STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Governor Kevin Stitt returned to his alma mater, Oklahoma State University, to deliver the commencement address to the university’s final graduating class of the decade.
The ceremony was held at Gallagher-Iba Arena, Saturday. It was OSU’s 140th commencement. Roughly 1,300 of the approximately 1,800 graduating students participated in the undergraduate ceremony, according to an OSU news release.
Stitt, a 1996 OSU accounting alumnus, addressed the graduates following a procession led by the OSU Pipes & Drums Band and an introduction from Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges Board of Regents Chairman Tucker Link, who thanked Stitt for his leadership and dedication to OSU.
“As a graduate, you are a representative of America’s brightest orange. Oklahoma State University has made a difference in your life. May you honor OSU through your continued academic pursuits, your career and your service. Who knows, as a graduate you may even become a [university] president, a regent, or even governor,” Link said.
Prior to being elected governor in 2018, Stitt founded Gateway Mortgage Group. Gateway merged with Farmers Exchange Bank in 2019 to form Gateway First Bank, one of the 10 largest banks in the state.
Stitt, delivering his first OSU commencement address, shared with graduates high points from a 40-goal list he made while attending OSU,
Stitt imparted the following three pillars of advice: Dream big, be persistent and surround yourself with good people.
“Dream big, because you can do anything you set your mind to,” he said. “The great T. Boone Pickens put it this way: What you dream about, what you think about and what you work for is going to happen.”
Stitt encouraged graduates to challenge themselves, aim high and overcome obstacles.
“Most people quit right before success,” he said. “I don’t know of any business, job or marriage that doesn’t face challenging times. It’s what you do in those times that matter.”
During the morning ceremony, honorary doctorates in humane letters were awarded to Michael and Anne Greenwood for their prolific philanthropic efforts, which are credited with helping transform the OSU-Stillwater campus.
During the afternoon ceremony, an honorary doctorate of humane letters was awarded to First Cowgirl Ann Hargis for leading impactful health and wellness initiatives.
Photos from the ceremonies are featured in the gallery above this story.