Southeastern News

“Children of the Civil Rights’’ documentary aired in Student Union

JuliaClifford, director of the documentary, sets the stage for the showing of the film.

JuliaClifford, director of the documentary, sets the stage for the showing of the film.

Special guests Joyce Henderson, Bill Clifford and Joyce Jackson participate in a discussion following the film’s showing.

Special guests Joyce Henderson, Bill Clifford and Joyce Jackson participate in a discussion following the film’s showing.

DURANT, Okla. – More than 100 students, faculty and staff  from Southeastern Oklahoma State University attended a special screening of  “Children of the Civil Rights,’’ a documentary based on the Oklahoma City restaurant sit-ins in 1958-64.  The film was shown Thursday in the Glen D.  Johnson  Student Union.

Also in attendance were the film’s director – Julia Clifford, a Southeastern graduate (’92) and Ardmore native – along with three individuals who were involved in the sit-ins, Joyce Jackson, Joyce Henderson and Bill Clifford, the director’s father.

 

Following the 60-minute film, a question-and-answer session was held.

Promotional materials state the following about the documentary:

“For six years, a group of kids went into restaurants and asked for service. It never got violent; it never really made national news; but together, they turned around every restaurant except onebefore the 1964 Civil Rights Act.’’

This event was sponsored by the Southeastern Student Support Services and the Office for Student Life.

Twenty-one schools scheduled to participate in Science Olympiadhosted by Southeastern

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host the Oklahoma Science Olympiad Invitational Tournament Saturday, February 18.

More than 200 middle and high school students from 21 public and private schools across Oklahoma and north Texas will compete in 2-4 person teams in one or more of 46 events that include most areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Oklahoma has been involved in Science Olympiad for 16 years. The competition is similar to academic track meets, consisting of 23 team events in each division. Middle school is Division B and high school is Division C.

A portion of the events is rotated each year to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation.

Southeastern  faculty and staff from the Department of Aviation Sciences, Biological Science, Chemistry, Computer and Physical Sciences have volunteered to design events, write and grade exams and provide support to make this competition happen. In addition, more than 20 Southeastern student volunteers are signed up to help with the competition.

Local teachers and administrators interested in learning about the Science Olympiad are encouraged to visit and watch the competition. For more information about the Science Olympiad event, contact Dr. Tim Smith at tsmith@se.edu.

 

Family presents contribution to Brady Rudolf Memorial Scholarship

The Rudolf family recently presented a check for $14,500 to the Brady Joe Rudolf Memorial Scholarship Fund at Southeastern. Front row, left to right, Jennifer Rudolf, Nate Rudolf and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. Back, left to right, Nathalia Flowers, Ty Rudolf, Braden Rudolf, Dustin Rudolf and Clent Horner.

The Rudolf family recently presented a check for $14,500 to the Brady Joe Rudolf Memorial Scholarship Fund at Southeastern. Front row, left to right, Jennifer Rudolf, Nate Rudolf and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. Back, left to right, Nathalia Flowers, Ty Rudolf, Braden Rudolf, Dustin Rudolf and Clent Horner.

DURANT, Okla. – A contribution of  $14,500 was presented Monday to the Brady Joe Rudolf Memorial Scholarship, which was established through the Southeastern Foundation in 2009.

Brady Rudolf, a 1993 graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, died in a helicopter crash during his second deployment to Iraq. The Durant High School graduate served as a pharmacist for the Veterans Administration before his military duty.

On Monday, Brady’s family presented the check to Southeastern president Sean Burrage. Attending the presentation were Brady’s widow, Jennifer; his mother Nathalia Flowers; his brother Dustin; his sons,  Nate, Ty, and  Braden; and family friend Clent Horner, who assists with the Brady Rudolf Memorial Golf Tournament.

The scholarship seeks to assist students in reaching their educational goals. Those wishing to contribute to the scholarship may send donations to the Southeastern Foundation at 425 W. University Boulevard.

