East Central University granted bachelor’s degrees to 466 candidates and master’s degrees to 166 more during ECU’s 2016 Spring Commencement Ceremonies Saturday, May 7, at the Kerr Activities Center.
The keynote speakers were distinguished alums Frank W. Davis, a former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and Jim Spencer, a chief meteorologist and weathercaster for KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas.
Here are biographies for the two commencement speakers:
FRANK W. DAVIS
Frank W. Davis is a 1958 graduate of East Central University and has put his degree in history and government into steady practice.
After attending law school at the University of Illinois and the University of Oklahoma where he received his degree, he was admitted to the Bar and returned to Ada where he was soon appointed postmaster.
Davis was later appointed County Attorney (similar to District Attorney) at Guthrie where he and his wife Kay have since resided, raising two sons, David and Paul.
In 1965, Davis established a private practice in Guthrie which he has maintained. It is a general practice with emphasis on real estate and probate. He has also served part time as Guthrie Municipal Judge and now serves as attorney for the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, several rural water districts and two municipal governments.
With a vast interest in governments, Davis has been a Republican Party County Chairman for both Pontotoc and Logan Counties and was an Oklahoma delegate to the National Republican Conventions in 1984 and 1996 and an alternate delegate in 2000.
In 1978, he was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for District 31, where he continued to be reelected and served for 26 years before being term-limited in 2004. During his tenure in the State Legislature, he authored approximately 100 pieces of legislation which became law. Davis also served as assistant minority floor leader and was minority floor leader from 1982-1986.
He has been active in many community organizations. Davis has been a member of the Guthrie Lions Club for more than 50 years, serving as club president, district governor and council chairperson (state president). He is active in the Gideon Ministry, speaking in many churches to raise funds for Bible purchases. Davis is a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason and belongs to the York Rite of Masonry. He is also a member of the American Legion and director of the Territorial Capital Sports Museum.
For 39 years, Davis was a scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 850, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church, of Guthrie and received the Silver Beaver Award as 35 young men earned Eagle Scout Awards during his tenure.
Frank and Kay have seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Growing up in the heart of Tornado Alley in Lindsay, Oklahoma, has led to a lifelong fascination of weather for Jim Spencer.
Spencer, the chief meteorologist and weathercaster at KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, has been forecasting the weather in Central Texas for more than 25 years and his broadcasting career began the same month he started college at East Central University in 1981.
He worked at KADA-am Radio before moving into television at Ada’s KTEN-TV in 1983. Upon graduating from ECU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a radio/television concentration, Spencer became the chief weathercaster at KTEN and remained there until joining KXAN.
Spencer’s TV weathercasts are the most watched in Central Texas. He is a two-time Emmy Award winning weathercaster and has received national recognition for his work, including recipient of the National Weather Association’s Weathercaster of the Year Award, and is a five-time winner of the Texas
Associated Press Best Weathercast Award. He has also been voted Austin’s Best Weathercaster by readers of the Austin Chronicle for 17 years and was named TV Personality of the Year by Austin’s American Women in Radio and Television Chapter four times.
His professional affiliations include the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.
Spencer is also an active member of the community. He is on the board of directors of Service Dogs, Inc., and co-hosted the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for 19 years. He has also served as a mentor in Austin’s Communities in Schools Program and was named
Langford Elementary School’s Mentor of the Year.
Additionally, Spencer serves on the Community Advisory Board for the Helping Hand Home for Children and has served as a court appointed special advocate for Travis County. He represents KXAN in Family Eldercare’s Summer Fan Drive and is a member of the advisory council for the Travis County Coming of Age.