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OSU alumna, humanitarian and activist to be awarded honorary doctorate

Tererai Trent grew up in extreme poverty, but fulfilled her dreams of coming to America and getting a college education. She will speak at all three OSU undergraduate commencement ceremonies May 10.
by Kathryn McNutt Modified: March 11, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: March 10, 2014

Oklahoma State University will honor an alumna who has won international acclaim for achieving her dreams and bringing hope to her impoverished Africa village.

Humanitarian and activist Tererai Trent will be awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters when she returns to OSU to speak at all three undergraduate commencement ceremonies May 10 at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

“Tererai’s story of hope, determination and hard-fought achievement is deeply inspiring for all of us,” OSU President Burns Hargis said.

The Board of Regents for OSU and the A&M Colleges approved the honor at their meeting last week. Final approval will come from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Growing up in a hut with no water or electricity, Trent secretly educated herself using her brother’s book and homework, because girls were not allowed to go to school.

She was married at 11 and had three children by the time she was 18. Trent said her dreams of getting an education earned her beatings from her husband. The family came to the United States in 1998, and her husband was deported five years later.

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by Kathryn McNutt
Higher Education Reporter
Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from...
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