The  fundraiser golf tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 8, at Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course. For more information, go to www.bradyrudolf.com. Players and sponsors may register and pay through the website. Use the dropdown to select individual or team registration and pay by credit card.

Team registration is $240 and individual registration is $65. Sponsorship opportunities are available on the website.

“Children of the Civil Rights’’ documentary to be shown on campus Feb. 9

DURANT, Okla. – The campus community will soon have the opportunity to view and discuss “Children of the Civil Rights,’’ a documentary based on the Oklahoma City restaurant sit-ins in 1958-64.

The film will be shown on Thursday, February 9, at 11 a.m. in room 213 of the Glen D. Johnson StudentUnion at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

As a bonus, the film’s director – Julia Clifford, a Southeastern graduate (’92) and Ardmore native – will be present to answer questions, along with participants of the sit-ins, who will share their personal experiences.

Promotional materials state the following about the documentary:

“For six years, a group of kids went into restaurants and asked for service. It never got violent; it never really made national news; but together, they turned around every restaurant except onebefore the 1964 Civil Rights Act.’’

This event is sponsored by the Southeastern Student Support Services and the Office for Student Life. There is no admission charge.

 

Southeastern places third in TCU Speech and Debate tournament

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Speech and Debate Association  (SSDA) earned third place in Overall Sweepstakes at Texas Christian University’s Cowtown Classic Swing Speech and Debate Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.

The forensics tournament featured varsity National Parliamentary Debate, International Public Debate Association and all 11 American Forensics Association National Individual Events.

RepresentingSoutheastern Oklahoma State University were Charles Jackson, junior communication and theatre double major; Connor Judd, freshman business and communication double major; and Jacob Morrison, freshman political science major.

Colleges and universities competing were Texas Christian University, Texas State University, West Texas A&M University, Ranger College, the University of Minnesota, Oklahoma City University, Tulsa Community College and the University of Oklahoma.

Judd and Morrison, both from Durant, reached the quarterfinals in the Parliamentary Debate competition. The team of Judd and Morrison amassed a 4-1 record through thepreliminary rounds earning them a seed in the quarterfinals. Eventually, however, the duo would lose in a split decision to the eventual tournament champions from TCU.

Judd and Morrison both  received individual top speaker awards. Morrison ranked fourth, while Judd earned the top speaker award. To date,  the team is a combined 20-3 in novice and varsity Parli competition rounds.

Judd also competed in Dramatic Interpretation and earned a fifth place finish. Morrison competed in both extemporaneous speaking and impromptu speaking and earned a fourth place finish in extemporaneous speaking.

Morrison’s fourth-place finish qualifies him in the event in both the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament that will be held March 31 through April 3 at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill, and the National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament, April 15-17, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Jackson, from Fort Worth, Texas, reached the finals in the AFA-IE of Prose and Program Oral Interpretation (POI) and earned two second-place trophies.

With these results, Jackson has qualified for both the AFA-NIET and the NFA-NCT.

SSDA’s next forensics tournament will be the Sweetheart Swing at the University of Oklahoma, February 10-12.

To learn more about Southeastern’s intercollegiate forensics program and SSDA’s tournament schedule visit the Department of Art, Communication and Theatre website at http://homepages.se.edu/comm or contact Speech and Debate Advisor Dr. Randy Clark at ext. 2556.

 

 

Rabon, Durrill of Five Americans fame remain active in music, writing

The Five Americans returned to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2003 to perform at the Arts Gala concert. Left to right are John Durrill, Norman Ezell, Kevin Lathan, Mike Rabon, and Jim Grant

The Five Americans returned to Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2003 to perform at the Arts Gala concert. Left to right are John Durrill, Norman Ezell, Kevin Lathan, Mike Rabon, and Jim Grant


DURANT, Okla. –
The packed audience in the Visual & Performing Arts Center eagerly awaited the return to the stage of a band that had captured stardom in the late 1960s. A rock band whose very roots began on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The date was March 15, 2003, and the occasion was the Southeastern Arts Gala, an annual event held to raise scholarship funds.

