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OBU hosts 106th Spring Commencement, honoring 288 Graduates

The Shawnee News-Star
U.S. Senator James Lankford delivers the address to graduates.
Students take their symbolic final walk across campus to the commencement ceremony.

OBU conferred degrees upon 288 students during the University’s 106th Spring Commencement Saturday, Aug. 1. The ceremony took place on the south lawn of Raley Chapel on the OBU campus in Shawnee, beginning at 8:30 a.m. James Lankford, United States Senator from Oklahoma, delivered the address to graduates. The ceremony was moved outdoors to allow for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graduates embarked on a symbolic final walk across campus as OBU students before arriving in front of Raley Chapel for the ceremony. The Walk mirrors one many of the graduates took during Welcome Week as new students at OBU. The students, dressed in academic regalia, passed by OBU faculty and staff members as they proceeded to their seats.

Lankford delivered a heartfelt and inspiring address to the graduates.

“You have been equipped by God in this institution. Go fulfill your calling. Over the past several years, hundreds of people have given their time, their insight and their talent to get you equipped for life and for service. You get to choose now if you’re going to waste that gift that you were given or to do something wise with it.”

OBU President Dr. Heath A. Thomas presided over the ceremonies and delivered the charge to graduates.

“My prayer for you is that you would allow the Lord Jesus unmitigated permission to work through your life so that our world might be changed. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently. You are fundamentally agents of change and transformation for good in our world.”

“I want to challenge you today, my friends, take the lessons, the learning, the skills, the virtues, indeed the dispositions you’ve gained here, and live them out loud in your world,” he said. “Our world desperately needs your voice. We need your influence. From Bison Hill, I charge you: Go into our world. Make a difference for God. Go make a difference for good. Go and live well, go and serve your community, go and serve our Lord.”

Junior class marshals escorted the graduating class to their seats in front of Raley Chapel. 

Graduates from OBU’s Paul Dickinson College of Business, with academic majors and hometowns, include Alexandra Annis, management and marketing, Colleyville, Texas; Joshua F. Arnold, management, Collinsville, Oklahoma; Hayden Ashley, professional accountancy, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Matthew Jay Baker, professional accountancy, Branson, Missouri; Emily Lorraine Bass, professional accountancy, Yukon, Oklahoma; Ellyson Baze, management, Euless, Texas; Kendra LeAnn Burch, professional accountancy, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Christopher Eldred Calmes, computer science; Taylor Lynne Conn-Madden, professional accountancy, Shawnee; Henry Contich, management, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Heath Samuel Cribbs, finance, Macomb, Oklahoma; Taylor Bene Cunningham, finance, Owasso, Oklahoma; Kelsey Nicole Doughty, professional accountancy, Hinton, Oklahoma; Timothy Raymond Duncan, social entrepreneurship, Owasso; Andres Eduardo Graterol Lillo, management; Preston Haire, management, Shawnee; Madison Hale, social entrepreneurship, Kansas City, Missouri; Matthew Hampton, management, Mustang, Oklahoma; Brooke Harden, international business, McKinney, Texas; Irvin Hinojos, international business, Tulsa; Hannah Key, management, Oklahoma City; Olivia Jean Klefsaas, finance and management, Motley, Minnesota; Karsten Ladner, computer science, Fort Worth, Texas; Matias Horacio Le Fort Solari, management; Lauren McCormack, marketing, Allen, Texas; Noah Ray McGraw, management, Edmond, Oklahoma; Jack Cole Miller, marketing, Flower Mound, Texas; Thomas David Peterson, management, Frisco, Texas; Grayson Richard Pierce, finance, Stillwater, Oklahoma; Tyler Brandon Probasco, finance, Plano, Texas; Joshua Caleb Redmond, finance, Tulsa; Sean Michael Rollans, marketing, Denton, Texas; Myles Russell, management, Frisco, Texas; Alison Sells, computer science, Calvin, Oklahoma; Kaeley Lanae Shenenberger, finance, Ada, Oklahoma; Luke Wendl, management, Plano, Texas; Rebekah D. White, social entrepreneurship, Greenville, Texas; and Rodney A. Wilkerson, finance, Carney, Oklahoma.

