Former Gov. George Nigh, who was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives when he was a senior at East Central University, will deliver the Centennial Commencement address Saturday [DEC. 12] for ECU's December 2009 graduates.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Kerr Activities Center for 239 candidates for bachelor's degrees and 93 candidates for master's degrees.
It was 1950 when Nigh began a 32-year career in public office. He was the youngest member of the House of Representatives when he was elected. He also taught at McAlester High School and took a leave of absence in the alternate years that the Legislature met. He introduced the legislation designating "Oklahoma!" as the state song.
In 1958, at age 31, Nigh was elected lieutenant governor, the youngest in Oklahoma history and the youngest then serving in the United States. After serving 16 years as lieutenant governor, he was elected governor in 1978 and 1982. Promoting a "good guy" image with his white hat political trademark, he was the first Oklahoma governor ever re-elected to a second term and remains the only governor ever to carry all 77 counties.
Nigh actually has been governor on four different occasions, another state record. He completed two brief unexpired terms when Gov. J. Howard Edmondson and Gov. David Boren resigned early to go to the U.S. Senate.
When Nigh left the Governor's Office in 1987, he returned to education as a Distinguished Statesman in Residence at the University of Central Oklahoma. He became UCO's president in July 1992 and served for five years. He is credited with starting a building boom and bringing international attention to the university.
He also has worked in public relations for a bank.
Nigh married Donna Skinner Mashburn in 1963. Their family included a son, Mike, now deceased, and a daughter, Georgeann Duty, and grew with seven grandchildren.
Nigh was born in McAlester to Wilbur and Irene Nigh and worked in the family grocery store. He graduated from McAlester High School and Eastern Oklahoma College before he graduated from ECU in 1950. He served in the U.S. Navy for 16 months in 1945-46.
Nigh was appointed by President Bill Clinton as the national chairman of the President's Committee to raise funds for scholarships for all surviving children of those killed in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.
He is the lifetime president of the Donna Nigh Foundation which benefits Oklahomans with developmental disabilities.
Nigh has received the National Martin Luther King Award and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the U.S. Jaycee Hall of Leadership and the Oklahoma Vo-Tech Hall of Fame. He was named ECU's Distinguished Alumnus in 1977.
CANDIDATES FOR BACHELOR'S DEGREES ARE LISTED BY THEIR HOMETOWNS:
ADA -- Jesse Allen, Chasen Bennett, Courtnie Booker, Danielle Briley, William Bunyard, Deborah Butcher, Melissa Byers, Stephanie Cason, Jennifer Clark, Racquel Countryman, Amanda Cowan, Rebekka Cox, Justin Curry, Kristopher Darbison, Joshua Davis, Erica Dickinson, Amanda Dill, Briana Dirrim, Heather Dollins, Timothy Frederick, Claudia Gamarra, Tyler Gillum, Karena Gollihare, Oscar Gore, Joe Griese, Cody Griffin, Thomas Hammons, Misti Hatton, William Hayden, Jonnathon Hicks, Tracey Hicks, Rustina Huff, Will Irwin, Christopher Ivory, Debbie Jewett, Christian Johnson, Jennifer Johnson, Rebecca Johnson, Rusty Johnson, Nyeisha Jones, Sidnee Jordan, Brandon Lackey, Jared Ledbetter, Tyra Lewis, Angela Mackey, William Maloy, Benjamin Matlock, Kasey McKinzie, Dana McLaren, Amanda Morgan, Camilo Munoz, Anthony Nessman, Cristobal Nunez, Hisham Rafi, Danielle Ritter, Joseph Ross, Dustin Rowland, Brandon Sallee, Patrick Sanchez, Cody Shead, James Sherbert, Suzan Smith, Branda Stephens, Crystal Stepp, James Stewart, Trisha Swift, Queon Threadgill, Dalton Todd, Kelcey Vangundy, Myrtle Walker, Mark Watts, Erin Wetherill-Ochoa, Erin Wilkinson, Rachel Williams, Melissa Windham, Amy Wingo, Kathleen Worthley.
ALLEN -- Irina Campbell.
