Record Number of Students Graduate from OCU
The honor graduate for the traditional program was Jacob Marburger, of Dover, and the honor graduate for the adult program was Amy Entler, of Circleville. Honor graduates are elected by the faculty and represent all the ideals of OCU. They must have accomplishments in academic achievement, Christian service and leadership potential.
“These graduates are already changing their world,” said Dr. Mark Smith, OCU president. “I can’t wait to see what they have accomplished 20 years from now. It is a privilege to work with faculty and staff who are dedicated to producing a wonderful educational experience for students. It is exciting to see that each graduate will help raise the baccalaureate rate of Pickaway County. Both the valedictorian and salutatorian are Pickaway County residents.”
Forty-six of this year’s graduates were from the traditional program, primarily consisting of semester-long classes taught during the day. Students in the adult program take classes one night a week or online. Classes are compressed (typically a three-credit class is five weeks long), and students usually take one class at a time.
OCU’s Master of Arts in Ministry program graduated its first 10 students at the commencement, including Thomas Bender, who was graduated posthumously after dying in an accident.
Over the past five years, enrollment at OCU has grown 400 percent, and the numbers of graduates have continued to increase. In 2007, OCU had a total of 89 graduates. This was followed by 111 in 2008, 121 in 2009, 184 in 2010, 284 in 2011 and 386 plus 10 graduates in the master’s program this year.
The speaker for this year’s commencement was Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Turner, who has been Microsoft’s COO since 2005, is responsible for the strategic leadership of Microsoft’s worldwide sales, marketing and services that employs more than 45,000 people. He also oversees Microsoft’s internal information technology program that supports a workforce of more than 90,000 Microsoft employees around the world.
Turner gave leadership tips to the graduates, including work hard, be a life-long learners, dream often and dream big, stay self aware and be true to your values.
“Circleville is extremely fortunate to attract a speaker of Kevin Turner’s caliber,” Smith said.
OCU awarded Turner a Doctorate of Leadership for his life of distinguished service. Before working for Microsoft, Turner worked for almost 20 years for Walmart, eventually becoming the president and CEO of Sam’s Club. He lives in Bellevue, WA, with his wife and three children.
By for the Circleville Herald