Former Gov. Nigh to Deliver Commencement Address

Rogers State University’s 98th RSU Commencement, featuring two ceremonies and nearly 400 graduates, will be held Saturday, May 8, at the Claremore Expo Center.

Graduates earning associate degrees will participate in a morning ceremony, while graduates receiving bachelor degrees will walk during the afternoon ceremony.

Former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh will serve as commencement speaker for both ceremonies.

“Gov. Nigh is an excellent public speaker and we are honored to have him give our commencement address this year,” said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. “As a lifelong public servant and former university president, Gov. Nigh has a great deal to share with our graduates and families.”

Nigh was first elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 1950. In 1958, at the age of 30, he was elected lieutenant governor, becoming the youngest person to serve in that position in Oklahoma history and, at the time, the youngest in the nation.

In 1978, after 16 years as lieutenant governor, he was elected governor. Four years later, he was re-elected, becoming the first governor in Oklahoma to gain re-election and the only gubernatorial candidate to carry all of the state’s 77 counties.

In 1987, upon leaving the governor’s office, he returned to education to become a Distinguished Statesman-in-Residence at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he also served as President from 1992 to 1997.

He currently serves as president of the Donna Nigh Foundation, named for his wife, which benefits residents in Oklahoma who have developmental disabilities.

Nigh is the recipient of many honors and awards including the 2005 RSU Constitution Award.

This year’s commencement marks the ninth year RSU has awarded bachelor degrees since being accredited as a four-year university in August 2000.

The associate ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. and the bachelor ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Both events will be held in the Claremore Expo Center.

For more information on RSU’s commencement activities, call (918) 343-6816 or visit