ARDMORE -- Lindsey Dare Chronister, Kenya Dangerfield, Jarrod Doyal, Raymond Jackson, Kasie King, Cheryl Nave, Roberta Palmer, Molly Pullin, Brandon Webb, LaSharron Williamson.
ASHER -- Bonnie Henderson.
ATOKA -- Gala Braudrick.
ATWOOD -- Jesse Anderson.
BYARS -- Karen Walls.
CANEY -- Shaunda Wingfield.
CLAYTON -- Tracie Garrison.
COUNCIL HILL -- Stefanie Luce.
DAVIS -- Tylor Lampkin.
DEWAR -- Andrea Brice.
DURANT -- Jeremy Corley.
EARLSBORO -- Anthony Kretz, Jerri White.
EUFAULA -- Juliann Kennedy-Aponte; Brenda Nickle, Sharon Parker, Martina Wiedel.
FITTSTOWN -- Fredonia Logsdon.
FITZHUGH -- Nicholas Jones.
HAILEYVILLE -- Ivora Sensibaugh.
HARTSHORNE -- Sarah Enloe, Elva Rentie.
HOLDENVILLE -- Risa Austin, John Baca, Richard Barrett, Elizabeth Franks, Judy Henry, Bobby Sanford, Andrea Sifers.
KINTA -- Whitney Smith.
KONAWA -- Katie Akerman, Angela Guinn, Allison Jones, Bobby Ramsey.
LEHIGH -- Bonita Martin-Price.
MANNSVILLE -- Carolyn Cannon.
MARIETTA -- Daniel Dugger.
MARLOW -- Joshua Gregston.
McALESTER -- Julie Eldridge, Maranda Hancock, Jami Hilburn, Dannie Kelley, Brenda Lankford, Taylor Lewis, Kristina Milam, Amanda Murray, Ashlee Shumway, Talisha Strange, Evondail Strickland, Rachel Thomas.
McLOUD -- Candice Hodde.
MIDWEST CITY -- Sara Baker.
MILBURN -- Lisa McClendon, Wendy Smith.
MOYERS -- Marli Turney.
NEWALLA -- Gene Atauvich.
NOBLE -- Cody Yandell.
NORMAN -- Christopher Hodge, Susan Hodges, Regina Thompson.
OKEMAH -- Darlene Copeland, Carmen Hunt.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kathryn Boykin, Kenneth Hancock, Nicholas Kelley, Andrew Orr, Eric Pevehouse.
OVERBROOK -- Mackenzie Miller.
PADEN -- Robin Bullard, Brad Litle.
PANAMA -- Lindsay Stankewitz.
PAOLI -- Rachel Watson.
PAULS VALLEY -- Pamela Caldwell, Leasa Furr, Cinda Jeter, Ricki Looney, Amber White.
PRAGUE -- Brianne Adams, Kevin Anderson.
QUINTON -- Ronald Jordan.
RINGLING -- Shelly Self.
ROFF -- Robbie Balthrop, Nathan Folger, Linsey Scroggins.
SAPULPA -- Linda Collins.
SCHULTER -- Kimberly Suzuki.
SEMINOLE -- Chad Ainsworth, Adam Baker, Cecilia Diaz, Zackery Horn, Michael Lawson, Melissa Perry, Catherine Pollock, Stacey Saunders, Shane Stanfill, Todd Streater, Stephanie Taylor, Maryna Verbovetska.
SHAWNEE -- Kacie Baker, Buel Bohannon, Jessica Brown, Crystal Craft, Jamie Dodd, Cassie Flora, Carolyn Lessley, Andrea Marsh, John Soap, Michael Stanley, Jim Young.
STONEWALL -- Kelly Acuna, Lindsey Hisaw.
STRATFORD -- Deborah Estes, Stacy Gallup, John Qualls, Gary Spikes.
STUART -- Kanimaya Eaves.
SULPHUR -- Meredith Brown, Thomas Dodson, Brandon Flowers, Shane Langford, Teng Lin, Dewey Oxley, Brad Phelps, Kathleen Standefer, Samantha Wright.
TECUMSEH -- Robin Carter, Michael Lackey, Amanda Speers.
TISHOMINGO -- Mandy Smith.
TULSA -- Eric Holmes.
