Affairs. Miss Christy Landsaw, Vice President for Administration
and Finance. Mr. Ben Hardcastle, Vice President for University Relations. Dr.
Renee Cambiano, President of the Faculty Council. Dr. Sally Armstrong serves as the mace bearer, and the college gonfalons were carried by Dr. Kenny
Paris and Dr. Maria Christian. Dr. Lisa Bisogno will assist with diploma
distribution. Dr. Jim Farrell and Dr. Tracy Thompson will announce names for
this ceremony. Let’s give them a round of applause. (Applause from crowd) Faculty members from the College of
Education are here this evening to share this moment with you and they are led by
Dr. Rachel Greene and Dr. Tobi Thompson who serve as faculty marshals. Our
faculty bring Northeastern State University regional, national, and
international recognition. Most importantly they care about our students
and their success. Please join me in expressing our appreciation to the
outstanding College of Education faculty. Faculty, please stand. (Applause from crowd (Dr. Freeman) Good evening. My name is Jerrid Freeman
and I serve as the vice president for student affairs. At this time, we wish to
recognize outstanding students at Northeastern State University. The first
group includes our RISE members. The RiverHawks Initiating Service and Engagement,
known as RISE, is a four-year scholarship program designed to develop leadership
skills through community service and civic engagement. RISE scholars maintain
high academic standards, fulfill service hour requirements, and organize university
sponsored service events. In this ceremony, we recognize Carly Waine
Anderson, a health and human performance major from Gore, Oklahoma. Carly, please
stand. (Applause from crowd) Thank you, Carly, for your service to NSU and the community. Recognizing
students who perform to the highest academic standards and serve the
community, the awards committee of the NSU Alumni Association has identified 10
outstanding seniors. One of those students is graduating this evening.
Diane Nichols, Sand Springs elementary education major, please stand and be
recognized. (Applause from crowd) Congratulations to our outstanding
seniors. (Dr. Landry) NSU is fortunate to have an affiliation with a Gates Millennium
Scholar Program which selects 1000 students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at the college or university of their
choosing. This scholarship also includes funding for a graduate degree in a
particular area of need. In this ceremony we recognize Randilyn Fawn
Thompson, a double major in psychology and sociology from Sand Springs.
Randilyn, please stand amd be recognized. (Applause from crowd) Will Megan Adams and Hailey Morgan
Chamberlin make your way to the right side of the stage? Established in 2001
and directed by Dr. Karen Carey, the NSU Honors Program features a learning
environment where students work with faculty members and peers in courses
focused on independent research and participation in co-curricular cultural
experiences. Students in the Honors Program must maintain a 3.25 grade point
average or higher and complete a senior research project. As I call your name
please come forward to receive your honors medallion from President Turner. Megan Adams is an early childhood
education major from Owasso. Megan’s project was titled “Challenging Reading
Instruction in the Early Childhood Classroom” and her mentor was Dr.
Samantha Ben Duke. (Applause from crowd) Applause from crowd) Hailey Morgan Chamberlin is a Health
and Human Performance major from Broken Arrow. Her project was titled
“The Effect of Exercise on Students’ Ability to Focus” and her mentor was
Margaret Dobbs. (Applause from crowd) (Applause from crowd) Will Jessica Langston please come
forward to the platform? Jessica has been selected by the Graduate College as the
outstanding graduate student for Spring 2019, recognizing her academic
achievement. Jessica is from Tahlequah and is graduating with her Master of
Science degree in Higher Education Leadership. Recognized by her faculty
mentors for her dedication to research, collaboration, and service, Jessica has
served a variety of roles in the National Association of Student
Personnel Administrators. Jessica successfully defended her thesis
entitled “The Influence of Emotional Intelligence Knowledge on Leadership
Style” in April. (Applause from crowd) (Applause from crowd) It is now my honor to introduce
Northeastern State University’s 19th President Dr. Steve Turner who will
share his commencement remarks. Thank you. (Dr. Turner) Dr. Landry, before I make comments I
would also like to introduce a special guest that I have here tonight, very well
known to the students, faculty, and staff. My wife, Penny, is over here to my left. So, Penny, welcome. I think most of us would agree that most citizens are proud of their home state. How many of you were born in Oklahoma? Raise your hand. You’ve
got to be a little interactive. Okay, a lot of us.
Well, then most of you know Oklahoma’s history is unique and we take pride in
many things large and small, including touting
products that are made in Oklahoma. If you check out made in Oklahoma dot net,
approximately four hundred and fifty items are registered, ranging from beef
to burgers, candles to cobbler, sassy sauce to salsa, peanuts to pies, and from
wood to wine. As an Oklahoma native, I also take pride in outstanding
individuals who have made significant contributions to the world in many areas,
including music, movies, sports, public service. See if you know some of these
names. Will Rogers, James Garner, Ron Howard, Christian Chynoweth, Bill
Hader, Garth Brooks, Toby Keith, Brad Pitt, Johnny Bench, Gene
Autry, Dr. Phil, Reed Drummond, Sam Walton, Leon Russell, Roy Clark, and the 46th
Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Carl Albert, from Bugtussle, Oklahoma. I bet you didn’t know that three other states have a name, a
town named Bugtussle, right? Texas, Tennessee, and Alabama.
