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Dr. Russell urges OTC graduates to make their vision happen

Dr. David Russell, Missouri’s commissioner of higher education, told this year’s Ozarks Technical Community College graduates Thursday night to “to commit to a vision of your future and make it happen.”

More than 1,000 graduates were eligible to receive degrees or certificates they earned during the current school year. More than 600 graduates took part in the ceremony at JQH Arena, which was attended by approximately 7,000 family members and friends.

Dr. Russell commended the graduates for their hard work but reminded them there is more for them to do.

“You have demonstrated that you have the right stuff. You have overcome challenges along the way, and discovered so much, not only about the world around you, but about yourselves,” Dr. Russell said. “I can think of no greater accomplishment to wish for you than to use today’s celebration to commit to a vision of your future and make it happen. You have the ability; the goals are within your grasp.”

The Ozarks Technical Community College Distinguished Alumni award was presented at Commencement to Rick Hughlett for his accomplishments and professional success as owner of Rick’s Automotive.

Hughlett is a graduate of Graff Vocational Technical School, which later became Ozarks Technical Community College.

Since the opening of Rick’s Automotive in 1980, the company has grown to include 35 full-time employees who service more than 1,000 vehicles each month.

He was instrumental in the formation of an Advisory Committee of area automotive service providers to work with the OTC Transportation Department, and he offers a mentoring program for students from OTC’s Automotive Repair program.

He also serves on the OTC Foundation Board of Directors, and has established a scholarship fund for students in that program through the OTC Foundation.


Mark Miller

College Director of Communication

Phone: 417.447.2655


Laura French

Coordinator of Public Information

Phone: 417.447.2659


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