An award-winning attorney who also works to stop drug and alcohol abuse among young people and helps impoverished people in Africa will deliver the commencement address Dec. 11 [SATURDAY] for East Central University’s fall semester graduates.
Reggie Whitten, co-founder and managing partner of the Whitten Burrage law firm in Oklahoma City, will speak at the commencement ceremony which will begin at 10 a.m. in the Kerr Activities Center for 262 bachelor’s degree candidates and 108 master’s degree candidates.
Whitten also is the co-founder of the Whitten-Newman Foundation, which helps children realize their potential, and Pros for Africa, an international relief organization that provides necessities for disadvantaged children of war, poverty and natural disaster.
Whitten received the Community Service Award in June from the Oklahoma County Bar Association for his dedication to helping others, specifically for his work through the Whitten-Newman Foundation and Pros for Africa.
He has been a successful trial lawyer for 30 years. But it was the tragic death of his 25-year-old son, Brandon, as a result of addictions to prescription drugs and alcohol that has had the greatest impact on his life.
After Brandon’s death, Whitten described himself as a “walking dead man” who finally found purpose in raising awareness of his son’s addictions through a powerful message about the consequences of addictions.
Whitten, his wife, Rachelle, and her brother, Robert Newman, established the Whitten-Newman Foundation to help prevent young people from abusing drugs and alcohol. Today the foundation provides the Brandon Whitten Scholarship and educational and scientific opportunities for young people, funds charitable causes and works to enhance the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
The foundation directed fundraising efforts for Crystal Darkness Oklahoma, the 2009 campaign to fight the epidemic of methamphetamines.
ECU President John Hargrave, a long-time friend, asked Whitten to present his unique perspective about addictions as a parent and an attorney at ECU in 2009. He made two additional presentations and this year established the Brandon Whitten Institute for Addiction and Recovery at ECU.
The institute’s mission is to strengthen Oklahoma’s capacity to assist individuals, families and communities in their recovery from addiction through the collaboration and integration of academic and community resources. The center also works to enhance the practice of substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.
Whitten holds bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Oklahoma. He has received many honors and awards during his career and holds leadership positions in the legal profession.
Candidates for bachelor’s degrees are listed by hometowns: ADA – Brittney Allen, Shawn Allen, Tamra Allspaugh, Kaci Angel, Julia Arguello, Kristin Bailes, Michael Baird, Silvia Barkechir, Richard Baughman, Maria Bautista-Boyd, Portel Bellamy, Stephanie Black, Jon Blankenship, Joshua Blick, David Boyd, James Brockman, Megan Broderick, Kolbie Brown, Noelia Caballero, Dustin Calaway, Kenia Castillo, Courtney Cook, David Correll, Jessica Densel, James Brad Deramus, Ryan Dillard, Jamie Drawbaugh, Dai Edwardes-Evans, Samuel Edwards, Allison Finley, Boris Geoffrey Fonga Tapja, Cody Foster, Jessica Fox, Travis Gasaway, Candice Geisler, Randon Gregory, Santosh Gyawali, Stephanie Harris, Bobby Hatton, Laura Hickerson, Breanna Hill, Preston Hoover, Brian Horton, Tyler Huber, Tamela Iles, Becky Isaacs, Jesse Jackson, Robert Jackson, Zayne James, Angela Kalanoska, Landon Kennedy, Newton Koo, Patrick Laird, Amanda Lewis, Keri Long, Daniel Manuel, Carrie Maxwell, Jennifer McCreary, Heather McGuire, Jomain McKenzie, Mary Jade McKenzie, Casey McSwain, Hillary Miller, Teddy Mitchell, Heather Moreno, Walter Morris, Stephen Nail, Dustin Newport, Joseph Nicolosi Jr., Christina Owens, Wyas Parker, Jarvis Pitts, Jessica Plunk, Ishwor Pokharel, Billy Porter, Shea Posey, Kelly Renken, Robin Robinson, Matt Rodebush, Brandon Sallee, William Seymour, Chie Shimizu, Chandra Shores, Chase Sires, Ashley Sirmans, Daniel Stettler, Alison Stowers, Nicolas Stowers, Rachelle Sturdevant, Trevor Suffal, Mark Temple, Coby Thornton, Tomas Tillery, Brooke Trail, Breeanna Van Buskirk, Scott Ward, Casey West, Kacey West, Monica Williams, Kelsey Williamson.
ALLEN – Lauren Anderson, James Reynolds, Jennifer Sanchez, Ramona Wetherill.
