President Bush Addresses Crowd at OSU

5-6-06 - STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - President Bush advised college graduates today to use technology but not become enslaved by it.

During commencement exercises at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater today, Bush highlighted recent economic gains and told the graduates that an improving job market is giving them more job opportunities.

Those who attended the ceremony wore plastic slickers to keep their gowns dry from drizzle.

The crowd roared at Bush's reference to Eskimo Joe's, a famed local eatery and bar. Graduates raised their hands in approval when Bush said he was a cowboy proud to be standing among other Cowboys.

The presidential helicopter made one last sweep over the stadium upon Bush's departure and many graduates waved and cheered.

Bush landed back at Vance Air Force Base and held a meet-and-greet with about 300 visitors on the tarmac at the Enid base before boarding Air Force One and departing at 11:20 a.m.

A protest of President Bush's appearance was held today about a block from Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater.

About 250 demonstrators held signs as a band played anti-Bush songs. One protester held a sign that read -- quote -- "Worst President Ever."

Protester Laurie Keeley of Tulsa says she had to take advantage of the fact that Bush came to Oklahoma.

Stillwater police and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were on hand, but the protest was peaceful.

But some OSU grads thought the protest was inappropriate. Biological Sciences major Vincent Miller of Toronto, Canada, says the day should be about the graduates and that Bush was honoring them with his presence.

BJ O'Connor got the thrill of a lifetime today when the president stepped off Air Force One, shook his hand and called him a stud.

The Oklahoma State junior received a Call to Service pin from President Bush for his volunteer work, which included working with a Campus Crusade for Christ group in New Orleans over spring break.

During a brief encounter on the tarmac at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, O'Connor says he thanked Bush for speaking at Oklahoma State's commencement later in the day.

The 21-year-old civil engineering major says he was shocked when Bush called him a stud.

O-Connor applied for the Call to Service award, which is given to people who perform 4-thousand or more hours of community service in their lifetime.