Graduates from OBU’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts include Anne Isabel Aguayo, voice; Ashley Barnett, studio art, Owasso; Brett Bloomfield, communication studies, Davis, California; Brittany Morgan Brothers, communication studies, Prosper, Texas; Holliann Christine Burnett, communication studies, Richardson, Texas; Bailay Delane Byrd, graphic design, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Natalie Elise Calmes, graphic design, Shawnee; Olivianna Calmes, news and information, Shawnee; Leo Chavez, instrumental music education, Mesquite, Texas; Juliana Cifuentes Cepeda, graphic design; Joshua H. Clinton, communication studies, Waukomis, Oklahoma; Braden Colby Davis, graphic design, Shawnee; Camden Ann Taylor Denton, communication studies, Oklahoma City; Charles J. Downum, digital media arts, Claremore, Oklahoma; Anna Elizabeth Finch, communication studies, Choctaw, Oklahoma; Caleb Matthew Frank, theatre, Shawnee; Rayven Gabrielle Gallardo, communication studies, Edmond; Emilie Catherine Griffin, piano performance-pedagogy emphasis, Van Buren, Arkansas; Victoria Michele Harrison, graphic design, Piedmont, Oklahoma; Micah Noelle Hawkins, communication studies, Shawnee; Courtlin Haygarth, communication studies, Edmond; Amy Iley, animation, Parker, Colorado; Jaden Reanna Jennings, communication studies, Idabel, Oklahoma; Mitchell Ryan Manlapig, piano, Meeker, Oklahoma; Grant Kendale McGee, theatre, Edmond; Easton Oliver, digital media arts, Oklahoma City; Austin Prentice, digital media arts, Ozark, Missouri; Isabel Marie Price, communication studies, Bakersfield, California; Emily Gail Reynolds, graphic design, Broken Arrow; Lauren Elizabeth Rivers, instrumental music education, Cornoa, California; Marlee Sedgwick, vocal performance, Peyton, Colorado; Ashton Kay Smith, journalism and mass communication, Ariel Cherise Thomas, communication studies, Shawnee; Madison Leighanne Trammell, music, Graford, Texas; Hannah West Velasquez, communication studies, Bixby, Oklahoma; Sheridan Elisabeth Wiles, digital media arts, Oklahoma City; Malia Faith Wilfong, art, Kingfisher, Oklahoma; and Wyatt Winters, digital media arts, Noble, Oklahoma.

