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OCU Sets Graduation Ceremonies

Watch the live stream of the commencement ceremonies here.

Oklahoma City University will hold its graduation ceremonies May 4 in the Freede Wellness and Activity Center at N.W. 27th Street and Florida Avenue. The undergraduate ceremony will start at 11 a.m. and the graduate ceremony at 3 p.m.

OCU alumna Shannon Rich, president and CEO of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, will deliver the commencement address during the undergraduate ceremony. Law professor Shannon Roesler, this year’s recipient of the OCU Outstanding Faculty Award, will deliver the graduate ceremony commencement address.

The undergraduate ceremony will also recognize an honorary juris doctor that was awarded to Hugh Akin, executive director of the Hatton Sumner Foundation, in November.

The OCU School of Law will hold its hooding and commencement ceremony at 2 p.m. May 19 at the Freede Wellness Center, with Brian Huseman, vice president of public policy for Amazon, giving the commencement address.

Religion professor the Rev. Leslie Long will give the baccalaureate message titled “Name It, Claim It, Live It” at 9 a.m. May 4 in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel.

About the commencement speakers —

Shannon Rich
Shannon Rich

Shannon L. Rich

President and CEO of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame

Undergraduate Commencement Speaker

Shannon Rich has spent her career leading organizations through transformational projects by challenging traditional methods. As president and CEO of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, she directed the largest endeavor in the organization’s 90-year history—the opening of the Gaylord–Pickens Museum.

Before joining the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Rich served as executive vice president at John Q. Hammons Hotels, opening both the Renaissance Oklahoma City Hotel and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott.

Under her leadership, more than 45,000 Oklahoma students have experienced the hall of fame through a free field trip program; an active teen board was created; there has been a significant increase in overall donor support; an emerging leaders board to raise awareness of the mission among young professionals was launched; free family programming is now offered year-round; and a $19 million capital campaign was completed.

Rich is a three-time honoree in the Circle of Excellence for the Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” and was named to the newspaper’s “Achievers under 40” list. She has paved the way for equal representation for women and young professionals in Oklahoma City, serving as the first woman board member and president of the Downtown Club, as well as the first female member of the executive committee and officer for the Oklahoma City All Sports Association. In addition, she was a founding co-chair of Leadership Oklahoma City’s L.O.Y.A.L. (Linking OKC’s Young Adult Leaders) program.

Shannon Roesler
Shannon Roesler

Shannon Roesler

Law Professor and Outstanding Faculty Award Winner

Graduate Commencement Speaker

Shannon Roesler is the Robert S. Kerr, Jr. Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Law at the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she teaches environmental law, legislation, property, land use and torts.

Roesler’s scholarship focuses on issues of environmental justice, environmental governance, climate change litigation, and science communication and the law. Her work has appeared in edited volumes and leading law journals such as the Georgetown Law Journal, the Washington Law Review and the U.C. Davis Law Review. She is also a board member of the Environmental Law Collaborative, a group of environmental law scholars from across the country who work on legal and institutional solutions to environmental problems.

Prior to joining the faculty at OCU in 2008, Roesler served as a law clerk to the Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. She was also a staff attorney and teaching fellow in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center and a visiting faculty member at the University of Kansas, School of Law.

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