Graduates, families, and friends celebrated Fall Commencement at Southeastern Oklahoma State University over the weekend during two ceremonies.
On Friday night, commencement was held for master’s degree candidates, while undergraduates received their degrees on Saturday morning.
This fall’s graduating class included students from 43 states and seven countries. Forty-percent of the graduates were first-generation college graduates. Chancellor Emeritus and Southeastern President Emeritus Glen D. Johnson was the commencement speaker at both ceremonies, held in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.
Johnson was chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education from 2007-21. He led a state system comprised of 25 state colleges and universities and 10 constituent agencies. Johnson provided leadership on matters relating to standards for Oklahoma higher education, courses and programs of study, budget allocations for institutions, fees and tuition, and strategic planning.
The State Regents named him Chancellor Emeritus in September 2021.
Johnson became eighth chancellor of the Oklahoma State System in January 2007 after a national search. Before assuming the role of chancellor, he served as the 16th president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University for 10 years.
During his tenure at Southeastern, Johnson oversaw $63 million in facility improvements (new or renovated), including the Student Union (later named in his honor), Bloomer Sullivan Arena, General Classroom Building, Shearer Residence Hall, Campus Police and Oklahoma Small Business Development Center offices, tennis courts, and Paul Laird Football Field.
Regent Connie Reilly, chair of the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents, offered welcoming remarks during Friday’s ceremonies.
Southeastern president Thomas Newsom delivered remarks at both ceremonies, while alumni association president Joe Hill offered the alumni charge.