Google is a wonderful tool. Think about it. We have the only state song that most
people in all 50 states have heard. Thanks to composers Rodgers and
Hammerstein, everyone knows, what’s our song? Oklahoma. It was adopted as the
state song in 1953. The song tells a positive story about the land and its
people. The first part is the lead-in. Let me read it to you. When I get to the
second part please say the words along with me. You will know them.
It says, “Brand new state, brand new state. Gonna treat you great. Going to give you
barley, carrots, and potatoes. Pasture for the cattle, spinach and tomatoes. Flowers
on the Prairie where the June bug zoom. Plenty of air and plenty of room. Plenty
of room to swing a rope. Plenty of heart and plenty of hope.” Okay, now here we go.
Are you ready? “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the planes, and the
waving wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind.” Oh, you’re doing great.
“Oklahoma, every night my honey lamb and I sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
making lazy circles in the sky. We know we belong to the land and the land we
belong to is grand, and when we say, ‘yeeow-yip-i-o-ee ay,’
we’re only saying you’re doing fine, Oklahoma. Oklahoma, okay.” Good job, everyone.
Let’s hear it for our state. Our state song emphasizes our love for
the people and the land. It tells of a relationship with my honey lamb and says
we belong to the land and the land we belong to is grand. Because of this we
say we’re doing fine in Oklahoma. Sometimes our love of people manifests
itself in times of adversity, when things aren’t really all
that grand. Unfortunately, we know all too well that the winds sweeping down the
plain may lead to tornadoes, flooding rains, and droughts. Adversity also comes
by the actions of others. Less than a month ago, we marked the 24th anniversary
of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building on April 19, 1995. The bombing
altered the face of Oklahoma and the nation forever. From this tragedy came
the term the Oklahoma standard. According to the Oklahoma standard webpage, and I
quote, “Despite this unspeakable tragedy among the most lasting memories are the
tenderness of the response. The people of Oklahoma banded together in a
community-wide display of spontaneous altruism. Cars became ambulances.
Strangers became neighbors. People donated the shoes off their feet. That
spirit of generosity – of giving until there’s no more to give – has been part of
the city’s DNA ever since it was founded. Visiting rescue workers and
journalists called it the Oklahoma standard.” Former governor Keating stated
people went out of their way to share everything they had to make it
comfortable for the rescue workers, the firefighters, anyone who was there to
help. This was the Oklahoma standard. On April
24th, 1995, only five days after the bombing, a national memorial service was
held at the State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. It was a time to reflect
on the hundred and sixty-eight lives lost due to this act of domestic
terrorism. The nation watched as President Bill Clinton, Governor Frank
Keating, Mayor Ron Norick, and the Reverend Billy Graham challenged
the state and the nation to begin healing. I recall how powerful each of the
speakers were, but one of Billy Graham’s comments really struck me. Graham said, “I
know the strength, courage, and character of the people of Oklahoma.” I researched
how Reverend Graham had come to know these traits of Oklahomans and found
that his first Oklahoma had occurred in 1924, some 71 years prior, to the memorial
service. As a five year old he visited his uncle’s 300 acre farm in
Tahlequah, Oklahoma. His uncle, Thomas Oscar Graham, or T.O. as he was known, had
moved from North Carolina in 1920 and started a huge farming operation on the
land where Go Ye Village sits today. Although I never met T.O. senior, I had
the great opportunity to know his grandson, Thomas Oscar Graham the third.
Tom died in 2006. I expect some of the locals know him because he served for
many years as a greeter at Walmart, and by the way, he lived at Go Ye Village.
Oklahoma is a great state filled with good-hearted people. To serve those
people, our state government has a tremendous responsibility to provide
core services to its citizens. Education, health care, safety and transportation.
The concept of government’s obligatory role in education is memorialized in
President George Washington’s farewell address to Congress, delivered on
September 17, 1796 in our nation’s first capitol, Philadelphia. Here’s what he said.
“Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general
diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives
force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be
enlightened.” Just 50 years later on November 26, 1846, the Cherokee Nation
passed an act to create two seminaries: one for males and the other for females.
