Southeastern News

Southeastern to host three Presidential Debate watch parties

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host three watch-party events in conjunction with theupcoming presidential debates. All three events are scheduled to take place on campus in the Shearer Hall & Suites Great Room and will begin at 7:45 p.m.

The watch parties are free and open to students. Refreshments will be provided.

Dates for the events are Monday, September 26, Tuesday, Oct 4, and Sunday, Oct  9.

Dr. Shannon McCraw, department  chair of  of art, communication & theatre, and Michael Davis, director of compliance and safety, will serve as watch eventmoderators at Southeastern.

“DebateWatch is an exciting event,” McCraw said. “Most students have never participated in a presidential election before and this event gives them a chance to think about what the candidates say and engage others in thoughtful deliberation.”

The format for the first debate on September 26 will feature six timed segments focused on major topics.

Nine different topics will be explored by the candidates and moderator at the vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

On Oct. 9, the second Presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting where citizens askquestions of the candidates. These questions will be asked by a group of uncommitted voters selected by the Gallup Organization.

“We hope this offers another opportunity on our campus to be engaged and involved in the democratic process,” Davis said.  “The more we can encourage a healthy dialogue about politics and society, the more prepared our students will be as citizens for the rest of their lives.”

“Southeastern hosted its first DebateWatch event during the Clinton-Dole campaign,” McCraw said.  “This will be our sixth presidential election cycle. Since the ‘96 campaign, hundreds of students have gathered to watch and listen and talk about the issues. This is important, especially as the language surrounding politics grows increasingly harsh.”

The department of art, communication & theatre, student government association, residence hall association, office of student life, and are hosting the events.


Homecoming features full schedule of activities

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2016 on September 22-23-24.

Activities begin on Thursday, September 22, with Southeastern Night at the Museum featuring an alumni wine and cheese reception hosted by the board ofdirectors of the Three Valley Museum from 5-7 p.m.

Friday tees off with the 30th annual Whang Bang Alumni Golf Tournament at Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and a shotgunstart is scheduled for 9 a.m.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet recognizing Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Former Faculty and the Heritage honoree is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni are William Fahrendorf, Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer of Durant’s First United Bank; Lee Lipscomb, retired attorney, Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack; and Bill Groom, TV and film designer.

This year’s Distinguished Former Faculty are Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty  Wintle, and the late Dr. James Wintle

The Heritage Award will be presented posthumously to Hall of Fame coach Bloomer Sullivan, with his son Don accepting the honor.

Saturday’s festivities will begin at 8 a.m. with Coffee & Conversation with Southeastern Athletic Legends, president Sean Burrage and athletics director Keith Baxter in Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium.

The Homecoming Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. in downtown Durant, and the Alumni Tailgate Party opens at 11 a.m. in Tailgate Alley across from Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern’s Savage Storm will kick off at 2 p.m. against Southern Nazarene’s Crimson Storm in the big Homecoming football game.

For a complete schedule of events, visit or contact the Alumni Office at 580-745-2267.

Alumni golf tournament set for September 23 at Chickasaw Pointe

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s 30th annual Whang Bang Golf Tournament is slated for Friday, September 23, at Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, September 23, at Chickasaw Pointe, followed by a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Registration fee is $100 per player and includes green fee, cart, Savage Storm Golf & More Package, two mulligans, entry into drawing for door prizes and a card game on course with the winner receiving a two-night stay at Choctaw Casino and Resort.

Retired golf coach Don Hudson will be the honorary starter. Hudson coached the mostsuccessful golf team in Southeastern history, guiding his golfers to the program’s first-ever trip to the NCAA National Championship Tournament.

As one of the highlights of Southeastern’s annual Homecoming celebration, the event brings many alumni back to campus. It also attracts teams from around the state and bordering states.

Former Southeastern baseball player Tommy Julian’s TJ Construction team of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, is already signed up to defend its title.

Also included: A goodie bag, T-shirt, breakfast and lunch, free beverages, hole-in-one chance for a car from Stuteville Chevrolet and contests for closest-to-the-pin and longest drive.

Prizes will be awarded for first-, second- and third-place teams.

