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Regents approve posthumous degrees for three OSU students killed in automobile accident

Friday, October 24, 2008

(WARNER, Ok. Oct. 24, 2008) -- The Oklahoma State University A&M Board of Regents gave approval Friday to award posthumous degrees to Christopher Kurt Bellmer, Kelli Marie Mellon and Christian Dejwayn Wright, seniors who died in an automobile accident on Aug. 31 of this year.

“It is appropriate to honor these three students with posthumous degrees,” said OSU President Burns Hargis.  “They were all nearing their much-deserved and hard-earned degrees and this is a proper tribute to them and their families. The OSU community was deeply saddened by their tragic deaths.”  

The approval came following a recommendation brought to the board by Dr. Marlene Strathe, provost and senior vice president. The action now goes to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for consideration.

Following approval by the State Regents, the posthumous degrees will be presented on behalf of the university to the families of the three students during the December, 2008, Commencement.

Bellmer, the son of Lida Bellmer of Katy, Texas, was a 2005 graduate of Cinco Ranch High School. Faculty in the Spears School of Business and Dr. Sara Freedman, dean, have requested that Bellmer be awarded a posthumous Bachelor of Science in Management degree. Bellmer enrolled at OSU with 16 advanced placement credits by examination, and his management program indicated options in both sports management and finance.

Mellon, the daughter of Richard and Cindy Mellon of Lawson, Mo., was a 2005 graduate of Lawson R-XIC High School. Faculty members in the Department of History and Dr. Peter M.A. Sherwood, dean of the OSU College of Arts and Sciences, have requested the posthumous degree of Bachelor of Arts in History be awarded. Mellon was a participant in the OSU Honors College as well as a history major, and was an avid reader who enjoyed a wide and diverse range of literature.

Wright, the son of Cynthia Anderson-Wright of Oklahoma City, was a 2004 graduate of Putnam City High School. Dr. Martha McMillian, director of University Academic Services, has requested that Wright be awarded a posthumous Bachelor of University Studies degree. Wright was described as a man who “loved life,” “always had a positive and enthusiastic attitude,” and “lived his life trying to encourage others.” His degree program reflected a science-related concentration.

A fourth OSU student, Stephen Sellers, was seriously injured in the accident and is recovering at home.  He is from Edmond and is a sophomore majoring in business and marketing.

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