Their words are strikingly consistent with what our nation’s first president requested and with what NSU works to achieve each day. The Cherokee act says, “Whereas the improvement of the moral and
intellectual condition of our people is contemplated by the constitution, and
whereas we are now in possession of means sufficient to carry out to a
further degree of maturity the national system of education already
commenced, therefore it be enacted by the National Council that two seminaries be
established: one for males and the other for females in which all of those
branches of learning shall be taught which may be required to carry out the
mental culture of the youth of our country to the highest practicable point.”
When the Cherokee council stated it would educate the culture of youth to
the highest practical point, they were committing themselves to providing an
education that gives each citizen the greatest opportunity for long term
success. Three days ago we marked the hundred and thirtieth anniversary of
Seminary Hall by hosting the Annual Descendants of Seminarians Luncheon. It’s
a wonderful event where we remember those who came before us by recognizing
their family member. We have served as a publicly funded
state institution for a hundred and ten of those 130 years. In 1909, we were known
as Northeastern Oklahoma Teachers College. Today we remain steadfast in
our resolve to prepare outstanding teachers on all levels. Our state
needs more trained teachers to guide the next generations of youth. If you are a
teacher or a retired teacher in the public school or Career Technology
Center, let me say at NSU we appreciate you and I’d like for you to stand and let’s
say thanks to all the teachers. (Applause from crowd) Thank you. We’ve built on the foundation
of teaching teachers and today we offer approximately 60 undergraduate degrees
and graduate degrees in about twenty eight disciplines and a doctorate in
optometric medicine. Our alums support the workforce of the region in a wide
variety of vocations. Earlier I mentioned several famous Oklahomans. I think we can
all be proud of the fact that NSU has contributed a large number of names to
that list. Among these folks are Joe Sears of Greater Tuna fame; Shawntel Smith,
Miss America 1996; Ken Selby, the founder of Mazzio’s Pizza;
former Congressman John Sullivan; the Swan brothers; Charles Seat, former
NSU theater director whose films include the 1974 and 2003 versions of the
Cherokee County based movie Where the Redfern Grows. You’re still with me. And of course we all know about NSU alumna and country music star, Carrie
Underwood. Someone who is perhaps not as well known but led a remarkable life is
Mary Golda Ross. She is thought to be the first Native American female engineer
and the first female engineer in the history of the Lockheed corporation. She
received her initial college degree from Northeastern in 1928 at the age of 20
and was the great-granddaughter of Cherokee Chief John Ross. Obviously
graduates from NSU can do anything they set their minds to. Your success is
ultimately the product of outstanding instruction from the faculty and
services provided by our great staff and the amount of effort you pour into it. My
message to you today is that with a degree from NSU you can do anything.
I will end with four calls to action to the class of 2019. Number one: embrace
the Oklahoma standard and be a good citizen. Give until there’s no more to
give. Two: keep the spirit of Oklahoma with you always. Love the land and love the
people. Oklahoma will only do fine when we protect our natural resources and
sustain healthy relationships with others. Three: based on the history and
culture of NSU, commit yourself to the education of others. Our nation can reach
its full potential only if we truly support the highest
level of educational attainment possible for our citizens. Lastly, resolve to make a difference in the world. You can be the next Mary
Ross or Carrie Underwood. You can be the next Bill John Baker, Principal Chief
of the Cherokee Nation, or James Floyd, Chief of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Your
future is filled with promise and potential. You can do great things with
the education you receive from Northeastern State University. Today
marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life. You have
inherited the Oklahoma standard from those before you. You, all of you can make
it even better. Congratulations, graduates. Thank you. (Applause from crowd) (Dr. Landry) Thank you, President Turner. Our final
recognition is for students with grade point average honors. Undergraduate
honors students wear paired cores that are green with white, silver, or gold
depending on the recognition. Graduate honors students wear combined green,
silver, and gold cords, and members of Alpha Chi, a National Honor Society for
students in the upper 10% of their class, also wear a blue and green cord. The
names of the Spring 2019 undergraduates and grade point average qualifications
for undergraduate honors and master’s degree honors are in your program. These
students will be recognized as they receive their diplomas. Please join me in
recognizing our Spring 2019 cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude, and
graduate honors students. Honor graduates, please stand. (Applause from crowd) Thank you. You may be seated.
It is time to present candidates for the baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Each
candidate will be recognized on stage and receive a diploma cover. Master’s
degree candidates will also receive a hood symbolizing their professional
field. After all candidates are recognized on stage President Turner
will confer degrees. The Dean will present the candidates and will be
assisted in diploma distribution by the assistant or associate dean. Faculty, at
this time I will ask if you concur with these recommendations for degrees. If so,
please rise. Thank you. Please be seated. (Dr. Anton) Good evening. I’m Vanessa Anton, Dean of
the College of Education. President Turner, I am pleased to present these
candidates from the College of Education upon whom which the baccalaureate degree
will be conferred. College of Education baccalaureate candidates, please come forward. (Presentation of candidates) (Dr. Keller) Please help me acknowledge the bachelors
degree candidates from the College of Education. (Applause from crowd) Good evening. I’m Kerry Keller,
Dean of the graduate college. President Turner, I’m pleased to present the
candidates from the Graduate College upon whom the master’s degrees will be
conferred. Candidates will proceed to both sides of the platform where they
will be hooded by their Dean or assistant dean and their faculty mentor.