TUSKAHOMA -- Levi Robbins.
WELEETKA -- Rodney Bencoma, William Bencoma.
WEWOKA -- Micco Haney, Lacey Powell.
WILBURTON -- Kathleen Herren, Courtney Trent.
WYNNEWOOD -- Ricky Wright.
YUKON -- Paul Eaton.
JACKSON, MO. -- John Briggs.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- Christie Sarginson.
BAYTOWN, TEXAS -- Jacqueline Sparks.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Nathan Battey.
GARLAND, TEXAS -- Joshua Maldonado.
GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS -- Ryan McGuire.
IRVING, TEXAS -- Gaberial Jackson.
LUBBOCK, TEXAS -- Jon Langston.
MIDLOTHIAN, TEXAS -- Jessica Kellett.
MINERAL WELLS, TEXAS -- Jay Reaves.
ODESSA, TEXAS -- Christopher Velasquez.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS -- Lionel Young.
CANDIDATES FOR MASTER'S DEGREES ARE LISTED BY THEIR HOMETOWNS:
ADA -- Jason Bewley, Tammy Chronister, Kristi Clinton, Lindsay Collins, Tamera Collins, Emily Denney, Mylinda Fox, Sandra Gibson, Jeana Hall, Amey Henderson, Sonya Herrod, Candy Hightower, Keith Jones, Kathryn Lowry, Lucas Peters, Kenneth Phillips, Claralice Putnam, Curtis Rawls, Lisa Sheffield, Jerry Studebaker, Michelle Williams.
ALTUS -- Teresa Schroeder.
ANTLERS -- Eric House.
ARDMORE -- Crystal Douglas, Johnny Green, Rachel Hattensty, Michael Humdy, Melissa Hutchings, Sean McCarthy, Larry Craig Overby, Billie Peck, Cathy Walker, Andina Wiley.
BOKOSHE -- Royce Bell.
CLAYTON -- Jerri Dennis.
COMANCHE -- Lacey Taylor.
DUKE -- Melissa Cansler.
DURANT -- Julie Davis, Barry Hudson.
ELMORE CITY -- Kristal Patterson.
ENID -- Susan Shewey.
GAGE -- Tanya Taylor.
HARTSHORNE -- Alicia Mass.
HEALDTON -- Kara Aycox.
HEAVENER -- Bethany Mead, Chelsey Slusser.
HOLDENVILLE -- Rhonda Janes.
KEOTA -- Mary Teel.
LAWTON -- Margaret Bush, LaRue Dabney, Joshua McGee, Barton Waits.
LONE GROVE -- Chelsi Beard.
McALESTER -- Tammy Bradish, Misty Eidson, Angie Hearod, LaDonna Hendrix, Amy Jewell, Tina Pack, Jamie Price, Mark Price.
MIDWEST CITY -- Tammy McCauley. MOYERS -- Marcia Armstrong.
MUSKOGEE -- Michael Davis, Alton Lusk, David Oesch.
NOBLE -- Becky O'Rourke.
OKMULGEE -- Carmen Taylor.
PAOLI -- Janiece Covington.
PAULS VALLEY -- Mallori Meeks.
POCOLA -- Robbie Hutchens, Michael Thompson.
POTEAU -- Nathan Billy, Misty Collins, Dusty Shore.
PRAGUE -- David Shivers.
QUINTON -- Ralph Gray, Roy Kash.
ROFF -- Ead Simon.
SEMINOLE -- Phillip Dicus, Kade Houck.
SHAWNEE -- Christy Abbott-France, Maria Blaylock, Catherine Griffith, Jesse Hernandez, Angela Lynn, Patsy Mills, John Outon.
SOPER -- Gina Van Worth.
STONEWALL -- Charle Anderson.
STUART -- Rachel Barton.
SULPHUR -- Jessica Mueller.
TULSA -- Konawha Ade, Dustin Hughes.
WELEETKA -- Whitney Gifford.
WEWOKA -- Michael Gilbert, Traci Jackson.
WYNNEWOOD -- Llawelyn Levy.
YUKON -- Christopher Fetters.
GRENADA, MISS. -- Wesley Richardson.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- Mark Strickland.
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