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Nathan Ratcliff
Nathan Ratcliff is the recipient of the 2022 Raymond D. Thomas Award, given annually to the top senior in Spears Business.

Ratcliff receives top senior award

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

Nathan Ratcliff — an accounting and finance major from Amber, Oklahoma, who graduated in May — is the recipient of the 2022 Raymond D. Thomas Award. This award is given annually to the top senior in the Spears School of Business. As the honoree, he led the Class of 2022 into Gallagher-Iba Arena for commencement on May 7 and was the first business student to receive his diploma.

His award reflects high levels of achievement in scholarship and leadership. Every year, a Spears Business faculty committee determines the recipient of the award. Ratcliff was one of two business students named to the 2021-2022 Outstanding Seniors by the OSU Alumni Association (joining Kase Anderson). 

Ratcliff, a fourth generation OSU graduate, served as the president of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity, as well as the facilitator for the President’s Leadership Council. He was also involved in the Business Student Council as treasurer, the Homecoming Steering Committee Parade Committee and the Student Managed Investment Fund. Ratcliff’s community involvement includes membership at Sunnybrook Christian Church, leading a small group for The Table College Ministry, serving as a Kanakuk Camp counselor and a volunteering for Our Daily Bread. 

Ratcliff was recognized as one of the five chosen recipients of the National Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity Scholarship in 2021, the State 4-H Scholarship winner and the Oliver S. Willham Scholarship Recipient for Outstanding Freshman PLC student. He was also the Spears School of Business Case Competition winner and an attendee of the National 4-H Congress. 

Ratcliff has accepted a position with a small political finance compliance and accounting firm in Washington, D.C. 

In your own words, what does this award represent? 

This award represents a lot of different things to me. First, it represents a love for Oklahoma State University and a deep family connection. My great-grandparents learned about the opportunity to adopt my dad at the Student Union cafeteria after church in 1963. My grandparents met in the Student Union elevator. I grew up with every reason to love Oklahoma State University; therefore, it is very special to receive this honor. This award also represents the generosity of many people in my life. A large part of my success at OSU can be attributed to my family raising me to love OSU, work hard and value people; mentors and professors who have generously shared their wisdom with me; and friends that have shared their lives with me. I know I have had a successful time at Oklahoma State because of the gifts God has given me through an abundance of generous students and alumni I have had the privilege to be around. 

How have the Spears Business professors and faculty impacted you? 

The Spears Business professors and faculty have given me a great education. But even more than that, they have been great examples of professionalism, patience and generosity. I still am impressed by the willingness for many professors to respond to emails late on the weekends, to give reference letters and to personally care for us. They really demonstrate the Spears School of Business motto of the “Power of Personal” and have inspired me to apply that to my career. 

What is your greatest piece of advice for future business students? 

My greatest piece of advice for future business students is to invest in relationships while in school. I was immediately able to get involved in Spears, on campus, in Greek life and in a college ministry. The friendships I developed through these organizations made the time invested so worthwhile. I was encouraged by these relationships to grow in my faith, work hard in school and invest in others. Even after graduation, I will maintain these relationships that have become a part of my Cowboy family. I will be thankful for this the rest of my life.

Story By: Terry Tush | Engage@Spears Magazine

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