More than 4,400 incoming freshman students were officially welcomed to the University of Oklahoma during a Class Kickoff event held Tuesday evening at the Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. This year’s freshman class will be one of OU’s most diverse classes ever, with over one-third of students identifying as minorities.
With extensive safety protocols in place, including required masking and socially distanced seating, the Class of 2024 was welcomed to OU in unique fashion, with a celebratory pre-ceremony flyover by the World War II-era Tulsa Warbirds and a fireworks display at the event’s conclusion.
Featured speakers at the event included OU President Joseph Harroz Jr., head football coach Lincoln Riley, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students David Surratt, Interim Senior Vice President and Provost Jill Irvine, and Student Government Association President Justin Norris.
During his remarks, Harroz encouraged students to learn from the challenges of the pandemic, using their college years as a time to discover how they can support each other and serve their communities.
This year, instead of taking the traditional class photo on Owen Field, which doesn’t allow for adequate physical distancing, members of the Class of 2024 were encouraged to upload photos to Instagram using #OUClassKickoff. The photo submissions were used to create a mosaic photo display, which can be viewed at virtualmosaic.com/ou.
Classes on the Norman campus begin Monday, Aug. 24. Detailed statistics on the Class of 2024 will be released at that time.
About the University of Oklahoma
Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a public research university located in Norman, Oklahoma. OU serves the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. For more information visit www.ou.edu.