Masters degree candidates in the College of Education, please come forward. (Presentation of candidates) (Dr. Keller) Join me in congratulating the master’s
degree candidates from the College of Education. (Applause from crowd) (Dr. Landry) Students, it is time for the conferring
of degrees. Will all baccalaureate and master’s degree candidates please rise? President Turner, pending the results of a final degree audit, I certify that the candidates standing before you have
completed all requirements for the baccalaureate and master’s degrees
respectively, and I recommend that the degree to which they are individually
entitled be conferred. (Dr. Turner) Thank you, Provost Landry. Consistent with
the statutes of the state of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher
Education, and the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of
Oklahoma and by the authority vested in me by the state of Oklahoma, it is my
pleasure to confer upon each of you the baccalaureate or master’s degree as
printed in the program with all of the rights, ranks, privileges, and
responsibilities such a degree carries among scholars. (Applause from crowd) Graduates, there is a tradition in higher
education that signifies the passage from being a student and candidate for
graduation to becoming a graduate. At this time please move your tassels from
the right side to the left side. (Applause from crowd) Please be seated. (Dr. Landry) Graduates, as you know, Northeastern State
University has a long history of service to Oklahoma. Our alumni have accomplished
great things in their professional and personal lives. Today, you’re joining this
distinguished group and we’re your partner as you begin this chapter in
your lives. Here to share with you the importance of our alumni remaining
connected with NSU is the director of alumni services Daniel Johnson. (Johnson) It is an honor to welcome you for the
first time to NSU’s green and white network. This is how we refer to our
family of more than 60,000 living alumni. We provide this, and the Alumni
Association is your link to this green and white network. We provide this link
through communications, through programming, through events, all designed
to keep you connected with NSU and with each other. In the spirit of this, I am
really, really excited to introduce to you NSU’s, the Alumni Association’s
newest way of staying connected, which is our green and white network mobile app.
You can read more about that on the card that was in your seat when you got there,
but through this app you’ll be able to stay on top of all of NSU’s social
media feeds, Alumni Association events, programs, and other things that are
designed to keep your relationship with NSU meaningful and valuable. So I
encourage you to download the app and also take a look at the membership offer
that is included with that. You’ll also notice on the card something else. Your
official NSU alumni pin and if you haven’t already, take a quick moment and
put it on and wear it as that symbol of pride that is a way of demonstrating
your pride and your connection with your alma mater. The Alumni Association is all
about fostering these connections because Northeastern is stronger and
better when our alumni community remains connected and engaged. NSU is stronger
when our alumni serve as our frontline recruiters in their hometowns. It is
stronger when our alumni serve current students as mentors and advisors, forming
a very powerful professional network, and NSU is certainly stronger when our
alumni give of themselves to make a financial investment in their alma mater,
donating to capital projects and university programs and most importantly
to scholarships. And our alumni have done this and
continued to do this at record levels. If as an NSU alumnus you choose to do
none of these, let me challenge you to at least do this one very important thing,
and that is add value to the NSU degree. Add value to the NSU degree and there
are four ways to do that. First, become excellent at what you do. Second, be worth
more than you cost. Third, do what you say you’re going to do, and last out-work
everyone. Do these four things, folks, and you will most certainly add value to
the NSU degree. Congratulations on everything that has gotten you here
this evening. It’s time to go celebrate with your family and with your friends,
but remember: stay connected and add value. Thank you, and I’ll see you soon. (Applause from crowd) (Dr. Landry) Thank you, Mr. Johnson. As we come to the
close of our ceremony, please listen carefully to the directions to
facilitate a safe and smooth exit from the arena. In just a moment, we will ask
you to stand for the NSU alma mater. Lani Hansen will sing the alma mater first in
Cherokee, recognizing NSU’s historical significance as the Cherokee
National Female Seminary, then we ask all audience members to join Keri Bell in
singing the English lyrics. All vocalists will be accompanied by the NSU brass
quintet. Following the alma mater, please remain standing at your seat during the
recessional. After the platform party, faculty, and graduates have recessed and
left the arena floor, the audience will be dismissed to meet graduates outside.
We ask audience members who are physically able to please depart via the
upper concourse exits and stairs to allow guests with mobility concerns easy
access to the elevators. Now please stand for the alma mater. (Playing of the Cherokee Alma Mater) (Playing of the English Alma Mater) (Applause from crowd) (Recessional music)

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