Northwestern Oklahoma State University-Woodward honored its May graduates Wednesday at the Josie Adams Cultural Center with a reception and special recognition.

Dr. Deena Fisher, dean of the Woodward campus, presided over the event.

“It’s been a great year,” said Fisher. “Especially with the passage of the bond and permanent location plans for the new campus. This will help to attract more students and give us a presence and visibility inside the community.”

Along with honoring this year’s graduates, officials also gave special recognition to their advisory committee, which is made up of 10 members - Sara Cramer, Scot Clemence, Julie Clemence, Jennifer Scroggins, Jerusha Schoff, Marsha Bowers, Wanda Zwanziger, Lyn Brown, Eric Scott and Falisha Bowers.

Also recognized was the staff that helps at the campus. Special recognition was given to Linda Phillips, administrative assistant, Joy Radke, front desk and Sara Cramer, front desk.

Graduates that were in attendance were recognized by standing, giving their name and major and telling something special that they remembered about their time at the Woodward campus.

Dr. Paul Beran, president of NWOSU, was also in attendance to speak to the graduates as well. Beran will be leaving his position at NWOSU in June to take the position as chancellor at the University of Arkansas’ campus in Fort Smith.

“Dr. Beran had the vision of trying the make Northwestern a regional campus that is recognized throughout the state,” Fisher said. “We are all so pleased we’ve had these five years with him . . . he is leaving us stronger and that is a true legacy.”

Beran spoke to the graduates about their future endeavors and accomplishments they have made by completing their education at NWOSU.

“You all are coming through Northwestern here in Woodward at a historic time,” said Beran. “This summer we will break ground for the new NWOSU campus here in Woodward . . . you all were the pioneers of higher education in Woodward - I think the Woodward campus has the potential to grow and prosper in ways we don’t even realize yet.”

Beran said that Dr. Fisher was the rock that everything is tethered to in Woodward and that the community as a whole was very lucky to have her in their midst.

He told the students that they are part of the 20.6 out of 100 people in Oklahoma now that have undergraduate degrees and this is very important to their community.

“You’ve already overcome obstacles by coming back to school and walking across that stage,” he said. “This is a turning point in your life ... you have a responsibility now in your community to add to your community in positive ways.”

Graduates from the Woodward campus include: Dallas Burgess, Curtis R. Sharpe, Amber Barry, David Bay, Marsha Bowers, Julie Clemence, Jennifer Holmes, Wendi Lukes-Beeson, Christine Myers, Jacqueline Nance, Heath Noyes, Alicia Sheik, Patrick Weems, Desiree Wheeler, Wanda Zwanziger, Teri Ganes, Melanie Lynes-Matt, Trenna McCoy and Alisha Waggoner.

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