Friday, May 10, 2013

University of Oklahoma Graduation This Weekend

This evening's graduation at Owen Field should go off without rain this year.  It is beautiful at night at the stadium with fireworks following the graduation.  Tomorrow the various colleges will graduate their students.

Beautiful day leading up to graduation tonight after two days of rain with nighttime storms - our lakes are back to normal and you can almost see the grass growing before your eyes with the sun out this morning.  The landscaping on the OU campus is beautiful with all the rains we have gotten in the last week.

Hard to believe six years ago, we were sitting in the stands at Owen Field on Friday night watching our daughter graduate along with our son.  Our daughter graduated from the Gaylord College of Journalism.  Today she is a Senior Editor for an on-line magazine, Plastics Today, which allows her to travel to the Far East, Canada, Europe, and around the United States.  Our son graduated on the same day with a Master's Degree from the English Department of Arts and Sciences with Medieval Literature as his major.  He is an English professor who is completing his PhD from Loyola, Chicago in the near future.

Mayor Bloomberg was the speaker that night - he was very funny and witty.  He started off by saying bet there were people in the crowd expecting a different NY Mayor referring to Rudy Giuliani who has spoken at the University in the past following 9/11.  Bloomberg was a really good speaker especially after having Tom Brokaw speak to our son's graduation when he got his bachelor's degree.  Was so mad at the condescending attitude of Brokaw to the graduates, I wrote a whole article which was picked up by several media outlets.  When you talk to new graduates that there will never be another greatest generation like WWII, you lost me as a parent.  Guess Brokaw could see into the future.

This year's speaker is Fareed Zakaria:
One of the nation’s leading critical thinkers, Fareed Zakaria, will deliver the University of Oklahoma’s Commencement address at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, in The Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, 180 W. Brooks St. Zakaria is widely respected for his thoughtful analysis and ability to spot economic and political trends.  
“Fareed Zakaria is truly an educator,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He uses his forum through the public media to educate a worldwide audience about the important issues we all confront and how we can work together to meet them.”
Highly sought as a speaker both at home and abroad, Zakaria is the editor-at-large of TIME and a Washington Post columnist.  He also is host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, CNN’s flagship international affairs program, and its companion blog, Global Public Square, which have become a destination for those seeking smart commentary and civil conversation about the big ideas and global challenges of our time. Winner of a 2012 Peabody Award, the Emmy-nominated GPS features Zakaria’s panel discussions and one-to-one interviews with heads of state, intellectuals and business leaders. His columns and cover stories – on subjects from the future of energy and the Middle East to America’s role in the world – reach more than 25 million readers weekly.    
Should be an interesting speech and looking forward to reading some of the comments after the speech in some of our more conservative media like The Oklahoman.  Without a doubt the Norman Transcript will  take a broader view of his speech.

This is a huge night for this year's graduates and their families as they take part in Graduation festivities here in Norman.  When I was out earlier, there are cars with license plates from various states driving in Norman.  We always see Texas plates because a lot of their students come to OU but Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and a few others are not normally around Norman.  There were already lines at restaurants I drove by late this morning.

In addition to graduation, OU is hosting NCAA Regional Men's Tennis and Women's Golf along with the Softball Team hosting OSU in bedlam.  Traffic is going to mimic a fall football game shortly!  Next week you will be able to drive around all of Norman with a lot less traffic for a few months.

The University brings a vibrancy to Norman that is unmatched anywhere we have lived.  One class graduates and in a few months, a new Freshman class with be on campus to fill their shoes.  Feel privileged to live in the home town of such a great university and be able to experience the many things it has to offer from all types of sporting events starting with football games in the fall with all the pageantry, the fine arts plays and ballet with the Nutcracker, Sam Noble Museum of History where you can spend hours along with the Fred Jones Museum of Art and one of my favorites the Bizzell Memorial Library which is rumored to be haunted.

Best Wishes and Congratulations to all the graduates of The University of Oklahoma!

Boomer Sooner!

University of Oklahoma Bizzell Memorial Library Gardens 

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