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Ozarks Technical Community College on May 12 confers 3,428 degrees and certificates.Photo provided by OTC
Ozarks Technical Community College on May 12 confers 3,428 degrees and certificates.

Photo provided by OTC

Area colleges confer degrees to thousands

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Area higher education institutions this month conferred thousands of degrees to college graduates.

Between Ozarks Technical Community College, College of the Ozarks and Missouri State, Southwest Baptist, Drury and Evangel universities, 7,920 degrees were awarded this month, according to information provided by the schools.

The largest total was at OTC, which on May 12 conferred 3,428 degrees and certificates to gradates.

The commencement speaker was comedian Jeff Houghton.

“The dream you have in your heart doesn’t come with a road map, it comes with a machete,” Houghton told the graduates, according to a news release. “Those surprises that life throws at you may feel like dead ends, but they aren’t. Just get out of your car, grab your machete, step into the forest and hack yourself a new path.”

At MSU, retired U.S. Navy commander Abe McGull II addressed graduates. A total of 2,424 degrees were issued during the May 13 ceremonies.

On May 12 and May 14, SBU conferred 663 degrees; Evangel issued 565 on May 6; Drury graduated 543 students on May 14; and College of the Ozarks presented degrees to 297 students on May 8; according to news releases.

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