While students at Oklahoma Christian University are wrapping up their final days on campus this spring, the senior class is preparing to take their last finals before graduating next Friday, April 27.
The first commencement ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Payne Athletic Center, with doors opening at 9:30 a.m. All seniors within the College of Business Administration and College of Liberal Arts will graduate at this time.
Another commencement ceremony will follow the first in the Payne Athletic Center starting at 2:30 p.m. and doors will open at 1:30 p.m. The College of Biblical Studies, College of Engineering and Computer Science and College of Natural and Health Sciences majors will all graduate during this ceremony.
Those who have completed all four years of the Honors Program will be recognized for their accomplishments at the beginning of both ceremonies.
Senior Raena Crouse is graduating with a degree in nursing. After college, she said she will work for the Children’s Hospital at the OU Medical Center.
“It is kind of overwhelming just to think that everything’s changing,” Crouse said. “I am excited, but just getting a little sentimental knowing that this is my last few days of college, and then I have to grow up and be a real adult. Although this is a lot of change all at one time, I’m excited and I’m ready.”
Crouse said her time here at Oklahoma Christian has helped her grow in her faith.
“The biggest takeaway for me I guess would be the relationships and bonds I made with people here,” Crouse said. “There’s been a lot of relationship building. That’s definitely been the biggest takeaway. I think I am getting super sentimental because everything is winding down. But, it is comforting knowing that a lot of my friends, that are also seniors, are going through the same thing as me.”
Caden Shores is a graduating senior in mass communications with an emphasis in electronic creative media. Shores said he is still searching for a job after graduation but hopes to break into the film industry.
“I hope to start screenwriting and directing,” Shores said. “I have a lot of doors available to me, I am just not sure which one is opening yet.”
Shores said Oklahoma Christian has helped him to actively seek his faith and called him to strengthen it by whatever means necessary.
“Being surrounded by the OC community has really helped me to lean on what I know is not going to change, and that is God,” Shores said. “My faith has definitely gotten stronger.”
Kennedy McAlister is finishing up her double major in music and English/writing. After graduation, she said she is getting married to Parker LaMascus and moving to Boston in the fall.
“I just committed to New England Conservatory for choral conducting,” McAlister said. “It is a small school—all music majors. It is bittersweet to always to come to the end of a chapter, but, gaining maturity through the college years has led me to realize that ‘goodbyes’ are just as important as ‘hellos.’”
McAlister said her faith has “exploded” during her time at Oklahoma Christian. According to McAlister, Oklahoma has not molded her but rather, has allowed her to be more open.
“OC has really challenged me to assess certain things about faith that I had not thought of before,” McAlister said. “It has taught me to be a critical thinker about my faith. I have learned how to roll with things and to deal with disappointments or things not meeting my expectations and being open to new possibilities. I am super grateful for the community at OC—it is a really special place to be.”