NORMAN — Friends and family poured into Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium to the sound of Fred Waring’s song “O.K. Oklahoma,” excited to see the graduation of loved ones and more than 7,300 students.
It was a picture perfect Oklahoma evening with a slight breeze and moderate temperatures as the graduating students filed into the stadium from the west to take their seats surrounded by cheering supporters.
OU President David Boren awarded five honorary doctoral degrees.
The first honoree was Governor Bill Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation, a leader for the economic development and self-sufficiency of the Chickasaw Nation and its people and a champion for the healthcare needs of all Oklahomans.
Anoatubby was followed by Gary A. England, who as Oklahoma’s top-rated television meteorologist, is credited with saving countless lives and property with measured reporting during severe storms in Oklahoma for more than four decades. The third honorary degree was awarded to Jesus E. Medina, M.D, a pioneer in the field of otolaryngology and a leader in
establishing the head and neck cancer program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
“I’m not sure how to say this, let’s all welcome Doctor, Doctor Jesus Medina,” Boren quipped after giving the award.
The fourth award was particularly emotional and received the loudest ovation of the five for Bill D. Saxon, a leader in the oil and gas industry, who has provided leadership to advance the arts and culture of Oklahoma through two major museums — the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Saxon was not able to travel from Dallas to participate in the commencement due to illness and was represented by his son, Steve Saxon.
“Through the magic of SoonerVision, Bill Saxon can see and hear us live from his bedside. Let’s all show him how much we appreciate him,” Boren said.