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Oklahoma State University

BURNS HARGIS: Oklahoma State to honor grads, special recipients

Posted: Sunday, December 7, 2014 11:00 am

We are completing another successful semester at Oklahoma State University and at commencement on Dec. 12 and 13 we are excited to award graduates the degrees that will open a world of opportunities.

OSU awards graduate degrees Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. and then we hold undergraduate ceremonies on Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. We will also award Honorary Doctorate Degrees to two special recipients, one an accomplished Stillwater native and the other an OSU graduate and distinguished Oklahoman.

Vice Admiral Sean Pybus is a career Naval Special Warfare SEAL officer and graduate of Stillwater High School. As deputy commander of the U.S Special Operations Command, Pybus ensures the readiness of joint special operations forces and, as directed, conducts operations worldwide from MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. He is the highest ranking, senior SEAL in the Navy.

Before Admiral Pybus assumed his current post, his command tours included leading units in Panama, Germany and Bahrain. He also served in multiple joint special operation assignments including SEAL underwater demolition, special boat and delivery vehicle tours in Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Pybus will be our commencement speaker for both undergraduate ceremonies and will be presented an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D).

Dean Stringer graduated with a B.A. in political science from OSU in 1958 and went on to Harvard Law School. He had an illustrious career as an Oklahoma City attorney. We will present him with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) during the morning program.

Stringer has given back to his alma mater by serving in various leadership positions and was a member of the OSU/A&M Board of Regents. While on the Board, he advocated for increased funding for the OSU library and pushed for the creation of the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award. One of his top OSU honors came in 1994 when the OSU Student Government Association declared March 23 as “L.E. Dean Stringer Day.”  

If you have not done so, I hope you will visit the OSU Museum of Art at the Postal Plaza Gallery in downtown Stillwater to enjoy an extraordinary opportunity to see the work of one of the nation’s premiere pop artists of the last half century.

The OSU Museum of Art is featuring “James Rosenquist: Illustrious Works on Paper, Illuminating Paintings” through mid-March. Rosenquist became a public figure in the 1960s alongside contemporaries Andy Warhol, Roy Lichenstein and others. The exhibition provides a broad overview of Rosenquist’s bright and colorful work.

The Rosenquist show is the first in the New York Project, which was developed to bring the work of major New York artists to Oklahoma, offering an experience often limited to major urban centers of art.

The New York Project was made possible thanks to OSU alumnus Bill Goldston, director of Universal Limited Art Editions, a fine art print publisher in New York. Bill also provided the vision and passion behind the Postal Plaza Gallery, which has opened the doors to a new era of education, engagement and experiences for students, the community and beyond.

Ann and I wish you a very happy and healthy holiday season!

Burns Hargis has been president of the Oklahoma State University since 2008.

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