Graduates from OBU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences include Ashley Ackerman, history, Oakley, California; Abigail Ruth Adams, early childhood education, Tulsa; Peyton Arkadie, forensic psychology, Irving, Texas; Mara Mae Jane Baker, psychology: pre-counseling, Beggs, Oklahoma; Kaydee Sue Banks, health and physical education, K-12, Bristow, Oklahoma; Bethany Kay Barham, elementary education, Katy, Texas; Courtney Jo Barnickle, psychology, Blue Springs, Missouri; Alexis Elaine Besch, psychology: pre-counseling, Bonham, Texas; James Bickers, health and physical education, Tulsa; Madeline Birchfield, psychology: pre-counseling, Arlington, Texas; Emily Brake, psychology, Tulsa; Kristin Linn Brown, family and community service: family life track, Oklahoma City; Zion Dee Tamasyn Cagle, elementary education and early childhood education, Norman, Oklahoma; Jadelin Elizabeth Calmes, family and community service: community service track, Waterford, Michigan; Michelle Renee Carr, sports and recreation management, Alvin, Texas; Savannah Chappell, multilingual communication, Shawnee, Kansas; Jacqueline Charvat, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Bixby; Arielle Lane Chastain, elementary education, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Ke’Landus Evan Culton, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Joshua Madison Daniel, interdisciplinary: psychology, Bible and theatre, Las Vegas, Nevada; Madeline Davis, family and community service: family life track, Fort Worth, Texas; Dannie Leigh Deason, political science, Sedan, New Mexico; Cameron Kristine Denno, psychology: pre-counseling, Hesston, Kansas; Demi Dobbs, elementary education, Moore, Oklahoma; Sarah Abigail Donwerth, psychology: pre-counseling, Edmond; Joselyn Faith Edgar, anthropology, McKinney, Texas; Aniessa Cortney Edsall, health and physical education, Kingfisher; Sara Gabriel Ellis, family and community service: family life track, Shawnee; Julianne Marie Ennis, psychology: pre-counseling, Fort Worth, Texas; Raley Farquhar, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Broken Arrow; Brandon K. Fisher, Spanish, Oklahoma City; Ryan Michael Fisher, sports and recreation management, Oklahoma City; Madeleine Noelle Foster, psychology, Walnut Ridge, Arkansas; Hannah Beth Fraaken, psychology, Seminole, Oklahoma; Courtney Freese, psychology: pre-counseling, Tulsa; Tyra McKenzie Garcia, interdisciplinary: business administration and sports management, Phoenix, Arizona; Jace D. Garrison, health and physical education, Davis, Oklahoma; Sabrina Montez Gay, elementary education, Shawnee; Raelie Lue Gilbert, elementary education and early childhood education, Oklahoma City; Emileigh Goad, psychology: pre-counseling, Edmond; Brooke Goodale, forensic psychology, Phoenix; Nathan Edward Hall, health and human performance: clinical track, Rowlett, Texas; Nathan William Townsend Hamilton, history, San Diego, California; Lara Haring-Lovett, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Norman; Austin James Iceberg, psychology: pre-counseling, Oologah, Oklahoma; Dustin F. Jack, criminal justice, Elk Grove, California; Ryan Jacob, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Oklahoma City; Hollie Johnson, sociology, Indiahoma, Oklahoma; Hanna Joy Joines, special education and early childhood education, Shawnee; J. Jones, creative writing, Terrell, Texas; Andrew David Joyce, sociology and Spanish, Collinsville; Emily Dawn Justice, special education, elementary education and early childhood education, Shawnee; Emma Kidd, elementary education, Frisco; Matthew Kroll, political science, Covington, Oklahoma; Katherine Ruth Kuehn, health and human performance: clinical track, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Tyler Mason Kupper, history, Shawnee; Sydney Michelle Lawrence, pre-allied health and rehabilitation science, Stilwell, Oklahoma; Logan Buck Longshore, criminal justice, Stilwell; Dishon Lowery, interdisciplinary: business administration and sports management, Peachtree City, Georgia; Grace Dannelle Lueck, secondary English Education, Fort Worth, Texas; Shannon M. Mannon, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Burden, Kansas; Lane Martin, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Byars, Oklahoma; Braeden Mastin, family and community service: family life track, Oklahoma City; Alicia Michelle Mathis, elementary education, Shawnee; Breannah Maree May, psychology: pre-counseling, Spring Lake, North Carolina; and Quinton Paine McKeel, psychology, Shawnee.