Golfers may register online at

Heritage Award to be presented posthumously to Bloomer Sullivan

bloomer-sullivan-4x6DURANT, Okla. – The late Bloomer Sullivan – an icon in the history of Southeastern Oklahoma State University – will be honored as part of this year’s homecoming activities.

The Southeastern Alumni Association’s Distinguished Awards Banquet is scheduled for Friday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.  At that time, accepting the Heritage Award on behalf of his late father will be Dr. Don Sullivan.

A West Virginia native, Bloomer Sullivan was an outstanding athlete at Ardmore High School. He earned his undergraduate degree (Physical Education/history) at Southeastern in 1934, and his master’s in history at Oklahoma


He served Southeastern from 1930-1967 in such capacities as Director of Athletics, chair and professor of the Department of Health and Physical Education, basketball coach, and baseball coach.  At various times, he also coached track, boxing, golf, and football.

From 1937-67, Sullivan was director of athletics and head basketball coach.

He was one of the nation’s outstanding college basketball coaches, winning 662 games and 13 conference championships. His teams participated in the NAIA national playoffs nine times, with three squads reaching the finals and another team finishing third.

Sullivan was selected NAIA Coach of the Year in 1957. He was named to the Helms Foundation (NAIA) Hall of Fame in 1959; was a charter member of the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1977; and was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Among his many outstanding players were two-time Olympic basketball coach Warren Womble; a captain of the U.S. Olympic team, Jerry Shipp; and several All-America players, including Southeastern’s first three-time honoree, James Spivey.

Bloomer Sullivan passed away in 1981.

His legacy is honored on campus by the naming of Bloomer Sullivan Arena (2009) and Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium. The gym opened in 1957, and was named after Sullivan in 1975.



Gov. Fallin Appoints Amy Ford to the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents

9-15-16-amy-ford_OKLAHOMA CITY – In a news release today, Governor Mary Fallin announced the appointment of Amy Anne Ford of Durant to serve as a member of the board of regents for the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO).

She succeeds Terry Matlock, who resigned. Ford will serve the remainder of Matlock’s term, which expires in June 2018. She can begin serving immediately. Her appointment still must be confirmed by the Senate when it convenes next session.

Ford, a business developer and consultant, previously served on the Oklahoma State Board of Education and the Oklahoma State Board of Career and Technology. She also served as chairman of the Oklahoma Standards Setting Steering Committee.

“Amy Ford has shown a keen interest in education in our state and has served our state well during her tenure on the state Board of Education,” said Fallin. “She is an accomplished businesswoman who is aware of what students need to be successful during and after college. I look forward to working with her to increase educational attainment and improve our workforce in Oklahoma.”

Ford will fill the Position 7 seat on the RUSO board of regents. It covers Atoka, Bryan, Carter, Choctaw, Latimer, LeFlore, Love, Marshall, McCurtain, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha counties.

She is a partner in RedAnt, LLC, which provides comprehensive business development, management, messaging and strategic public relations consulting services. Ford previously owned NEON, Inc., an emergency physician-staffing company, which employed more than 100 physicians in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. She and her husband also own and operate a cow-calf operation in Bryan County.

“Living in Durant, I’ve seen first-hand the valuable impact of our regional universities, often providing the only opportunity for some who otherwise would not be able to pursue a higher education,” said Ford. “Many of these students are the first in their family to attend college. I sincerely appreciate Governor Fallin asking me to serve on this board and I look forward to continuing my service to the state.”

“Amy Ford is a strong advocate for education in Oklahoma and will be a valuable addition to the RUSO board,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “We look forward to working with her and the contributions she will share with the RUSO system.’’

Ford is deeply involved in community and civic activities as well as philanthropic endeavors focused on economic development, education and sustainable water policy. She has been a strong water policy advocate in Oklahoma for more than a decade. In 2012, she was appointed to serve on the Oklahoma Public/Private Water Task Force, which was formed to facilitate meaningful dialogue about Oklahoma’s water management policies and challenges.

She also serves on the boards of directors for the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Foundation, The Oklahoma Academy for State Goals and the Citizens for the Protection of the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer, as well as serving on the board of advisers for Leadership Oklahoma.

She and her husband, Dr. Jim Ford, have a daughter, Erin, a physician’s assistant who lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Tyson.

