707 degrees awarded at fall graduation

On Dec. 17, 2016, 707 students walked the stage at Kay Yeager Coliseum and received what they’ve been waiting four years (or five for those who took a “victory lap”) to get — a college degree. 

“It’s the student’s day. It’s important to allow them to express themselves. It’s their graduation day. Previously, students were unable to decorate their caps, but it’s appropriate that the students should be allowed to fully express and celebrate their success,” Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said.

State Representative James Frank gave the commencement address to the thousands of teary-eyed, proud parents, family and friends of the graduates. 

“Today you’re taking a huge step in life — a key that unlocks opportunities that you haven’t had before today,” Frank said in his speech. “Determined people achieve their goals at a higher rate than those who give up easily. Choose to work toward your goal with short-term pain. Those who quit do not succeed.”

Graduates such as AnnMarie Bush were nervous about making the walk across the stage.

“It’s exciting. I’m excited. A little nervous, but very excited,” Bush, a music graduate, said.

Leanne Duran, a clinical health graduate, opened up about overcoming hardships in her college experience.

“I faced a lot of personal obstacles coming up to this point, but I haven’t let up, and I’ve overcome. I’m excited. When you start a program like this, it’s hard to foresee the end, but it’s been a personal journey and I know I’ve grown more than anything,” Duran said. “If I had any word of advice to anyone overcoming obstacles of their own it would have to be to just keep going. The hard moments are only temporary. All you have to do is get through those, and you eventually reach days like this.”

Reporting by Brendan Wynne and Jeanette Perry.

2016 fall graduation

Nursing students Tiffany Sinclair and Karin Langford, stop to chat before lining up at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Nursing students Tiffany Sinclair and Karin Langford, stop to chat before lining up at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
All graduates with master's degrees in nursing, Whitney Spraggins helps Karin Langford put on her hat with Tiffany Sinclair. Photo by Bradley Wilson
All graduates with master's degrees in nursing, Whitney Spraggins helps Karin Langford put on her hat with Tiffany Sinclair. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kevin Ruddy, social sciences, puts his gown on at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Kevin Ruddy, social sciences, puts his gown on at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Barbara Lunce and Linda Knox help Lucia Treja with her mortar board. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Barbara Lunce and Linda Knox help Lucia Treja with her mortar board. Photo by Bradley Wilson
AnnMarie Bush, music, stops to take a phone call before lining up at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
AnnMarie Bush, music, stops to take a phone call before lining up at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Amber Garcia wore a mortar board decorated "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." Garcia said was because "I had a lot of struggles and my family helped me through it." Photo by Bradley Wilson
Amber Garcia wore a mortar board decorated "The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all." Garcia said was because "I had a lot of struggles and my family helped me through it." Photo by Bradley Wilson
Shirley Phillips relaxes before getting in line for the processional. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Shirley Phillips relaxes before getting in line for the processional. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Ryan Patty, business administration, at the Midwestern State University graduation fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Ryan Patty, business administration, at the Midwestern State University graduation fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Seniors stop to sign in at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Seniors stop to sign in at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Business majors, Madeline Hoff and Ryan Booker put together their attire for commencement at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Business majors, Madeline Hoff and Ryan Booker put together their attire for commencement at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Katherine Pendergrass discuss the organization of the lines at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Katherine Pendergrass discuss the organization of the lines at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Kristie Coomer, radiologic sciences graduate getting her cords pinned on her sleeve at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Kristie Coomer, radiologic sciences graduate getting her cords pinned on her sleeve at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Sarah Davison, bachelor of arts graduate said, "[The inspiration for her cap decoration was] Gilmore Girls. It's the revival year. I had to commerate them somehow." Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Sarah Davison, bachelor of arts graduate said, "[The inspiration for her cap decoration was] Gilmore Girls. It's the revival year. I had to commerate them somehow." Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Radiology major, Rachel Garcia, and science and mathematics major Taylor Kirk sign their name cards at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Radiology major, Rachel Garcia, and science and mathematics major Taylor Kirk sign their name cards at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Courtney Gilder, mass communication graduate, waits for her friends to line up at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Courtney Gilder, mass communication graduate, waits for her friends to line up at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
University president Suzanne Shipley stops to take a selfie with guest speaker James Frank at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
University president Suzanne Shipley stops to take a selfie with guest speaker James Frank at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Gabriela Ruiz, nursing graduate, said, "[The reason she decorated her cap was] I wanted to stand out." Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Gabriela Ruiz, nursing graduate, said, "[The reason she decorated her cap was] I wanted to stand out." Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Nursing graduates, Christine Aranda, Kaitlyn Hofbauer, Dana Chu and Lula Nur, pose for a selfie at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Nursing graduates, Christine Aranda, Kaitlyn Hofbauer, Dana Chu and Lula Nur, pose for a selfie at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Lucia Trejo, exercise physiology graduate said, "I am the first in my family but not the last [to graduate from college]." Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Lucia Trejo, exercise physiology graduate said, "I am the first in my family but not the last [to graduate from college]." Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Mass communication students gather for a photo at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Mass communication students gather for a photo at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Blaire Untalen and Kari Goen, nursing graduates, show off their hats at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Blaire Untalen and Kari Goen, nursing graduates, show off their hats at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Everett Kindig, history professor, ushers the beginning of the commencement ceremony at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Everett Kindig, history professor, ushers the beginning of the commencement ceremony at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates file into the coliseum to take their seats at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates file into the coliseum to take their seats at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
University President Suzanne Shipley addresses MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
University President Suzanne Shipley addresses MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
University President Suzanne Shipley addresses MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
University President Suzanne Shipley addresses MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Representative James Franks speaks with MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Representative James Franks speaks with MSU graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
University President Suzanne Shipley and U.S. Representative James Frank listen while Provost Betty Stewart addresses the MSU graduates. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
University President Suzanne Shipley and U.S. Representative James Frank listen while Provost Betty Stewart addresses the MSU graduates. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Graduates enjoyed decorating their hats for the second time in the schools history at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Graduates enjoyed decorating their hats for the second time in the schools history at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
University president Suzanne Shipley shakes the hand of a graduate at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
University president Suzanne Shipley shakes the hand of a graduate at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates watch as students received their degrees at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates watch as students received their degrees at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Jim Sernoe, mass communication department head, hugs mass communication graduate Cooper Miller after receiving his degree at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Jim Sernoe, mass communication department head, hugs mass communication graduate Cooper Miller after receiving his degree at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Jim Sernoe, mass communication department head, hugs mass communication graduate Hunter Overall after receiving his degree at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Jim Sernoe, mass communication department head, hugs mass communication graduate Hunter Overall after receiving his degree at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Family members hold up their signs at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Family members hold up their signs at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Family members cheer as students receive their degrees at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Family members cheer as students receive their degrees at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
A gradute holds up her degree at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
A gradute holds up her degree at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates stop to take a selfie after receiving their degrees at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates stop to take a selfie after receiving their degrees at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Provost Betty Stewart, who is leaving to be provost at UNT-Dallas in February, addresses the audience at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Provost Betty Stewart, who is leaving to be provost at UNT-Dallas in February, addresses the audience at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
The Midwestern State University Wind Ensemble plays the processional song, "Pomp and Circumstance, No. 1" at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
The Midwestern State University Wind Ensemble plays the processional song, "Pomp and Circumstance, No. 1" at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Graduates listen to the guest speaker, James Frank, at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Graduates listen to the guest speaker, James Frank, at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Provost Betty Stewart addresses graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Stewart is leaving in February to be the provost at UNT-Dallas. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Provost Betty Stewart addresses graduates at the Midwestern State University graduation, Fall 2016. Stewart is leaving in February to be the provost at UNT-Dallas. Photo by Jeanette Perry.
Radiologic sciences major Kyle Morford celebrates after the ceremony at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Radiologic sciences major Kyle Morford celebrates after the ceremony at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Jeff Killion, radiologic sciences chair, high-fives students after the ceremony at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne
Jeff Killion, radiologic sciences chair, high-fives students after the ceremony at Midwestern State University fall graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne

