Almost 200 students graduate from St. Gregory’s on Saturday
St. Gregory’s University celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2014 on Saturday at the W. P. Wood Fieldhouse on the St. Gregory’s campus in Shawnee. With 198 degrees conferred this spring, this class has become one of the largest in school history with students receiving their Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees from both the Shawnee and Tulsa campus.
The class of 2014 is particularly unique in its makeup of traditional and adult students. Approximately 64% of the class of 2014 graduates are students from the College of Continuing Studies adult degree programs.
“Graduates from the College of Continuing Studies are students who have pursued their education through our adult degree programs, which are offered in an accelerated, year-round format on both our Tulsa campus and on our Shawnee campus. Many have full-time jobs, and many have a family,” St. Gregory’s President D. Gregory Main said. “In the U.S. today, more than half of the college student population is made up of working adults. It’s not unusual, therefore, that 64% of our graduates today are students from our adult degree programs.”
Degree candidates at the ceremony hail from 12 states and six countries - the United States, the Ivory Coast, Japan, Haiti, Russia and Canada.
“St. Gregory’s graduates represent a rich spectrum of ethnicity, age, geography and family histories,” Main added. “Our students enjoy a multicultural environment where everyone has opportunities to be involved with students who come from different backgrounds, and they come to understand and appreciate each other.”
Commencement speaker Stephanie Gray, the co-founder and executive director of Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform, reminded the students to live their lives for others, rather than themselves and to continue to do the right thing, even if it hard.
“You’ve incurred debt. You’ve faced challenges. You’ve stretched your brains in ways you thought weren’t possible. You’ve had to juggle commitments with family and school obligations, extra jobs,” Gray said. “But you persisted. You did the hard thing. Don’t leave that attitude here, but take it with you.”
Student speaker John Clark, an education major from Moore, Oklahoma, took a moment to thank the monks of St. Gregory’s Abbey for their work on the campus of St. Gregory’s as well.
“These men are to thank for all we have here at St. Gregory’s,” Clark said. “What they do does not go unseen by all who are here.”