About the Regional University System of Oklahoma

The Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) is Oklahoma’s largest four-year university system, which is made up of six universities containing more than 3,000 faculty and staff members and over 50,000 students.

The mission of the board is to provide higher education programs and service to eligible students in the university service areas and generally to ensure educational opportunities in the preparation of students to succeed in a global society.

The Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges was created on July 6, 1948 to govern the six regional universities. The board consists of nine members, eight appointed by the governor with approval of the Senate for nine-year staggered terms. The ninth member is the elected state superintendent of public instruction.

Three former faculty members to be honored at Homecoming

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will honor three individuals with the Distinguished Former Faculty Award during homecoming festivities on September 22-23-24.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty Wintle, and the late Dr. James Wintle. They will be recognized at the Southeastern Alumni Association’s Distinguished Awards Banquet on Friday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

gordon-eggleton-4x6Dr. Gordon Eggleton joined the faculty of Southeastern State College in 1971 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Iowa State University and his master’s in Science Education and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Iowa.

A consummate educator, he spent 40 years sharing his knowledge and love of learning with students in the areas of General Chemistry, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, Earth Science, Field Geology, Science for Elementary Teachers and Scientific Thought for Honors Students.

The chemistry professor served on numerous University committees during that time.  He was faculty sponsor of the Student Affiliate chapter of the American Chemical Society for 37 years and has been a member of that organization for 49 years; chaired the University Honors Committee six years; and was director of the Parsons Scholar program for six years.

He was also coordinator of the Southeastern Science/Math Resource Center and director of SCIMAST, a Consortium for Improvement of Math and Science Teaching.

Dr. Eggleton  positively touched the lives of numerous Oklahoma students as director of the High School Interscholastic Meet (also known as the Curriculum Contest) from 2001-2011.  He retired from Southeastern in 2011.

Dr. Eggleton and wife Kay celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year, along with their two children and four grandchildren.

Also being honored with the Distinguished  Former Faculty Award this year are Betty Wintle and her late husband, Dr. James Wintle.

betty-wintle-4x6Betty Wintle began  her Southeastern career in 1980 as a temporary part-time voice instructor.

She became a full-time instructor in 1986 and retired in 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Music.

Wintle received her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music degrees from Pittsburg (Kansas) State University. During her career, in addition to private lessons, she also taught Elementary Music Methods and Opera Theatre.

Wintle’s professional activities included participation in state and regional levels of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Through their hard work and talent, her students won one regional and 25 state awards.

She also served as vocal coach for the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival musicals, was a member of an international panel of judges in Italy, the Red River Arts Council, and performed on the Wey Valley International Concert Series in Weymouth, England.

The Wintle family also includes a son and daughter.

james-wintle-4x6Dr. James R. Wintle was a well-known composer, stalwart advocate for the arts in Oklahoma, and Professor of Music at Southeastern.

His love of music and his immense talent as a pianist were recognized as he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from the University of Kansas. He also earned  bachelor and master’s degrees from Pittsburg State.

During his  40-year (1971-2010) career at Southeastern, Dr. Wintle  saw his compositions performed on four continents and commissioned and performed by numerous major chamber ensembles. He received a number of grants and awards and his work was recognized by the state of Oklahoma with the Governor’s Arts Award for Community Service.

In 1973, Dr. Wintle established the Musical Arts Series that provided free public concerts by many of the world’s finest classical musicians. He was also the musical director of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, served for many years on the Red River Arts Council, and was director of the Steger Piano Institute. In addition, he was a guest composer and adjudicator in many international events.

The James Wintle Music Scholarship was established at Southeastern in 2015.

Dr. Wintle passed away in 2013.

Bryan County teachers meet on campus

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage offers welcoming remarks Friday morning at the Bryan County Teachers meeting. The event was held in Montgomery Auditorium on the Southeastern campus.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage offers welcoming remarks Friday morning at the Bryan County Teachers meeting. The event was held in Montgomery Auditorium on the Southeastern campus.

Southeastern to honor three Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will honor three Distinguished Alumni during homecoming festivities on September 22-23-24.

