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Gov. Jay Nixon
Gov. Jay Nixon

Gov. Nixon to speak at OTC commencement

Posted online
Last edited 1:25 p.m., Feb. 24, 2011

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will present the commencement address at the Ozarks Technical Community College annual graduation ceremony this spring.

The commencement will be held May 19 at JQH Arena on the Missouri State University campus.

Joel Doepker, OTC director of communications and marketing, said OTC is fortunate to have the sitting governor of the state speak at its commencement.

"We made the request to his office, and he apparently had been looking to speak at a community college's commencement," Doepker said. "All of the tumblers clicked in."

Approximately 500 graduates will be present at the ceremony, he said

“We are honored to have Gov. Nixon present our commencement address this year,” OTC President Hal Higdon said in a news release. “He has not only been an advocate for community colleges, but has also been a supporter of OTC, making a total of five visits to our various locations during his time as governor."

One such visit was in late January when Nixon visited OTC and Crowder College to applaud the community colleges for keeping their tuition increases below $5 per credit hour.

"We look forward to what will no doubt be inspiring words for our graduates," Higdon said in the release.

All graduates and their families, as well as the general public, are invited to the ceremony.

OTC started its spring semester Jan. 18 with 13,220 enrolled students, a 16.1 percent increase from the spring of 2010, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

Earlier this week, OTC released the results of an independent study, which shows OTC campuses have an annual economic impact of nearly $212 million in southwest Missouri.
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