ANADARKO – Alyssa Miller.
ARDMORE – Cindy Alsobrook, Tarra Bond, Jason Clements, Gene Cormier, Kori Deaver, Kevin Farve, Amber Loftis, Cordelia McGee, Emily Noland, Quinton Roberts.
BIXBY – Felisha Harris, Chelsea Schroeder.
BROKEN ARROW – Richard Barnes.
BURNEYVILLE – Dillon May.
CALVIN – Shannon Williams.
CENTRAHOMA – Charity Eidson.
COALGATE – Laura Clark.
DALE – Tyson Blevins.
DAVIS – Kayla Bonham, Joshua Jennings, Jake Sawatzky, Courtney Smith, Alex Torres, Mikella Whatley.
DUNCAN – Jonathan Patrick.
EDMOND – Braden Land.
ELMORE CITY – Chad McFadden.
FITTSTOWN – William Hogan.
FRANCIS – Keri Mitchell.
HARRAH – Kathryn Beck.
HEALDTON – Wayne Brown.
HOLDENVILLE – Cheyne Elkins, Jamie Fulghum, Trevor Gavin, Scott Johnson, Adam Merriman, Briana Poff, Rebecca Rankins, Billy Sanford, Elizabeth Stallcup.
IDABEL – Yolanda Bailey.
KIOWA – Melissa Sullivan.
KONAWA – Sharon Denton, Tyler Gower, Dale Johnson, Kacie Neely, Ronald Osborn.
KREBS – Kristen Hale, Deidra Meredith, Elizabeth Vaughn.
LEHIGH – Bonita Martin-Price.
LEXINGTON – Lindsey Canoy, Robby Short.
LONE GROVE – Patricia Baker, Sherry Gray.
MADILL – Shelly Hamilton.
MANNSVILLE – Christopher Hall.
MARIETTA – Justin Burks.
MARLOW – Thomas Archer, Jeffery Elroy, Joseph Jacobi.
MAUD – Justin Goss, Darletta Hinds.
McLOUD – Jacob Lempges.
McALESTER – Daniel Buckingham, Kara Haile, Amy Kitchell, Jarrod Owen, Kevin Rushing, Jeremy Spiegel, Tiffany Wood.
MEAD – Tina Harrison.
MILBURN – Susan Priddy.
MUSKOGEE – Jeannie Partaka.
MUSTANG – Brandy White.
NEWALLA – Kathryn Johnson.
NORMAN – Maxwell Ebegbune.
OKEMAH – Bruce Fish.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Adam Harris, Andrea Ozment.
OKMULGEE – Ashley Green, Leslie Powell.
OVERBROOK – Lori Davis.
PAOLI – Lexia Wigley, David Winters.
PAULS VALLEY – Erica Ballard, Rebecca Bowen, Roger Crumpton, Merideth Moore, Clinton Peters, Kayla Williams.
PONTOTOC – Michael Worcester.
POTEAU – Zachary Pool.
PRAGUE – Brandy Swinford.
PURCELL – Amy Larman.
SAPULPA – Kara Blodgett.
SEMINOLE – Jenny Crelia, Amber Hester, Stewart McCoin, Phyllis Tucker.
SHAWNEE – Kristi Bailey, Shaun Callahan, Beau Carter, Phillip Collins, Stormi Marlow, Jayishnu Prasad, Trevor Smith, Brandi Taylor, Kristin Widner, Eric Worley.
STIGLER – Jessica Smith.
STONEWALL – James Cluck, Stevanna Thetford.
STRATFORD – Rene Savage.
SULPHUR – Stormy Busby, Shawn Langford.
TALIHINA – Mandy Grammar, Jerri James.
TECUMSEH – Stella Ruttman.
THACKERVILLE – April Fairchild.
TISHOMINGO – Lance Adlaon, Coy Bardin, Thomas Hankins, Georgia Kemp, Teresa Kennison, Jamy Liston.
TULLAHASSEE – Shana Trotter.
TUTTLE – Jessica Bailey.
WANETTE – Morgan Lipsey.
WARDVILLE – T.W. Tucker.
WARR ACRES – Rosanne Spinks.
WAYNE – Ashley Deskin.
WETUMKA – Dillon Simpson.
WEWOKA – Randi Alexander, Nicholas Daskalakis, Brittany Louie, Heath Quiett, Jessica Tilley.
WILBURTON – Tamra Bell, James Boyett, Kyle Littlejohn.
WILSON – Danny Powell.
WYNNEWOOD – Nisha Antoine, Bobbye' Mims, Heather Rhea, Meghan Wright.
