From staging to music to lighting, every detail of the OSU-Tulsa’s annual graduation ceremony is planned meticulously to make the moment magical for each graduate.
The man behind the pomp and circumstance? OSU-Tulsa Events Manager Travis McBride.
“It’s really a team effort. Sometimes I’m the middle man,” he said. “And sometimes I am there to make sure details aren’t overlooked.”
McBride is the latest recipient of the Orange Pride Award for Employee Excellence. He was chosen for the honor because of his outstanding customer services skills and for going above and beyond his normal job duties.
He is in charge of the OSU-Tulsa Conference Center, booking rooms for hundreds of outside and internal groups who use the facility each year, including the Oklahoma Society of CPAs, Tulsa Public Schools, Community Action Project Tulsa, Oklahoma Association of Healthcare Providers and the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. He has managed meetings for as many as 650 people.
As part of planning events for OSU-Tulsa, McBride’s work involves venue selection, catering, production setup, entertainment and gifts. The job requires interpersonal skills, attention to detail, budget and staff management abilities and marketing expertise.
McBride comes by his Cowboy credentials naturally. He graduated from OSU in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration.
After changing his major from music, he decided to focus on business. While looking one semester for a three-credit course at the last minute to fill out his class load, McBride hastily selected an Introduction to Hotel and Restaurant Administration class.
“I went in thinking I was going to be a general business major and I came out wanting to pursue a career in hospitality,” he said. “Basically, it’s a business degree with an emphasis on hotels and restaurants. The hospitality and customer service aspect just really intrigued me.”
McBride’s favorite event is planning the biennial black-tie gala, ‘A Stately Affair in Tulsa,’ the primary scholarship fundraiser for students at OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences.
“There are a lot of moving parts. Keeping things organized is fun,” he said. “The main thing is to listen to what the committee wants the overall look and feel to be and then deliver that vision.”
McBride’s is an enthusiastic lover of all things OSU. He holds season tickets for OSU Cowboys football and attends every game in Stillwater.
“I’ve only missed one full season of football since 2001, and even then I was there for at least half the games” he said. “I always meet up with 15 or so college friends and we meet up and have a tailgate party. We all just have a good time.”
As a loyal and true Cowboy, the OSU-Tulsa position is ideal for McBride.
“My goal is to stay here as long as OSU will allow,” he said. “I have a heart and a passion for anything orange.”
To recommend an OSU-Tulsa staff member for the Orange Pride award, complete a nomination form. Orange Pride recipients are selected quarterly and receive a framed certificate and $100.