When College of Liberal Studies alumnus John Hammons was 8 years old, his mother let him mark her ballot for the 1996 presidential election. That was all it took to spawn a dream. Just over a decade later at age 19, John was elected mayor of Muskogee, Okla., becoming one of the youngest mayors in American history.
At an age when many young adults are just learning to juggle work and school or a social life, John began searching for an educational program that could allow him to balance his new high-profile gig with his lifelong desire to graduate from the University of Oklahoma. The OU College of Liberal Studies online bachelor’s degree was the answer.
But how, you may be wondering, did an 8-year-old’s dream become a reality so quickly? Following his “participation” in the 1996 election, John started studying history and found most of his favorite historical figures were political leaders. So, in 2008 when the incumbent mayor of Muskogee announced her retirement, John jumped at the chance to step into a political role. With the encouragement of his family and mentors, he entered the race, and on May 13, 2008, won with the largest margin of votes in Muskogee’s election history. Read more
When many CLS students walk across the stage at convocation, it’s a moment that most of them have rehearsed in their minds for years.
Not to downplay the sense of accomplishment that “traditional” students feel at graduation, but many graduates of the College of Liberal Studies greet convocation day with an extra bounce in their step.
The road that has led to this occasion is often long, bumpy and riddled with u-turns, wrong-ways and detours. But on convocation day, those old roadblocks are just a fading dot in life’s rearview mirror.
April Jackson, one of our most recent grads, had her own winding journey to the convocation stage, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Administrative Leadership in May 2011. The 39-year-old mother of three now has much to celebrate after years of hard work. Read more
The College of Liberal Studies convocation Banner Carrier honor is a decades-long tradition. Each semester a small committee of faculty and advisers bring their nominations and from all the names submitted, and after much deliberation, one candidate is chosen. Though we know every student has had their own challenges and spectacular achievements, the final candidate is chosen for their extraordinary story of accomplishment.
This Saturday, graduates attending the College of Liberal Studies convocation will be led in by Suzanne Boettcher, a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies graduate whose journey reflects the spirit with which our college was founded 50 years ago. Read more
Kathy Kyler isn’t satisfied simply trotting through life.
With a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology, this ambitious woman has worked in research and research administration for more than a decade. Even with all her education and experience, she realized she needed formal training in how to effectively manage these diverse groups. In her own words, “I am great at getting things done and paying attention to all the tiny details, but not so good at delegating or knowing how to train and empower people.” But where could she find the time? For a working adult with a very full calender like Kathy, our Masters of Arts in Administrative Leadership degree fit perfectly into her life. With the program’s 100% online classes, her time management hurtles of balancing work, play and another degree became much more manageable. Read more
Mention the phrase “Oklahoma Sooners” to anyone, whether they’re from around here or not, and the topic of sports is sure to come up. Our school’s athletic prowess, particularly in football, is well known far beyond our borders.
Sooner football is so hallowed that, without exception, every season is ushered in with great expectations and lofty predictions. With the team’s spring game under its belt, the topic of autumn Saturdays is already hot on any fan’s mind.
One alumnus of the College of Liberal Studies is a college football aficionado. George Schroeder, a 2006 Bachelor of Liberal Studies graduate, is a nationally known sports writer. We chatted recently about the topics of CLS, football and Gordon Riese.