Governor Mary Fallin will deliver the undergraduate commencement address during Oklahoma City University’s graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. May 5 in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center at N.W. 27th Street and Florida Avenue.
Fallin will receive an honorary doctorate of public administration. Those receiving honorary doctorates of humane letters include Oklahoma City attorney Gary B. Homsey, Sonic CEO Cliff Hudson, and community philanthropists Ray and Pat Potts.
Mary Fallin is the first woman to be elected governor of Oklahoma. She served two terms in the Oklahoma House before becoming the first woman and first Republican to be elected lieutenant governor of Oklahoma in 1994. In 2006, she was elected to the U.S. Congress.
During her first session as governor, Fallin saw many of her legislative priorities signed into law including lawsuit reform, workers’ comp reform, comprehensive education reform and government modernizations. Fallin also has launched an initiative to increase the number of college graduates in Oklahoma to help the state attract and retain jobs. She has put forward a road and bridge plan to eliminate nearly all of the deficient bridges on the state’s highway system.
Fallin is a member of the executive committee of the National Governors Association and is chairwoman of the Southern States Energy Board.
Gary B. Homsey is a native born Oklahoman. He received his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and his Juris Doctorate from Oklahoma City University.
Homsey was admitted to the bar in 1974 and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit, U.S. District Court and the Northern, Eastern and Western District Courts of Oklahoma. He is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, American Bar Association, American and Oklahoma Associations for Justice, National Academy of Barristers, American Judicature Society and the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Foundation.
In addition to his law practice, Homsey is a member of the Bishop’s Council of Oklahoma City University, which is dedicated to the preservation of and contributions to sustain the Oklahoma City University School of Law. As a member of the Appleseed Foundation, Homsey and its prestigious members are responsible for the recent enactment of anti-bullying statutes.
Cliff Hudson has spent the past 27 years of his career at Sonic Corp, an Oklahoma City-based, publicly-held company that owns, operates, and franchises SONIC Drive-In restaurants. Hudson received his education from the University of Oklahoma and the Georgetown University Law Center.
Hudson is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the public company with 3,500 franchised and company-operated drive-in restaurants. Previously, Hudson was chief executive officer and president of Sonic Corp, positions he held since April 1995. Prior to that time, he served the company in a variety of capacities including general counsel, chief financial officer and chief operating officer.
Hudson has earned the 2004 Silver Plate - Foodservice Operator of the Year Award from the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association and the 2000 Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Golden Chain Award from Nation's Restaurant News. He has been a guest on various national business programs including CNBC's “Mad Money,” “Squawkbox” and “Power Lunch,” as well as various Bloomberg news programs.
Hudson has been affiliated with many nonprofit and community activities. He accepted a presidential appointment as chairman of the board of directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and he served as chairman of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education from 2001-2008, a position created in 2000 as part of a $530 million turnaround of the 40,000-student Oklahoma City Public School system. He currently serves as trustee of the Ford Foundation and is the immediate past chairman of the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Ray Potts co-founded Potts Stephenson Exploration Company and served as its president and CEO for more than 30 years until its sale to ONEOK Resources Company. He and his son Mark have operated Potts Exploration for the past 10 years. Potts served as chairman of the Natural Gas Committee of the Independent Association of Petroleum Geologists of America, and he also served as president of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.
Potts served for eight years as member of the State Board of Education and later as the first president of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. He co-founded the Community Resource Development Foundation and has served as president of a number of other civic organizations. He and his wife, Pat, were both named Oklahoma Philanthropist of the Year by the Center for Nonprofits.
Pat Potts co-founded the Community Resource Development Foundation and serves as president of its successor, the Potts Family Foundation. She founded and served as president and chief executive officer of the Center for Nonprofits for more than 20 years. She served as president of the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education, Oklahoma City Beautiful, the Oklahoma City Zoo Trust, Metro Tech Foundation and the Society of Fund Raising Executives. She has served on the boards of many organizations including Union Bank, Sunbeam Foundation, the Oklahoma Women’s Coalition and the Educare Center.
In 2011, Pat Potts was recognized for the second time as one of 50 Women Making a Difference in Oklahoma by the Journal Record. She and her husband were named Oklahoma Treasures by the Oklahoma University Health Center and they both were honored in 2011 with the World Neighbors Namaste award. She has been recognized as an Outstanding Alumni by the University of Central Oklahoma and for her community leadership by Oklahoma City University.
The graduation ceremony will be streamed live at www.okcu.edu/commencement.
The university will hold its graduate commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. May 5 at the Freede Center and the Oklahoma City University School of Law will hold a hooding ceremony at 2 p.m. May 13 at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave.
For more information, call (405) 208-5287.