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McKnight to Deliver OSU Commencement

Friday, April 22, 2005

Rancher, banker, oilman and Oklahoma State University alumnus Ross McKnight of Throckmorton, Texas, will be the featured speaker for Oklahoma State University Commencement Ceremony on May 7 in Stillwater.

The Graduate College commencement ceremony will be on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m., and the two undergraduate commencement ceremonies are set for Saturday, May 7, all in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

The 10 a.m. Saturday ceremony will feature students from the Spears School of Business, the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

The second ceremony, scheduled for 2 p.m., will honor students in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.

“We are extremely pleased and honored to have Ross deliver this year’s commencement address,” said OSU System CEO and President David J. Schmidly. “He has achieved tremendous success since leaving his alma mater and has much to share with this year’s graduates. OSU appreciates his dedication and support for the past 30 years.”

McKnight, who received his B.S. degree in animal science from OSU in 1971 and served as Student Association president, recently completed a two-year term as chairman of the OSU Foundation. He is one of seven charter members of the Athletic Associates, where he is serving as its first president.

He is co-chair of the Boone Pickens Stadium Campaign, and is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association. He has been honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from OSU in 1996 and was named a Graduate of Distinction by OSU’s Department of Animal Science in 1998.

In addition to his substantial agricultural interests in ranching, farming and feedlots, he also is president and chairman of the boards of RoMac Oil Company, Inc., an oil and gas exploration and production company with holdings in north central Texas, and RoMac Gas Company, Inc., a natural gas gathering company.

McKnight is chairman of the board and CEO of two closely held bank holding companies that own independent banks in 14 north central and Panhandle communities of Texas, and is in contract to purchase banking centers that would serve five Oklahoma communities.

He is a member of the board of trustees of Scott and White Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas, where he currently serves as chair of both the Development Committee and the Investment Committee. He is a former trustee with the Texas 4-H Foundation, where he served as chair of the foundation’s Statewide Campaign 2000.

McKnight is married to the former Billie Gaskins of Davis, and they are the parents of two children, Trent, a 2003 OSU graduate and a 2004 graduate of the London School of Economics, and Meggan, a senior at OSU.

Other commencement speakers in the OSU System include Dr. Reynaldo Martinez, associate professor of occupational education studies at OSU, who will speak at OSU-Okmulgee on April 22 in Covelle Hall; Jerry Ritchey, D.V.M., associate professor in the OSU Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, who will speak at the OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences on May 7 in Gallagher-Iba Arena; Kathy Taylor, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce and Tourism, who will speak at OSU-Tulsa in the Expo Pavillion on May 9; Scott Meacham, director of the Office of State Finance, who will speak at the Center for Health Sciences in the Tulsa Community College Performing Arts Center on May 14; and Kim Henry, Oklahoma First Lady, who will speak at OSU-Oklahoma City on May 16 at the Cox Convention Center.
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