Dr. Thomas McKeon, Tulsa Community College president, will serve as the keynote speaker for Oklahoma State University-Tulsa’s graduation ceremony on May 7 at 7 p.m. in The Pavilion at Expo Square.
“A longtime advocate of the value of higher education, President McKeon can offer a unique perspective to share with our newest graduates,” said Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences. “His leadership and service to Tulsa have made it possible for many local students to continue their education and pursue a college degree. The partnership between OSU-Tulsa and TCC has created opportunities for placebound students to complete their bachelor’s degree.”
McKeon joined TCC in 1980 as an instructor and has served in numerous administrative roles, including dean of instruction, provost of two campuses and executive vice president and chief operating office. He was named the third president and chief executive officer of TCC on July 1, 2004.
As president of TCC, McKeon has led an initiative to encourage high school students to attend college concurrently through the Attend College Early program later adopted statewide by Gov. Brad Henry. He also introduced the state’s first public grant called Tulsa Achieves, which provides 63 hours of college tuition covered for all graduating high school seniors who reside in Tulsa County. McKeon introduced a national program at TCC that identifies and addresses barriers to a student’s ability to persist and graduate and engages faculty and staff to focus on meaningful reform to address those barriers. In addition, he has been named as a state representative for Gov. Mary Fallin to the Oklahoma team leading Complete College America. This national program is designed to significantly increase the number of college graduates in the state by 2020.
With a commitment to community collaboration, engagement and support, he has served as president of the boards of directors for Leadership Tulsa, Oklahoma Council of Presidents, Oklahoma Council of Two-year College Presidents, Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, North Texas Consortium of Community Colleges and Street School. In addition, he has served on the boards of directors of Bishop Kelley High School, Community Service Council, Leadership Oklahoma, Metropolitan Tulsa Urban League, State Chamber, Tulsa Community Foundation and the Tulsa Area United Way. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Community Action Project of Tulsa County, Greenwood Cultural Center, Metro Tulsa Chamber, North Texas Consortium of Community Colleges, Oklahoma Academy and the Oklahoma Conference on Community and Justice.
In 2007, McKeon was inducted into the OSU College of Education Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Shirley Gordon Award of Distinction from Phi Theta Kappa and the Paragon Award from Leadership Tulsa, McKeon has been recognized for distinguished community service by the National Association of Community Leadership. In addition, he was named Tulsan of the Year by Tulsa People magazine in January 2008. He has a bachelor of science from California Polytechnical State University and a master’s degree and doctorate from OSU.
Nearly 900 OSU-Tulsa undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate in this year’s graduation ceremony. Douglas Henderson, director of the OSU Cowboy Marching Band, will lead a pre-ceremony concert beginning at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about OSU-Tulsa’s graduation ceremony, call 918-594-8164 or visit www.osu-tulsa.okstate.edu/graduation.