This year’s honorees are William Fahrendorf, Bill Groom, and Lee Lipscomb. They will be recognized at the Southeastern Alumni Association’s Distinguished Awards Banquet on Friday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

In addition, all of the current and former Distinguished Alumni will be introduced in pre-game ceremonies on Saturday, September 24, as Southeastern takes on Southern Nazarene in a 2 p.m. kickoff at Paul Laird Field.

“This year’s group of honorees is truly exceptional,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage.  “They have demonstrated a high standard of excellence in their chosen fields, while serving as great ambassadors for Southeastern for many, many years. Their success also serves as an inspiration for our current students and the dreams they have.’’

William Fahrendorf 4x6William Fahrendorf serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Administration Officer of First United Bank.  In this role, he oversees the planning and directing of the bank’s staff and service functions; develops and oversees staff and service policies, objectives and initiatives; and monitors operational performances.

Fahrendorf’s banking career began in 1971, over 45 years ago, with Durant Bank and Trust Company, a one-location operation with $23 million inassets.  First United is now a $3.2 billion financial institution serving 30-plus communities in Oklahoma and Texas.

While working at Durant Bank and Trust and carrying a full college course load, Fahrendorf also served his country as a Staff Sergeant and Drill Instructorwith the 95th Division of the United States Army Reserve.  He is a 1976 graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Known for his quiet, low-key manner, Fahrendorf is also recognized for his local and state leadership in service to the governance of the Oklahoma Public Education System.  He wasappointed to the Durant School Board to serve the remainder of a term in 1989 and remained on the board until 2000.  He was also elected to the Oklahoma State School Board Association and served from 1994 until 2000.  In 1998, he served as the association’s President.

Along with his success in business and stewardship of Oklahoma’s public schools, Fahrendorf’s contributions to Southeastern Oklahoma State University are also significant.

He served on the Southeastern Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2010, and as chairman from 1997 until his retirement in 2010.  During his tenure, the assets of the Foundation more than quadrupled.

Fahrendorf, and his wife Pam, a retired Chair of Computer Science at SOSU, reside in Durant and have three daughters and four grandchildren. His family has established a fully-fundedendowed scholarship.

groom[3]Bill Groom has enjoyed a long career as a successful television and film designer.

Groom graduated from Southeastern in 1972 with a double major in art and theatre. He earned a Master’s in Fine Arts degree in Theater Design from Tulane University in 1974.

He was the recipient of a record four consecutive Emmys for his work on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.’’ Other recent TV credits include HBO’s “Vinyl,’’ and “When We Rise,” an ABC TV 7-part series about the history of the LGBTQ movement that will air next year.

Among Groom’s other credits is a 7-year stint as the art director of the popular TV comedy show, “Saturday Night Live’’ on NBC.

Since leaving SNL in 1984, he has worked on hundreds of TV shows and scores of movies,  including “Milk,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “A League Of Their Own” and “Preacher’s Wife.”

Prior to his career in television and film design, Groom taught in the Theater Department of State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Groom, originally from California, Missouri,  is married to the Rev. Dr. Jane Ann Looney Groom, also a Southeastern graduate. Their two sons both work in the entertainment industry. Brooklyn, New York, and a tiny hamlet in the Catskills are home to the Grooms.

Lipscomb-4x6Lee Lipscomb enjoyed a successful 42-year career with Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack in Los Angeles, a law firm he co-founded in 1974. He retired in 2014.

Lipscomb graduated from Durant High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Southeastern in 1961.

Four decades as a litigator in California found Lipscomb and his company in the thick of many interesting cases. In the early years, the firm primarily defended aviation insurance companies, but his ties to Lloyds of London Underwriters led to high profile cases involving entertainment law and motion picture litigation.

Lipscomb  handled the Lloyds’ claims of MGM arising from the death of actress Natalie Wood and was successful in forcing MGM to finish her last, nearly completed film, “Brainstorm.” He also worked on the case of Bette Davis, when the movie star walked off the set of her last film, “Wicked Stepmother.”

Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack is also well-known known as lead counsel in the Hinckley and Kettleman, California, water contamination cases against Pacific Gas & Electric Company.  This resulted in approximately $700 million recovered for 1,500 clients and is commonly referred to as the “Erin Brockovich” case.

