Gov. Nixon will highlight OTC commencement

Gov. Nixon will highlight OTC commencement

Friday, May 13, 2011

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College Director of Communications
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Steve Koehler
Coordinator of Publications (417) 447-2666 koehlers@otc.edu

A bit of history will be made at this year's Ozarks Technical Community College's commencement exercise on Thursday.

Gov. Jay Nixon will be the first Missouri governor to address an OTC graduating class. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. at JQH Arena.

"We are very honored to have the governor participate in the ceremony," OTC President Hal L. Higdon said. "Gov. Nixon has always been a champion for the state's community colleges and the graduates will be thrilled to hear from him."

More than 1,000 graduates are eligible to receive degrees or certificates they earned during the 2010-11 school year. About half the graduates are expected to participate in the ceremony, which will be attended by thousands of family members and friends.

"This class represents yet another significant contribution that OTC makes to the region's workforce with graduates filling a wide variety of career opportunities," said Shirley Lawler, vice president for academic and student affairs.

Before next Thursday's commencement, another significant graduation ceremony will be held.

The second annual OTC Middle College graduation will be held at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield. A total of 31 graduates will receive their high school diplomas.

"As we graduate our second class of 31 seniors and we look at the impact it has made on their individual lives, I marvel at the positive changes we see in our seniors," Middle College Director LaRaine Bauer said.

The Middle College, the only one of its kind in the state, is an alternative education high school located on OTC's Springfield campus in partnership with Springfield Public Schools.

Students attending Middle College can earn high school diplomas while simultaneously enrolling in college classes and beginning work experiences through local internships in their career path.

Middle College study programs include diesel/automotive technology, early childhood development and medical service.

"We are really proud of the success of the Middle College, and we owe it all to the mutual collaboration between OTC and Springfield Public Schools to create a contemporary model of education unique to the state of Missouri," Bauer said.