Kathryn L. Taylor to address almost 800 grads at TU Commencement

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The University of Tulsa will hold its 125th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 8, 2010 in the Donald W. Reynolds Center on TU’s campus.

The University of Tulsa will hold its 125th commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 8, 2010 in the Donald W. Reynolds Center on TU’s campus. The Honorable Kathy Taylor, Oklahoma’s Chief of Education Strategy & Innovation and former Tulsa mayor, will deliver the commencement address.

About 800 graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony, which is free and open to the public. Those attending the event are asked to be in their seats by 9:30 a.m. For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be broadcast online at www.utulsa.edu/commencement.

Mayor Kathy TaylorElected Tulsa mayor in 2006, Taylor combined her business and legal background with her experience as Oklahoma’s Commerce Secretary to form public-private partnerships and collaborative teams that helped launch the first update of the city’s comprehensive land-use plan in three decades. During her term, the city opened the BOK Center and initiated the Tulsa Drillers move to downtown’s ONEOK Field. Taylor consolidated 1,000 jobs from City Hall to the state-of-the-art One Technology Center. She also negotiated annual union contracts with seven municipal labor unions, formed the new Working in Neighborhoods Department and secured state support for the completion of a new hangar for American Airlines, securing 7,000 jobs.

Following her term as mayor, Taylor joined Gov. Brad Henry’s cabinet as chief of education strategy and innovation.

The university will recognize Thomas Buoye, associate professor of history; Vicki Limas, professor of law; and Joseph Rivers, professor of music and film studies as TU’s 2009-2010 Outstanding Teachers.

Faculty Honor Medal recipients have maintained the highest cumulative grade point average of all students in their college and lead their undergraduate colleges in the procession to receive diplomas. This year’s recipients are Kara L. Kerr, Emily A. Maack, Kelsey N. Parker, Abigail L. Searle and Susan M. Stangl from the Henry Kendall College of Arts & Sciences; Joshua J. Firestone from the Collins College of Business; and Matthew D. Behlmann, Brett A Blazer, Kyle E. Bonney, Phillip A. Bonney, Caitlin T. Clancy, Casey M. Davis, Rachael C. Johnston, Kyle C. Klavetter, John W. Orr, Alexandra M. Stellato and Erin C. Stranford from the College of Engineering & Natural Sciences.

TU’s Medicine Wheel Award honors faculty, staff, students, and organizations that have provided outstanding community service. Medicine Wheel recipients for 2009-10 are Melissa Hamby, clinical instructor, University School; Peggy Hill, associate professor of biological science, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences; Ryan Staebell, Class of 2010, Collins College of Business; and Alpha Phi Omega.

The University of Tulsa’s Secondary School Teacher Prize for Inspiration recognizes teachers who contributed significantly to the intellectual and personal growth of a TU graduating senior while the student was in high school. Teachers, who are nominated by students, receive a cash prize of $2,000; and $1,000 is awarded to the teacher’s high school to be used in a way the teacher specifies. The 2009-10 recipients of the Secondary School Teacher Prize for Inspiration are Craig Hannick, St. Louis University High School, St. Louis, Missouri; Joan Kelly, Broken Arrow Senior High School, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; and Kim Sharon, Saint Francis High School, Sacramento, California.

David Hamby