OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. led the processional of distinguished guests, faculty, doctoral graduates, PE-ET Honor Society members, banner carriers selected by their colleges, and students bearing international and Native Nation flags, with music provided by the Pipes and Drums of the Highlanders and the University Commencement Choir and Band. Following the processional, attendees were invited to stand for the presentation of colors by the Kiowa Black Leggings Society.
Harroz welcomed graduates and guests to the arena, noting that graduation is a rite of passage for students that celebrates the culmination of their OU experieince.
During his remarks, Harroz reminded the Class of 2022 that they are the next in line to inherit the OU legacy.
“You are our 130th class to celebrate graduation,” Harroz said. “Like all who came before you, your OU experience has changed, challenged and inspired you. Tonight, one chapter ends, and another begins – you move forward no longer as students, but as alumni with tremendous responsibility and boundless opportunities.”
Attendees also heard from this year’s Commencement speaker, David Brooks. One of the nation’s leading critical thinkers and op-ed columnist for The New York Times, Brooks offered timely advice to graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
“Some people think America is a nation in decline, and it will be your generation that determines whether that is true,” Brooks said. “The fate of America will be importantly determined by the quality of the way we see each other and treat each other in the smallest acts of daily life. Yours is a morally passionate generation. I ask you to focus part of your passion on the faces right in front of you. I ask you to show kindness, curiosity and emotional courage so you can illuminate the faces of those around you.”
Brooks, along with four other individuals – James J. Mulva, Susan Stroman, J.C. Watts Jr. and R. Lynn Riggs, who was honored posthumously – were presented honorary degrees in recognition of their extraordinary achievements and generous service to the university and others.
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the OU Chant and Oklahoma!, as guests and graduates displayed lights on their phones as a salute to the Class of 2022.
“Your time at OU has made you stronger and has helped you see what matters,” Harroz said. “Your story and contribution to the OU legacy is just getting started.”
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.