The Oklahoma Baptist University spring class of 2024 will celebrate commencement at 2 p.m., May 18, at Del City, First Southern.

Ricky Dickson, the recently retired CEO of Blue Bell Creameries, will serve as this year’s commencement speaker.

OBU also announced that the tradition of “The Walk” of graduating seniors will be held on campus at 3 p.m. on May 16. Seniors will walk from the Oval, following the same path as their freshman walk, to the front steps of Raley Chapel.

Dickson began his career with Blue Bell as a territory manager, moving through the roles of sales manager, branch manager, division manager, general manager of the Broken Arrow plant, vice president, president and then CEO.  After 43 years of service, Dickson retired from Blue Bell in March of 2024. Dickson has always been involved in community organizations and continues to do so. While living in Oklahoma, he served two terms on the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce board of directors. He has been a Rotary member since 1990.

Dickson was president of Faith Mission from 2009-2022, a local ecumenical Christian-based non-profit organization created to assist the homeless and working poor in the community and has been involved with the organization since 2006. He was ordained as a deacon at the First Baptist Church in San Antonio in 1987 and was chair of deacons at Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas in 2022. Dickson and his wife Anita have five children and eight grandchildren.

This spring will mark the third commencement at First Southern Baptist Church, Del City since last year. Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium on the OBU campus has served as the traditional location for commencement since the iconic building was constructed in 1961. Due to damage caused by the EF2 tornado on April 19, 2023, the chapel’s auditorium is not available for the commencement ceremony.

For more about OBU’s Spring 2024 Commencement, please visit the Commencement Information page,