Centennial Commencement to Honor 60 Graduates

Sixty graduates will have degrees conferred upon them during OBU's Centennial Winter Commencement on Friday, Dec. 17. Dr. Doug Melton, president of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, will deliver the Commencement Address.

The graduating students will take their symbolic final walk into Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium for the 2 p.m. ceremonies. The graduates, in academic regalia, will wear Centennial Class medallions in honor of the university’s anniversary celebration. Dr. David W. Whitlock, OBU president, will preside over the ceremonies.

Melton earned a bachelor’s degree from OBU in 1983. He earned a master’s degree and his Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. He worked at OBU for 14 years, serving as dean of students during the last seven years of his tenure. He has served as pastor of Southern Hills Baptist Church, which has a membership of 4,000 people, since January 2000. Melton is married to Lana Kay (Dotson) Melton, a 1986 OBU alum. They have four children: Drew, Zachary, Brandon and Samuel.

The graduating class will be presented by Brandon Dickinson, president of the OBU Student Government Association and a senior from Enid, Okla., and Dr. Stan Norman, provost and executive vice president for campus life.

In addition to the address from Melton, the program includes greetings by Dr. Anthony Jordan, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and induction of the graduates into the OBU Alumni Association by Carl Storm, a 1993 OBU graduate and president of the association.

Candidates for bachelor’s degrees from OBU’s Paul Dickinson School of Business, with academic majors and hometowns, include Zachary David Altis, marketing, St. Louis, Mo.; Shea Gregory Brown, management, Pampa, Texas; Jason D. Coleman, finance, Broken Bow, Okla.; Rachel M. Creach, international business, Spokane Valley, Wash.; Craig Thomas Donnelly, management, Hillsborough, N.J.; Benjamin Perry Henderson, finance, Mesquite, Texas; Joshua David Karr, international business, Larkspur, Colo.; Kristen Michelle Karr, finance, Choctaw, Okla.; Vedrana Milakovic, international business, Väsby, Sweden; Kristin Michelle Pearson, marketing, Tulsa, Okla.; Colin Russell, international business, Midwest City, Okla.; Bruno Retucci Scacalossi, international business, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil; and Gustavo Schaefer, international business, Brusque, Brazil.

Candidates for bachelor’s degrees from the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service include Richard David Doyle, applied ministry: youth, Rogers, Ark.; and Zachery Dayton Rider, religion: Bible, Oklahoma City.

From the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, candidates for bachelor’s degrees include Sarah Lyndsey Bailey, music education, vocal PK-12, Noble, Okla.; Kate Nicole Berry, applied communication, Electric City, Wash.; Jasmine De’Shaun Brown, news and information, Houston, Texas; Abigail K. Chaplin, musical arts: piano, Noble; Esther Joy Chappelle, music, Arlington, Texas; Jee-Seung Choi, musical arts: cello, Gwang Ju, South Korea; Reji Smith Coffey, applied communication, Grapevine, Texas; Mikala Jane Hacker, art/applied communication; Macomb, Okla.; Demetrius A. Hicks, news and information, Lawton, Okla.; Justin Glenn Lee, music education: vocal, PK-12, Shawnee; Aubrey Marie Reynolds, applied communication, Oklahoma City; Brandi LaShay Sanford, strategic communication, Houston, Texas; Monetta Nicole Thompson, piano performance, Ardmore, Okla.; Melissa Danelle Wineland, interdisciplinary: theatre/art/orality studies, Bokoshe, Okla.

Candidates for bachelor’s degrees from OBU’s College of Arts and Sciences include Joseph Arthur Armstrong, exercise and sports science: pre-allied health, Lincoln, Calif.; Callen Brandt Balmos, special education, Meridian, Texas; Austin Ray Berg, health and physical education P-12, Edmond, Okla.; Jenna Pearl Black, elementary education, Madison, Wis.; Billy Don Christy, exercise and sports science: exercise physiology and wellness, Eufaula, Okla.; Zachary Terrell Coffey, sociology, Edmond; Jacob Neil Cribbs, leisure service management: sports ministry, Macomb, Okla.; Sarah Elizabeth Disch, anthropology, Jenks, Okla.; Arin Roy Fowble, leisure service management: sports and recreation management, Owasso, Okla.; Elliott Winston Freeman, anthropology, Paola, Kan.; James Perry Gilreath, psychology, Altus, Okla.; Robert Wayne Hathorne, English, Midwest City, Okla.; Stephen John Haveman, psychology: pre-counseling, Bothell, Wash.; Erin Elizabeth Howard, interdisciplinary: psychology/business administration/sociology, Oklahoma City; Charles Elliott Jestice, health and physical education, P-12, Tulsa; Kara Danielle Johnson, interdisciplinary: sociology/anthropology/cross-cultural ministry, Shawnee; and Leah Jeanine Burr Jordan, family and community services: family life, Bentonville, Ark.

Others receiving bachelor’s degrees from the College of Arts and Sciences are Stephen M. Lambiase, psychology, Spring Branch, Texas; Maddison Marie Nelson, exercise and sports science: personal training/strength and conditioning, Sherman, Texas; Anthony Michael Ramirez, leisure service management: sports and recreation management, Prunedale, Calif.; Desiree Nichole Roberts, anthropology, Bartlesville, Okla.; Samuel Andrew Rushing, social studies education, Oklahoma City; Ashlee Renee Snyder, exercise and sports science: pre-allied health, Odessa, Mo.; Leah Corrine Sprinkle, interdisciplinary: education/psychology/leisure studies, Fayetteville, N.C.; Raymond Garrett Steinmetz, biology, Fort Cobb, Okla.; Christopher Robert Truitt, family and community services: family life, Tulsa; Danielle Elizabeth Turner, elementary education, Fort Smith, Ark.; Melissa S. Upton, family and community services, Claremore, Okla.; Lenna Patricia Wagner, elementary education, Eufaula; Audrey Lee Walcher, science education, Wellington, Kan.; and Lin Yan, exercise and sports science: personal training/strength and conditioning, Shenyang, Liaoning, China.

Students graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude for maintaining at least a 3.95 grade point average. They include Maddison Marie Nelson and Aubrey Marie Reynolds.

Students who maintained at least at 3.70 GPA are designated magna cum laude. They include Kate Nicole Berry, Abigail K. Chaplin, Craig Thomas Donnelly, Elliott Winston Freeman, Robert Wayne Hathorne, Leah Jeanine Burr Jordan, Joshua David Karr, Kristen Michelle Karr and Monetta Nicole Thompson. Chaplin will graduate with college honors. Her thesis presentation is “Reinventing the Revolution: Romanticism and the Dissolution of Tonality.”

Students who maintained at least a 3.40 GPA are designated cum laude. They include Sarah Lyndsey Bailey, Austin Ray Berg, Jenna Pearl Black, Sarah Elizabeth Disch, Mikala Jane Hacker, Kristin Michelle Pearson, Samuel Andrew Rushing and Raymond Garrett Steinmetz.

Eleven graduating seniors will be recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. Who’s Who is an annual honors program honoring our nation’s leading college students. The program recognizes academic excellence, outstanding accomplishments and contributions to community and school. Those students include: Austin Ray Berg, Kate Nicole Berry, Abigail K. Chaplin, Jason D. Coleman, Elliott Winston Freeman, Robert Wayne Hathorne, Joshua David Karr, Kristen Michelle Karr, Maddison Marie Nelson, Kristen Michelle Pearson and Monetta Nicole Thompson.