NORMAN — Thousands of students, parents, grandparents, friends and educators will fill OU’s Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium tonight. Brown University president Ruth J. Simmons will deliver the commencement address.
More than 4,400 students are expected to receive degrees. That number includes 2,731 bachelor’s degrees, 1,001 master’s, 101 doctoral and 625 professional degrees.
Another 2,849 who graduated in the summer or fall of 2011 are eligible to participate in the ceremonies, which begin at 7 p.m.
Individual colleges plan receptions and graduations of their own this weekend. Those events, usually lacking the fireworks, music and pageantry of tonight’s commencement, are more personalized and give students time to thank faculty and peers for help along the journey. (It’s also a good time to thank those who sacrificed to send students here).
It’s a time of celebration and a transition to another phase of life’s journey. Most of the students eventually leave Norman, return as alumni and never forget their experiences here.