Watts To Deliver OBU Commencement Address

March 1, 2000

U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts Jr., who represents the 4th Congressional District for Oklahoma, is scheduled to deliver Oklahoma Baptist University's commencement address, May 20.

The spring graduation ceremony for approximately 300 students will be in the university's Raley Chapel.

Watts was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 1994, then won re-election in 1996 with 58 percent of the vote and again in 1998 with 62 percent of the vote. He was then elected overwhelmingly to conference chair of the Republicans in the 106th Congress.

Watts graduated from Eufaula High School in 1976 and attended the University of Oklahoma. He was quarterback for the Sooners, leading them to consecutive Big Eight Championships and Orange Bowl victories. He also was voted the Most Valuable Player in the 1980 and 1981 Orange Bowl wins over Florida State. From 1981 to 1986, he started for Ottawa and Toronto in the Canadian Football League and in his rookie season was voted Most Valuable Player of the Grey Cup, the CFL's Championship Game. Watts was inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Honor in 1992.

After returning to Oklahoma, Watts served as youth minister at Sunnylane Southern Baptist Church in Del City and later became associate pastor at the church. His entrance into elected office began in 1990 when he was elected to the Oklahoma State Corporation Commission. After serving as chairman for the three-member commission, Watts sought the Fourth District Congressional Seat in 1994.

In 1996, Watts captured the nation's attention with his speech at the Republican National Convention. He was then selected to give the Republican response to President Clinton's 1997 State of the Union Address.

In Congress, Watts serves on the Armed Services Committee and is a member of the Military Personnel Subcommittee and the Procurement Subcommittee. He also is a member of the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Panel.

For the past several years, Watts has been an active spokesman for groups including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and various anti-drug campaigns across the state and nation. Currently, he serves on the board of representatives for Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Oklahoma and has represented FCA and many other groups before hundreds of organizations and church groups.

He and his wife, Frankie, have five children. They live in Norman, where they attend Bethel Baptist Church.