Oklahoma City University will award four honorary degrees and confer bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees to more than 850 students during two ceremonies May 11 in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center, located at N.W. 27th St. and Florida Ave. The undergraduate ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and the graduate ceremony will be held at 3 p.m.
The university will award its first Doctor of Philosophy degree to Cheryl Frutchey, who has completed the Kramer School of Nursing’s Ph.D. program. A second Ph.D. candidate also will be recognized. Carol Kish is scheduled to complete the program this summer. OCU introduced two doctoral programs at the Kramer School of Nursing in 2009, including the Ph.D. track for nurse educators and the state’s first Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program. The first DNP graduates were recognized last year and six more students will graduate May 11.
Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, Chesapeake Energy’s Martha Burger and former Oklahoman Editor Ed Kelley will receive Honorary Doctors of Humane Letters at the ceremony. Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Kelley will give the undergraduate address.
Chenoweth holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in opera performance from Oklahoma City University. She made her Broadway debut in Steel Pier. She starred in and won an Emmy for her role as Olive Snook on the ABC comedy-drama Pushing Daisies and has appeared in a variety of television series including The West Wing, American Idol, Glee, and most recently in The Good Wife. Many remember her show-stealing, Tony-winning performance in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and the Broadway role she originated, Glinda the Good Witch, in Wicked, for which she earned a Tony Award nomination as leading actress. Chenoweth has appeared in The Apple Tree and Promises, Promises as well as in many off-Broadway and regional theatre productions. In 2009, she wrote a comedic chronicle of her life so far, A Little Bit Wicked, which debuted at No. 12 on The New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list.
Burger holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma City University and is the senior vice president of human and corporate resources for Chesapeake Energy.
Kelley is an accomplished journalist and award-winning editor and reporter, who served as editor of The Oklahoman from 2003 to 2011 and as editor of The Washington Times.
Hargis has served as president of Oklahoma State University since 2008. He has a long and distinguished legal and business career with active civic and philanthropic leadership across many fronts.
The Oklahoma City University School of Law will hold its graduation and hooding ceremony at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker.