Seizing Opportunity: Keegan Kirkhart
Recent alumnus discusses the impact of the Lester Scholarship on his time at OU
Keegan Kirkhart, a 2012 graduate of Gaylord College and recipient of the Lester Scholarship, exemplifies dedication, passion, and commitment to his work.
As a sophomore in high school, Keegan Kirkhart recognized and began working toward his dream when he created his own business, Kirkhart Studios, a multimedia company that specializes in video production, web design, and DJing. “I always had a passion for business and a motivation to learn new skills,” Kirkhart said. “One day I put everything to the test when I worked my first wedding. The client was impressed and after that, the calls never stopped.”
After graduating top in his class in 2007, Kirkhart left McAlester, Okla. to become a Sooner, majoring in broadcasting and electronic media, a decision that he says was one of the easiest to make. “I always knew that I wanted to go to OU,” he said. “The fact that OU had a great video production program and a rich football history, I was completely sold."
During his freshmen year, Kirkhart seized opportunities to apply what he was learning in the classroom by joining OU Nightly, a daily newscast, and Our Sports Pad, a weekly sports show. He worked his way up from camera operator to director in the course of five years and later joined Sooner Vision, the sports production unit of the OU athletic department. One of his favorite memories at Sooner Vision was working all-access as a feature producer for a football segment that appeared on the Sooner Football with Bob Stoops show. “It was pretty surreal walking out onto the football field for the first time,” Kirkhart said. “And it confirmed that all my hard work to get to this point was well worth it.”
In the spring of 2010, Kirkhart studied abroad for five months at the Universidad de Jaume in Castellon, Spain, where he furthered his Spanish minor and lived with a host family. During his time there, he visited England, Ireland and Italy and experienced many new cultures and had “the time of his life.”
Kirkhart graduated top in his major with a perfect GPA in May 2012. Achieving this great success was not an easy task. “In my family, if you wanted to go to college, you had to pay for it yourself,” he said. Kirkhart says he was fortunate to receive numerous scholarships along the way, including the Howard and Mary Lester Scholarship, and was ultimately able to graduate debt free.
Currently, Kirkhart enjoys living in Norman and works as a freelancer at Sooner Vision and also continues to run Kirkhart Studios. He says he hopes to one day be able to give back to Gaylord College. Kirkhart says it’s important to him that Gaylord College continues to provide innovative leadership programs, along with cutting-edge technology and equipment, to future generations of students so that they can become best prepared to work in the industry like he did.
To learn more about supporting students like Keegan Kirkhart through scholarships, click here.