Eastern awards degrees to 286 graduates during Commencement Ceremony May 6


WILBURTON, OK (May 9, 2016) – Eastern Oklahoma State College awarded degrees to 286 graduates during its Commencement Ceremony May 6 in Wilburton. Edward Stokes, an Eastern alumnus and longtime engineer for ConocoPhillips, provided the Commencement address.

Stokes shared 10 principles of success during his remarks, encouraging the Class of 2016 to follow their passion, set goals, never stop learning, keep the right attitude, and make time for family and friends, among others. He also challenged graduates to look to the future, whether it’s entering the job market or continuing their education.

“Your destiny hasn’t been limited by your past, nor has it been defined by your present,” Stokes said. “Instead it will be governed by the amount of energy you’re willing to apply along with your ability to stay focused and committed to your future. Only you can do this.”

A 1972 Eastern engineering science graduate, Stokes has had an illustrious career in the oil and gas industry. He has worked for ConocoPhillips since 1976 and currently serves as Marine Project Manager of the Alaska LNG Project, an unincorporated joint venture among ExxonMobil, BP, ConocoPhillips and the Alaska Gasoline Development Corporation. Once approved, this will become one of the largest infrastructure projects in the world with an estimated capital expenditure between $45 and $65 billion.

Eastern’s 286 graduates included 136 students who earned an associate of arts degree, 91 who earned an associate of science degree, 51 who earned an associate of applied science degree and eight who earned one-year certificates of mastery.

Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities have produced thousands of college graduates ready to enter the workforce this spring.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education estimates that more than 34,650 students will earn degrees during the 2015-16 academic year at Oklahoma’s public colleges and universities. Of those graduates, an estimated 10,600 will earn associate degrees with nursing, general studies and business listed as the most popular fields.

Business and nursing were the programs most frequently selected by the projected 17,500 students earning bachelor’s degrees. An estimated 4,800 students will receive master’s degrees in a variety of fields, most notably in education, counseling and business. Projections show that approximately 450 students will earn doctoral degrees, while more than 1,100 others will receive professional degrees in areas such as law and medicine.

“We are very pleased with the number of students earning degrees and graduating from our state’s public colleges and universities,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These graduates are the future of our state. The State Regents congratulate them on this accomplishment and wish them the very best as they embark on the next phase of their lives.”

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