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Oklahoma City Community College President Mautra Staley Jones keynotes University of Phoenix commencement

Oklahoma City Community College President Mautra Staley Jones keynotes University of Phoenix commencement

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Oklahoma City Community College President Mautra Staley Jones was the keynote speaker for the University of Phoenix Spring 2024 commencement on March 2.

Dr. Jones addressed more than 2,500 graduating students representing five different countries and 48 U.S. states at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. The in-person event featured morning and afternoon ceremonies, hosting a total of more than 11,000 attendees.

A distinguished alumna, Jones earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Phoenix in 2005. The new graduates join a community of more than one million University of Phoenix alumni.  

"I am honored to be a part of the University of Phoenix Spring 2024 commencement program," Dr. Jones said. "I hope that my message to graduates inspires them to follow their dreams."

Jones is a prominent leader in higher education. She is currently the president of Oklahoma City Community College, the fourth-largest institution of higher education in Oklahoma, serving more than 18,000 students. Her appointment as the college’s 11th president was historic for the school and the state. In Oklahoma, Jones is the first African American to serve as president of any institution of higher education that is not an HBCU (historically Black college and university). Additionally, she is the first woman and first person of color to lead Oklahoma City Community College.

"Celebrating academic achievement with more than 2,500 new graduates at the University of Phoenix commencement is a testament to the importance of higher education in the U.S.," said Dr. Jones. "Education creates pathways for future success."

Three OCCC alumni received degrees at the University of Phoenix Spring 2024 commencement, including Teressa Dalatri, who flew from Oklahoma City to Phoenix to attend commencement in person for her Master of Science in Counseling, Behavioral and Mental Health. She attended OCCC and transferred credits to the University of Phoenix toward her bachelor's degree in correctional program support services, earned in 2019, and then continued her graduate studies at University of Phoenix.

Dalatri had the opportunity to connect with Jones at the commencement. “It means a lot to connect with her, as OCCC is where I started my college journey,” said Dalatri.  

"Oklahoma City Community College is focused on student success and providing pathways and opportunities to achieving academic dreams, and Ms. Dalatri sets a wonderful example of what our students can achieve," said Dr. Jones. "The OCCC alumni network continues to grow and their impact can be felt throughout the U.S."

About Oklahoma City Community College

Since its inception in 1972, Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) has been the heartbeat of the Metro, dedicated to empowering learners and strengthening communities. Serving more than 18,000 students, we are committed to producing leaders. “Student Success, Community Enrichment” is our mission, and we offer more than 87 degree and certificate programs that provide a foundation for further education or immediate career readiness. We remain dedicated to providing accessible, affordable, high-quality education that equips students to achieve personal and professional goals. OCCC is more than an institution; we are a community catalyst, fostering growth and success in our city, our workforce, and the lives of our students. Discover your potential at OCCC, where your future is our purpose. Visit us at

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