Additional graduates from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences include Reagan Calley Meadows, family and community service: family life track, Oklahoma City; Olivia Noel Mitchell, secondary English education, Houston, Texas; Alexcis Mixon, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Purcell, Oklahoma; Kim Joline Moosbacher, interdisciplinary: health and human performance and sports management; Monique Mossop, health and human performance: clinical track, Tulsa; Clayton Job Myers, political science and family and community service: family life track, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Summer Elaine Iris Nack, elementary education, Cushing, Oklahoma; Caleb Newton, secondary social science education, Claremore; Vincent Ngabir Ngafeeson, psychology, Shawnee; Paige Noruk, secondary English education, Allen, Texas; Ugochinyere Ada Nwarie, interdisciplinary: health and human performance and natural science, Arlington, Texas; Mackenzie Katherine Palmer, health and human performance: non-clinical performance track, Kingfisher; Vanessa Parra, elementary education, Forney, Texas; Hanna Beth Paul, early childhood education, Shawnee; Ivy Katherine Penwell, creative writing, Oklahoma City; Brittany Cheyenne Poe, sports and recreation management, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; Kylie Mae Pope, family and community service: family life track, Lacygne, Kansas; Ariel Lynn Queen, elementary education, Vian, Oklahoma; Joy Rhodes, political science, Lawton, Oklahoma; Adelynn Beth Richard, psychology, Claremore; Abby Nicole Rogers, early childhood education and elementary education, Byars; Emilie Rohr, early childhood education and elementary education, Clarksville, Arkansas; Kailey Brooke Rowell, family and community service: community service track, Keller, Texas; Asenat Salas, secondary social science education, Madill, Oklahoma; Corbin Kristine Sanderson, family and community service: family life track and criminal justice, Yukon; Jana Satzler, family and community service: family life track, Oklahoma City; Charissa Joy Schmidt, psychology: pre-counseling, Shawnee; Matthew Hamilton Schuetz, political science, Olathe, Kansas; Taylor Renee Seacat, family and community service: family life track, Tulsa; Mikayla Kathleen Shulanberger, interdisciplinary: health and human performance and sports management, Skiatook, Oklahoma; Hannah Ashleigh Simmons, elementary education, Allen; Holli M. Steele, health and human performance: performance non-clinical track, Choctaw; Sarah E. Stevens, psychology: pre-counseling, Springfield, Missouri; Shelby Thompson, early childhood education, Tuttle, Oklahoma; Kyle Townsend, exercise and sports science: pre-allied health and rehabilitation services, Newalla, Oklahoma; Jamie Lynne Turlington, exercise and sports science: pre-allied health and rehabilitation services, Katy; Stefy Lorena Varon Diaz, political science: international relations emphasis; Micah Elizabeth Wakefield, family and community service: family life track, Tishomingo, Oklahoma; Emily Christine Wall, secondary English education, Owasso; Tahlia Jane Barakat Walsh, health and human performance: performance non-clinical track; Gabrielle Renee Watts, psychology: pre-counseling, Ardmore, Oklahoma; Madison Weddle, family and community service: family life track, Stillwater, Oklahoma; Destiny J. Wells, health and human performance: performance non-clinical track, Tulsa; Andrew J. Whalen, psychology: pre-counseling and philosophy, Milburn, Oklahoma; Hannah Leigh Whalen, psychology and family and community service, Talala, Oklahoma; Emily Dawn Wilkerson, English, Blanchard, Oklahoma; Abigail K. Williams, family and community service: family life track, Plano; Cameka Witter, sports and recreation management; Jonathan Wood, English, Bentonville, Arkansas; and Emily Woods, psychology: pre-counseling, McKinney.

Graduates from the College of Nursing, earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing, include Kaylynn Gayle Ashlock, Shawnee; Brooklyn Paige Bogle, Castle, Oklahoma; Alyssa Jean Brimer, Okemah, Oklahoma; Jaime Marie Brown, Oklahoma City; Kelsey Lynn Bumgarner, Yukon; Anna Katherine Burrous, Tucson, Arizona; Alexandra Couch, Edmond; Alaina Sue Gilginas, Mustang, Oklahoma; Melissa Gravelle, Shawnee; Madison Hill, Broken Arrow; Logan McKenzie Hime, Durant, Oklahoma; Blythe Bucklin Ifland, Edmond; Mackenzie M. Irwin, Meno, Oklahoma; Alexis Dawn Jolly, Shawnee; Megan Jenelle Kalinowski, Bentonville; Allison Noelle Kirk, Corinth, Texas; Corinne N. Larsen, Rogers, Arkanasas; Xu Liu, Beijing; Reagan Marie Mann, Denton, Texas; Emily Lauren Moore, Yukon; Jillian Murphy, Frisco; Belle Ann Nelson, Sallisaw, Oklahoma; Britley Ruth Paslay, Murphy, Texas; Abbie Sue Poole, Sand Springs, Oklahoma; Charlotte Ramirez, Shawnee; Rachel Katherine Ridgway, Shawnee; Hannah Michale Laflora-Ann Robinson, Caddo, Oklahoma; Katie Alicia Robinson, Tucson; Rose K. Satchwell, Solvang, California; Devyn Rachel Siegfried, Meeker; Sarah Nichole Smith, Saint Ignace, Michigan; Lindsey Stroup, Arlington; Elisha Jade Weber, Enid, Oklahoma; Abbie Rebecca Westfall, Tulsa; Yannah L. Wind, Okemah; Karly Marie Winn, Perkins, Oklahoma; Tiffany Noel Gardner Worley, Shawnee.

