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OSU to award honorary degrees to researcher, art studio director, athlete

STILLWATER — Oklahoma State University will award honorary doctorates to three alumni during undergraduate commencement ceremonies Saturday at Gallagher-Iba Arena.  

“The careers of this year’s honorees are especially representative of the diverse fields of study and options offered at OSU, and their lives reflect the service to others that we prize so much,” OSU President Burns Hargis said in a news release. “We are proud to recognize them with honorary degrees that represent the highest honor we can bestow.”   

The recipients are:

John Niblack, retired in 2002 as president of global research and development at Pfizer Inc., managing 12,000 researchers and an annual budget of more than $5 billion. He helps students at OSU pursue similar interests by offering several annual scholarships that allow them to engage in actual research as undergraduates. Niblack will receive an honorary doctorate in humane letters. He is the commencement speaker during the morning ceremony.

Bill Goldston, who received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from OSU in 1963, went to work for Universal Limited Art Editions print studio in 1969 and by 1976 took charge of the studio. He is known for cultivating experimentation and innovation while maintaining a sense of family. Goldston will receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree and speak to graduates during the afternoon ceremony.

Walt Garrison, an animal husbandry major, excelled in the classroom and as a running back on the football field. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1966, he helped lead the team to a Super Bowl Championship and was named to  two NFL pro bowl teams. Garrison will receive an honorary doctorate in humane letters during the afternoon ceremony.

Undergraduate ceremonies will start at 10:30 a.m. for students from the College of Human Sciences, College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology, and the Spears School of Business and at 1:30 p.m. for students from the College of Education, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and the College of Arts and Sciences.  The graduate commencement ceremony will be at 7 p.m. Friday.

K.S. McNutt

Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from... Read more ›