 

This fall, 707 students graduated.

Facts and figures

DATE | Dec. 17, 2016 

LOCATION | Kay Yeager Coliseum

University President Suzanne Shipley stops to take a selfie with guest speaker James Frank at the Midwestern State University graduation Dec. 17, 2016. Photo by Brendan Wynne

SPEAKER | State Representative James Frank

“No one accomplishes anything of significance without the help and support of others.”

“Today you’re taking a huge step in life — a key that unlocks opportunities that you haven’t had before today.”

“What will it take for you to achieve the goals before you?”

“While education is tremendously important, it is not the most important thing to helping you achieve your goals.” Neither is talent. It’s determination.

“Determined people achieve their goals at a higher rate than those who give up easily. Choose to work toward your goal with short-term pain. Those who quit do not succeed.”

“The only thing that really matters in life is the impact that you have on other people.”

Frank ran unopposed Nov. 8 for his third term in the Texas House of Representatives. He serves as the vice-chair of the Defense & Veterans’ Affairs Committee and on the Natural Resources Committee. He took office in the Texas House in 2013 and represents District 69, which consists of Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Knox, and Wichita counties.

Frank grew up in Wichita Falls and graduated from Rider High School. He earned a degree in finance from Texas A&M University and began an 11-year career in banking in Fort Worth and Wichita Falls. Frank now owns Sharp Iron Group and Transland.

Faculty Senate Chair David Carlston, professor of psychology, received the Faculty Award.

FACULTY AWARDDavid Carlston

DEGREES

  • Master’s | 190
  • Bachelor’s | 517
  • August degrees awarded today | 200

BY COLLEGE

  • Dillard College of Business Administration | 78
  • Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education | 140
  • Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts | 15
  • Robert D. and Carol C. Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services | 335
  • Protho-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences | 74
  • College of Science and Mathematics | 65

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