During his summers in high school and college, Lipscomb  worked as a firefighter with the U.S Forest Service. This included a five-year stint as a parachute firefighter. He completed his military service with the U.S. Army Reserve in 1968.

After his firefighting career, Lipscomb obtained his Commercial, Multi-Engine instrument and instructor pilot ratings. He then started an independent aircraft insurance claims adjusting company and later incorporated Aero Loss Adjustors, Inc., which he operated for four years while attending the Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

Lipscomb enjoys retirement life with his family — wife Robin, two sons, a stepdaughter and two grandchildren. The Lipscombs currently reside in Jackson, Wyoming.

Southeastern graduate Jon Hazell named Oklahoma Teacher of the Year

Jon Hazell 5x7

DURANT, Okla. – Jon Hazell, a science teacher at Durant High School, was named Oklahoma’s 2017 Teacher of the Year at a ceremony Tuesday at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

A graduate of Durant High School, Hazell has taught anatomy, biology and environmental science for 33 years in the Durant Independent School District. In addition to teaching, he is the pastor at Community Christian Church in Durant.

He holds a bachelor ‘s (’82) and master’s degree (’88) from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
In a release from the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Hazell said, “my purpose as a teacher is not so much to motivate my students as it is to create an environment where they motivate themselves.’’

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister, who made the announcement at the Centennial Building at the fairgrounds, said Hazell’s commitment to education is evident in the contributions he has made to his community.

“Jon has a true servant’s heart, giving back to his neighbors and teaching his students to do the same,” Hofmeister said. “From sponsoring food, clothing and toy drives to raising money for a student stricken with leukemia, Jon is a gifted, inspiring speaker who will be a tremendous ambassador for the profession. In Durant, he is near the border of Texas, where a teacher could earn more, but his commitment is to the schoolchildren of Oklahoma.”

Hazell said he was inspired to teach by his father, Don Hazell, who taught biological sciences at Southeastern Oklahoma State University for 32 years.
“I grew up with constant reminders and affirmation of the respect afforded to the teaching profession. That created a spark in me,” the new Oklahoma Teacher of the Year said. “It showed the influence a teacher could have not only on students, but also on all the people those students influenced.”

“This is a great honor for Durant and the entire community,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “Mr. Hazell is representative of the quality of educators working throughout southeastern Oklahoma. We are proud that he is a graduate of our University and has so many ties to our institution.’’

Hazell helps inmates learn to read and complete their GEDs as part of his five-county prison ministry. Sponsor of the Student Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes at his school, he is also the ropes course lead facilitator at Crosspoint Camp on Lake Texoma. The course is designed to enhance student cooperation and teamwork.

Hazell will remain in his classroom for the rest of the school year. Starting July 1, 2017, he will assume full-time Teacher of the Year duties, which include speaking engagements and serving as Oklahoma’s teacher ambassador, encouraging others to enter or remain in the profession. Sheehan will continue to tour the state until July in addition to his classroom duties. Hazell will accompany Sheehan to select speaking engagements.

A panel of 28 educators, comprised of members of the business community, legislators and nonprofit partners, selected the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year after extensive interviews with the 12 finalists, themselves district Teachers of Year from across the state.

Three Southeastern graduates among “50 Women Making a Difference In Oklahoma’’

DURANT, Okla. – Three graduates of Southeastern Oklahoma State University are among the “50 Women Making A Difference In Oklahoma’’ as selected by The Journal Record.

The honorees from Southeastern are attorney Heather Burrage (’99), Burrage Law Firm, Durant; Michele Campbell (‘88,’90), Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, Durant; and Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham (’92), Coca Cola professor and director of the Native American Studies Program in the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.

Heather Burrage

Heather Burrage

Michele Campbell

Michele Campbell

Amanda Cobb-Greetham

Amanda Cobb-Greetham






The 50 honorees will be honored at the 2016 Journal Record Woman of the Year gala set for Nov. 2 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Judge Jane P. Wiseman will be the keynote speaker. Wiseman, who was the first woman to serve on both the trial and appellate divisions of the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary, has served as a judge with the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals in Tulsa since 2005.

Also that evening, the “Woman of the Year’’ will be announced.

The 2016 event marks the 36th year for the Woman of the Yearprogram, designed to inspire confidence among women to go out and make their mark.