Graduates from the James E. Hurley College of Science and Mathematics include Levi Colton Bagwell, biology, Meeker; Emma Suzanne Berry, biochemistry, Tahlequah; Sydney Grace Blevins, biology, Enid; Meghan Elizabeth Bowers, forensic biology, Oklahoma City; Garrett Climer, chemistry, Shawnee; Sierra ShyAnne Davis, biology, Marietta, Oklahoma; Garrett Charles Elmore, biochemistry, Oklahoma City; Koleson Davis Freeman, biology, Claremore; Rachel Elizabeth Froebe, biology, Shawnee, Kansas; Anna R. Harmon, biochemistry, Owasso; Ashley Nicole Huebert, natural science, Shawnee, Oklahoma; Augustus Hull, biology, Tecumseh, Oklahoma; Zachary Keaton Johns, biochemistry, Ozark; Jay Jordan, biochemistry, Altus, Oklahoma; Ruth Anne King, natural science, Shawnee; Jessica Lynne Littleton, mathematics, Mustang, Oklahoma; Saydi Kay Loewer, biology, Burden, Kansas; Abigail Katherine McPheeters, biology, Tulsa; Mane Polite Roneldine Mesidor, biochemistry; Alix McKenna Nelson, biology, Grove, Oklahoma; Eliotte Diane Tchinthu Djangang Epse Ngebichie, natural science, Shawnee; Barrett Alexander Pannell, chemistry, Goddard, Kansas; Caleb Paslay, secondary science education, Mannford, Oklahoma; Michael C. Patton, biology, Elgin, Oklahoma; Oliver Hudson Payne, physics and mathematics, Midlothian, Texas; Jon Mehrzad Rahseparian, biology, Shawnee; Jacqueline Marie Stone, secondary mathematics education, Edmond; Shaina Alexis Stotts, mathematics, Tennessee Colony, Texas; Christian Tiberius Wright, biochemistry, Guthrie, Oklahoma; and Reagan Wright, biochemistry, Shawnee.

Graduates from OBU’s Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry include Dawson Alley, biblical and theological studies: practical theology, Anadarko, Oklahoma; Gabriele Elizabeth Bellair, Christian ministry, Galveston, Texas; Matthew Blackburn, Christian ministry: student ministry, Stratford, Oklahoma; Bryson Scott Cunningham, cross-cultural ministry: student ministry and mathematics, Amarillo, Texas; Luke Alexander Cusack, cross-cultural ministry: cross-cultural ministry, Cypress, Texas; Diandra Elyse Delso, Christian ministry: pastoral ministry, Broken Arrow; Luke Michael Fornea, biblical and theological studies: biblical languages, Cypress, Texas; Braden Gammon, Christian ministry: student ministry, Bethany, Oklahoma; Vanessa Garay, cross-cultural ministry, Cypress; David Gonzalez, Christian ministry: pastoral ministry, Royse City, Texas; Misael Alonso Gonzalez, biblical and theological studies: practical theology, Blair, Oklahoma; Virgil Irwin, cross-cultural ministry, Lahoma, Oklahoma; John Jennings, Christian ministry: pastoral ministry, Shawnee; Grace Johnson, philosophy, Shawnee; Jacob Keefover, philosophy, Shawnee; Jessica Joy King, cross-cultural ministry and Spanish, Piedmont; Noah Landes, religion, Shawnee; Lauren Allene Martin, cross-cultural ministry, Fort Gibson, Oklahoma; Alex C. Meyer, Christian ministry: pastoral ministry, Newcastle, Oklahoma; Marshall Proctor, biblical and theological studies: biblical languages, Shawnee; Kylie Sparks, Christian ministry, Oklahoma City; Chloe Isabella Stokes, biblical and theological studies: biblical languages, Shawnee; Cody Wayne Tooley, religion, Owasso; Jay Thomas Velasquez, biblical and theological studies: Bible and theology, Fort Worth; Pablo Villa Vázquez, Christian ministry: pastoral ministry, Oklahoma City; James Whitley, cross-cultural ministry, Seminole; and Aaron Bradley Wicker, cross-cultural ministry, Mill Creek, Oklahoma.

To watch the video of the commencement ceremony, visit okbu.edu.