Northern Oklahoma College put out the following press release regarding their commencement.
Northern Oklahoma College students from the Enid and Stillwater campuses participated in graduation exercises at the 117th Annual Commencement Saturday at Briggs Auditorium.
A total of 653 graduates earned 675 degrees at the two ceremonies in Tonkawa and Enid.
NOC Vice President for Enid Jeremy Hise opened the ceremony, congratulating the students on reaching their goals for graduation.
“Our graduates accomplished a great deal through hard work, dedication, and commitment,” he said. “For many of you, this achievement has come with challenges that required flexibility, resilience, and sacrifice. Your degree not only has the power to change your life but the lives of those around you. I encourage you to work hard, pursue your passions, and enjoy life. I’m proud of you and your Northern family is proud of you.”
Hise also introduced the Flag Bearers for each academic division.
They include the following: Institutional-Dillon Dibrell; Agriculture and Biological Science-Kaycee Babek; Business-Jillian Clark; Health, Physical Education, and Recreation-Jade Hazelbaker; Language Arts-Ashleigh Miller; Mathematics-Molly Dolan; Nursing-Mikaela Browning; Engineering, Physical Science, and Process Technology-Mia-Claire Jones; and Social Science-Camden Roberts.
President Dr. Clark Harris introduced special guests at the ceremony and then presented the class for the conferring of degrees.
The speaker for the commencement ceremony was Ken Bellmard, Distinguished NOC Alumni in 2015.
“In the long run, it doesn’t matter what they call your generation,” Bellmard told the graduates. “My elders were just as confused about my generation as your elders are as confused about yours today. They couldn’t understand the music we listened to, the things we were reading, and the movies we were watching.”
Bellmard said that will be the same in 45 years when elders look at this year’s generation of graduates.
“What the two generations share is our common experience of the journey that led us to our graduation,” he said. “You have flourished in a time of a world-wide pandemic and I urge you to reflect on what you accomplished today.”
“As you reflect on today, think about the challenges you overcame,” he said. “For some it may be financial, person problems, or problems with your studies. Think of the times you were supported by classmates, teammates, administrators, and instructors. Look around and notice the diversity of those that are sharing this day with you.”
“Your graduation proves that you are a self-reliant goal oriented individual,” he added.
He cautioned the graduates that history teaches that things do not remain the same and they need to anticipate the challenges of the future.
“Your time at NOC has certainly been life-changing,” he told the graduates. “This has been great preparation for what you face now.”
He concluded by telling students to “be your own influencer.”
The NOC Concert Band performed the Armed Forces Salute and the college choir performed “You Will Reap What You Sow.” After the candidates for graduation were announced, the college choir performed NOC’s Alma Mater.
Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.