Chenoweth unable to speak at spring commencement

By Rachel Morse, Staff Writer

Kristin Chenoweth, Broadway star and OCU alumna, will not speak at the Spring 2012 commencement ceremony.

University officials received a statement from Chenoweth’s agent that the performer’s tour dates conflicted with the date of graduation, said Diana Silver, academic services specialist.

“Due to the tour and rehearsal schedule and its demands, she cannot make it to Oklahoma City,” she said. “She is very disappointed and was looking forward to being there for the students and faculty.”

Officials are searching for a replacement speaker, which will be determined by administrators in the president’s office, said Michelle Hale, executive assistant to the president.

The tour, for which Chenoweth is promoting her CD Lessons Learned, opens May 9, Silver said. The star will perform with a new orchestra at each tour location, which requires her to arrive several days beforehand to rehearse.

“She and her agent did their very best to work around it, but they were unable to,” she said.

Chenoweth’s agent wrote that Chenoweth still is interested in speaking at future commencement ceremonies, Silver said.

“She said they want to hear from us again,” she said.

Sophie Moshofsky, acting junior and Blue Tie Ambassador, was assigned as Chenoweth’s student escort during graduation. She said she was disappointed when she heard Chenoweth would not speak.

“I was very bummed,” she said. “Obviously I understand that she is a very busy and successful woman and has a lot of places to be.”

Getting another successful alumnus to speak would give the students someone inspirational to connect to, though Chenoweth would have been the best option, Moshofsky said.

“It’s kind of hard to top Kristin Chenoweth,” she said.

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