Oklahoma state Secretary of Commerce and Tourism Dave Lopez will provide words of wisdom for departing OCCC students in his role as keynote speaker for the 2011 commencement. Until just recently, Lopez served as an OCCC regent.
Students will cross the stage May 13 at the Cox Convention Center, located at 1 Myriad Gardens, after hearing Lopez speak.
“It’s an honor to be able to share such an important moment with the graduates and their families,” Lopez said.
President Paul Sechrist acknowledges what the commencement ceremony will mean to everyone involved.
“The annual commencement ceremony is the single most important celebration of the college,” Sechrist said.
Lopez said he doesn’t yet know what he’ll say to the graduates during his speech.
“I usually wait until the weekend before a speech to get it ready,” he said.
However, Lopez said, he does know the students’ future is a key point to emphasize in the speech.
“I anticipate the focus will be on the opportunities and obligations ahead for the graduates.”
Sechrist said Lopez is a perfect choice for the commencement spee ch.
“Lopez is highly regarded in the state and in the nation as a leader in education … as a former regent of OCCC, he is also deeply connected to OCCC and our students,” he said.
While students move on to the next chapter, Lopez warns that time definitely flies.
“It seems like just a few years ago I was in the audience (for graduation),” he said.
Lopez said he wants to offer brief and lively remarks to the students at this year’s graduation as he reflected on his own commencement.
“I was among those hoping the speech wouldn’t be too boring or too long,” Lopez said.
Broadcast journalism major Demerye Paulin, a graduate who plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, said he appreciates the opportunities OCCC provided him during his tenure at the college.
“Because of this school, I’m more prepared for the next steps in life.”
For more information about OCCC’s commencement, turn to pages 6 and 7, or go to the Pioneer Online at www.occc.edu/pioneer.