Oral Roberts University honors 25,000th graduate during Commencement

As time nears for Oral Roberts University’s 45th Commencement on May 5, excitement and anticipation builds for graduating seniors.

However, for ORU senior Laura Egstad, Commencement is especially special as she is the university’s 25,000th graduate to walk across the stage to receive her degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Education.

“I am truly honored to be considered the 25,000th student to graduate from ORU,” she said. “I take pride in the fact that I am a student at ORU and have cultivated a deep understanding of the value of ORU’s emphasis: being a “whole person” - sound in spirit, mind, and body.”

Egstad is a third-generation ORU student. Her grandfather, Dr. William Jernigan, is the dean of Learning Resources. He has also overseen the commencement program at ORU for the past 45 years. Her parents both attended ORU as well.

With my grandfather being the dean of Learning Resources and both of my parents having attended ORU, I feel that ORU has been a big part of my life,” Egstad said. “I remember going up to campus library to visit my grandfather when I was a very young child. I grew up in Tulsa and never once considered attending any university other than ORU. I’ve been a tried-and-true Golden Eagles fan from day one. I am grateful for the impact that ORU has had on my life and on the lives of my entire family, and I hope that I can leave a legacy of faith, integrity, and diligence that my grandparents and parents (all influenced by ORU) have left for me.”

Ralph Winter will be this year’s Commencement speaker, which is free and open to the public. Winter is known as one of Hollywood's most profitable assets, producing motion pictures and television. Working for 20th Century Fox for the past 10 years, he has been on some of the studio's biggest box office successes including the “X-MEN” Trilogy, Tim Burton's “Planet of the Apes,” and “Fantastic Four” movies, which together have grossed nearly $2 billion. The latest movie Winter have produced was “Wolverine.”