ALMA, ARK. – Lauren McGinnis.
ROCKLIN, CALIF. – John Sedlak.
ROGERSVILLE, MO. – Jillene Donaldson.
ALLEN, TEXAS – Geno Odeh.
CANYON, TEXAS – Leslie Weston.
COPPELL, TEXAS – Brycen Cole.
DALLAS, TEXAS – William Pendleton.
GAINESVILLE, TEXAS – Jeramey Hinkle.
GARLAND, TEXAS – Jeremy Williston.
GRAND PRAIRIE, TEXAS – Gregory Gautney, Shannon McKim.
IRVING, TEXAS – Prassana Limbu.
MOUNT PLEASANT, TEXAS – Semetria Mangon.
ROUND ROCK, TEXAS – John Dodson.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – Lionel Young.
SPRINGTOWN, TEXAS – Curtis Niccum.
THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS – Kelly Davis.
Candidates for master’s degrees are listed by their hometowns:
ADA – Calvin Davis, Ensie Drumgo, Eric Holmes, Kallie Jones, Scott Knighten, Amy Mayhue, Fretta Moore, Wes Moreland, Ashley Reynolds, Trent Roberts, Toby Ross, Michelle Wallace.
ALLEN – Melonie Johnson, Terra Wainscott.
ALTUS – Isabella Norton.
ANADARKO – David Adams.
ANTLERS – Gail Romines.
ARDMORE – Melisa Bellavigna, Roxanna Day, Jayanthi John Rose, Christopher Sudderth, William Trisciani, Lawton Tyson, Nerly Zurlen.
ASHER – Tina O'Neal.
ATWOOD – Kelly Ward.
BROKEN BOW – Jessica Safe, Cynthia Smith.
CACHE – Joan Cole.
CHANDLER – Jami Earp.
CHECOTAH – Kari Needham.
CHOCTAW – Michael Hessman.
CUSHING – Alicia Calavan.
DAVIS – Tonya James.
ENID – Kendra Fischer, Josiah White.
EUFAULA – Preston James.
GUTHRIE – Nacasaw Coppage.
HEALDTON – Jeffrey Brown.
HONOBIA – Amanda Morris.
HUGO – Shane Richardson.
KEOTA – Jordan Jones.
KONAWA – Jessica Troglin.
LAWTON – Jason Rivera.
MACOMB – Sarah Carreon.
MADILL – Carol Benson, Amy Gonzalez, Shelley Reamy.
MARIETTA – Britney Baker.
McALESTER – Darla Romine, Veranardo Harris, LaDonna Hendrix, Brandy Lore, Nancy Sparks, Tammi Wehrenberg-Bedford.
MILL CREEK – Kathy Patton.
MOORE – Kyle Gardner, Kacey Miller.
MULDROW – Alana Walters, Amy White.
NORMAN – Allen Crawley, Natalie Crawley, William Warner.
OKEMAH – Mark Dean, Larry Moses.
PANAMA – Taylor Stimac.
PAULS VALLEY – Kelsey Williamson.
PIEDMONT – Amanda Tims.
POTEAU – Dee Abrams, Melissia Billy, Edie McMillin, Teresa Thompson.
PURCELL – Amy Stone, Tara Tyler.
RATTAN – Connie Cody.
RINGLING – Jeremy Cunningham.
SAPULPA – Lacey Graham.
SEMINOLE – Suzanne Barnett, Jeremy Ford, Kade Houck.
SHAWNEE – Renea Arredondo, Catherine Griffith, Steven Martin, Kortney Smith.
STIGLER – Leshian Lockwood, Steve Lockwood.
STRATFORD – Cindy Bowling.
STUART – Misato Tamura, Trent Tidwell. S
ULPHUR – Meredith Jones, Kale Simon.
TALIHINA – Julie Hanus.
TECUMSEH – Tamara Hudgins.
TISHOMINGO – Candice Oliver.
WAYNE – Amanda Cowan, Randy Henderson.
WETUMKA – Brenda Heath.
WEWOKA – Patricia Hensley, Chanda Richardson.
WISTER – Misti Roath.
YUKON – Nicole Lovins.
RIVERDALE, ILL. – Britten Carpenter, Deanna Williams.
FARMINGTON, N.M. – Benita Sanchez.
HOBBS, N.M. – Joshua Simpson.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Sterling Headen.
JACKSONVILLE, TEXAS – Kent Willis.
LANCASTER, TEXAS – Dionte' Dean.
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