OCU Graduates Record 474 Students

OCU President Mark Smith with former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts

for Graduates & Families

DVDs of the ceremony can be ordered online.

See pictures and tag yourself on Facebook »

Ohio Christian University (OCU) conducted its 63rd commencement on Saturday, May 4, with a record graduation of 474 students. Last year, 396 students were graduated.

Sixty-one of the 474 graduates are from the traditional program, which consists primarily of semester long classes, taught in the day. The other graduates participated in the adult and graduate studies program classes that are taught one night each week or online, and classes are compressed (typically a 3-credit class is 5 weeks long) and students usually take one class at a time. The average age of the students graduating from the traditional program was 24 with a range of 20 to 41. The average age of the students graduating from the adult program was 39 with a range of 21 to 73.

The commencement speaker was the honorable J. C. Watts, Jr., former U.S. Congressman for eight years, former quarterback of the University of Oklahoma who led them to two Big Eight championships and two Orange Bowl victories, former Canadian football quarterback, ordained minister, and current CEO of Watts Companies, a consulting firm.

Watts advises or serves as a corporate director for several major companies, including John Deere, Wells Fargo, NASCAR, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Clear Channel Communications, Dillard’s Department Stores, and Terex Corporation.  He has also created the J. C. and Frankie Watts Foundation to support the advancement of vulnerable Americans in the areas of education, economics, and health.

Watts is a regular analyst on CNN and a frequent guest on national radio shows. He has been widely quoted in major newspaper articles, both in the United States and around the world. He also writes a twice monthly column for more than a dozen newspapers.

Watts gave the graduates a charge to not live like the world. We must give, turn the other cheek, and eliminate pride. We should also apologize and ask forgiveness of others. Finally, he told graduates to find someone to correct them. Their instructors have provided godly correction for the last several years; they need someone else now.

OCU recognized Watts for his life of distinguished Christian service by awarding him a Doctorate of Christian Leadership. OCU President Mark Smith said, “Circleville is extremely fortunate to attract a speaker as distinguished as J. C. Watts!” 

Daniel Kuhn of Winfield, West Virginia, was the valedictorian. The valedictorian is the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Linette Shetler of Plain City, Ohio, and Jermaine Wilson of Indianapolis, Indiana, were the co-salutatorians. The salutatorian is the graduating senior with the second highest cumulative grade point average.

Daniel Kuhn was also the honor graduate for the traditional program. The honor graduate for the adult and graduate studies program was Sandy Ott of Ashland, Kentucky.  Honor graduates represent all the ideals of Ohio Christian University and are elected by the faculty. These graduates must have distinguished themselves in academic achievement, Christian service and leadership potential.

OCU President Smith commented, “We are very proud of all our graduates and can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.” Additionally, Smith said, “It is a privilege to work with faculty and staff who are dedicated to producing a wonderful educational experience for students.”  Smith also added, “OCU is excited to serve the community by providing needed educational programs. Pickaway County’s baccalaureate completion rate has increased 2.5 percentile over the past several years.”