Practice English Speaking&Listening with: College of Professional and Continuing Studies Virtual Convocation

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(triumphant music)

- Welcome to the University of Oklahoma Extended Campus

College of Professional and Continuing Studies convocation,

and special congratulations to those of you

who are part of the Class of 2020.

Although this is not the format

that any of us had planned or anticipated,

it is truly my pleasure to welcome you

from all over the country as we join together

in celebrating the accomplishments of this class.

Students, today is the day

you become an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma.

Congratulations on reaching this milestone.

We are so very proud of you

and the accomplishments you represent.

Today, you join thousands of other alums

from around the country

who've graduated from Oklahoma's flagship university.

Not only is OU the state's premier university,

but it also continues to emerge

as one of the finest public institutions around the country.

I also want to take this opportunity to emphasize

how proud you should be to be graduating

from the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

As you know, our college focuses on helping working adults

and emerging young professionals,

folks just like you, achieve your educational dreams.

For some of you,

that has meant sacrificing nights and weekends

and overcoming significant life obstacles.

For others of you,

that has meant sacrificing nights and weekends

in order to fly.

We know that the demands on your time have been substantial,

and we are so very proud of you for the perseverance

and the commitment represented by your achieving this day.

Even more importantly, we want to remind you

that you're graduating from one of the largest

and fastest-growing colleges here at the university.

We are particularly proud

that we have been recognized by US News and World Report

as a top 10 college in four different categories

for each of the last four years.

These recognitions are great, and we celebrate them,

and we hope you are proud of them as well,

but I never want you to forget

that the primary reason we are here

is to help you achieve your goals,

goals to enhance your career,

to improve your family's quality of life,

to help you become a more engaged

and informed and active citizen.

To that end, we hope that your time with us has changed you

and that it has become an important chapter

in your lifelong journey.

We're honored that you chose OU,

and that you chose our college as your academic home,

and we are delighted to celebrate with you today.

You've become an important part of us,

and we want you to keep us looped in as you go from here.

Update us as you have opportunity

on the things that are happening in your life

and on the ways that you go from here to change your world.

As you know, circumstances this year preclude

our ability to gather in person

and to hear a traditional keynote address,

so instead, I reached out to several of our faculty

and staff members here in the college,

asking them if they'd like to send a message

directly to you.

So at this time, it's my pleasure to introduce

our Assistant Dean for Student Success,

Dr. Johnnie-Margaret McConnell,

and two of our faculty members, Dr. Todd Hubbard,

who is a faculty member in our School of Aviation,

and Dr. Roksana Alavi,

who is a faculty member in our integrative studies program.

- Congratulation, Class of 2020.

You did it.

On behalf of all of us in student services

within the College of Professional and Continuing Studies,

we are so very proud of you

and honored to have been part of your journey.

We know that your achievement did not come

without sacrifice, perseverance,

and lots and lots of late nights.

May whatever lay ahead for you

be filled with joy and unending success.

Let us be the first to congratulate you

on becoming an alum of the University of Oklahoma.

"Boomer Sooner."

- Dr. Hubbard here.

Congratulations on a job well done.

You've worked very hard.

Now you're prepared for your career,

and we are so happy for you.

We hope that you'll always remember us here at OU

because we are always prepared to help you

whenever you need us.

Congratulations.

Now it's time to put my mask on.

- Hello, graduates.

My name is Dr. Roksana Alavi, and I'm a faculty member

in the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

Like you, I'm disappointed that we can't be together

in person to celebrate you and your successes,

but know that we're here with you in spirit.

You have worked really hard to get here.

I know, I've been there with some of you on your journey.

I've heard your stories, your challenges,

and also your successes.

Your loved ones have been there pulling for you,

and through all the ups and downs, here you are.

Congratulations.

Go forth and take what you've learned,

the tools you've gained,

and your persistence into the world,

and remember that you now belong to a group

that has the privilege to be educated.

Mahatma Gandhi once said,

"Be the change that you want to see in the world."

You got what it takes.

Again, congratulations, the Class of 2020.

We're very proud of you.

- Please join me in thanking

Drs. McConnell, Hubbard, and Alavi

for taking time to share with you today

and for sharing their congratulations

on behalf of our entire college.

At each convocation, I'm reminded of a short poem

that I heard a few years ago that captures a visual picture

of the journey that you have been on these past few years.

And it's a short poem, just four lines long,

attributed to 20th century playwright Christopher Logue.

Very short, it's like this.

He said, "Come to the edge.

"But we might fall.

"Come to the edge.

"But it's too high.

"Come to the edge.

"So they came.

"And he pushed them, and they flew."

We hope that your time here has changed you

and has made you realize that you, too, can fly.

Thank you for the opportunity to walk with you to the edge

and for the opportunity to have pushed you

and for the opportunity to give you the tools

to help you fly.

We are proud of the flight that you are now embarking on.

So at this time, I'd like to ask you to join me

in specifically recognizing our graduates

from the College of Professional and Continuing Studies.

As you'll see, in this virtual ceremony,

each graduate is individually highlighted

through a personal achievement slide

that is at the bottom of this website.

There, you can search for graduates

either by name or by college,

and we hope you go there to look for your graduate now.

We are truly proud of each and every one of you.

As we close, I want to once again say congratulations

to all of our graduates.

We, the administration, faculty, and staff of the college

are so deeply proud of your accomplishment,

and I want to take a moment to say special thanks

to the families and friends of our graduates,

those of you who have walked the road with them

and now are taking time to honor them today.

You should be very proud of your graduate.

We know that it would not have been possible

without your help, and it's our privilege

to help you celebrate them today.

Class of 2020, as you go from here, know these three things.

Number one, we will always be here for you.

Stay in touch.

Number two, we could not be more proud of you.

You have accomplished much,

and you have proven yourself worthy.

And three, you are truly special,

and we are relying on your leadership

to help each of us become the individuals,

families, the organizations,

and the society to which we aspire.

All the best to each and every one of you,

and congratulations today.

(triumphant music) (fireworks sizzling)

The Description of College of Professional and Continuing Studies Virtual Convocation