As students at Southeastern State College in the early 1960s – Mike Rabon, John Durrill, Norman Ezell, Jim Grant, and Johnny Coble  –

began playing cover songs at area clubs and frat parties as “The Mutineers.’’

Seeking fame and fortune, the group headed to Dallas with a new drummer (Durant teenager Jimmy Wrightreplacing Coble), landed a manager, a record contract, and a new name: The Five Americans.

And the rest is history.

While touring extensively and appearing on various national TV shows, the group released such memorable hit singles as “Western Union,’’ (dit, da dit, da dit) ) still heard today on oldies radio and a top 5 hit on the Billboard charts in 1967; “I See The Light,’’ which reached #26 on the charts in 1966; and “Sound of Love’’ and “Zip Code, ’’ both of which climbed to #36 in ’67.

Two other singles – “Evol-Not-Love’’ and “7:30 Guided Tour’’ — also appeared on the Billboard Top 100 chart.

The group released four albums from 1966-68: “I See The Light,’’ “Western Union,’’ “Progressions,’’ and “Now and Then.’’

Management issues and other factors led to The Five Americans calling it quits in 1969, with various members producing solo work, or in some cases, joining other groups.

Back back to March 2003.

The Five Americans took the stage that night for the first time at Southeastern since a 1966 concert inMontgomery Auditorium.

The original band members – minus Jimmy Wright, who, due to a previous commitment, was replaced that evening by Hugo High School student Kevin Lathan – thrilled the crowd with their hits, old blues and rock covers, and even some new compositions.  After the show, the band and crowd gathered at the old Durant Country Club for an impromptu performance.

So now, 14 years later, what are the members of The Five Americans doing?

The Five Americans, circa 1967: John Durrill, Jimmy Wright, Jim Grant, Mike Rabon, and Norman Ezell.

The Five Americans, circa 1967: John Durrill, Jimmy Wright, Jim Grant, Mike Rabon, and Norman Ezell.

Mike Rabon, guitarist–lead singer–songwriter, is a retired public school educator living in Hugo, Oklahoma. Over the past few years, he has authored a handful of books, including “High Strung,’’ a memoir about his days with The Five Americans. He has also been active in various music projects over the years. His wife, Carla, a Southeastern graduate, still teaches.

Rabon was born in Port Arthur, Texas, but as an infant, moved with his family to Oklahoma.  After The Five Americans broke up, he formed Michael Rabon and Choctaw (with Wright on drums). He also returned to Southeastern, earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Education and a master’s in public school administration, and followed in the footsteps of his parents, both educators.

“Two things stand out about that night,’’ Rabon said recently in recalling the Arts Gala event. “To see all my old friends from high school and college and the Hugo area was very special. And it was also enjoyable to sing with the president (then Southeastern president Glen D. Johnson, now chancellor, who joined the band for a rendition of “Hey Baby.’’) That was a lot of fun.’’

John Durrill, keyboardist and prolific songwriter, was born in Houston, Texas, but was raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.  For a time at Southeastern, he and his wife and children lived in the old wooden barracks known as Vet Village. He graduated with an English degree (music minor) from Southeastern, and taught high school English  for one year in Talihina, Oklahoma.

After The Five Americans, Durrill moved to California and played and toured with The Ventures for a while. He has written more than 2,000 songs for 75 artists, including FrankSinatra, Merle Haggard (“Misery and Gin’’) and Cher (“Dark Lady.’’)

Today, Durrill remains very active in the music business and resides in Westlake Village, California.  His current projects include occasional duty with The Ventures, writing for the group Chicago, movie work, and other art and music-related work.

“We loved playing live,’’ Durrill said in a recent telephone visit about The Five Americans’ heyday. “What really made it work for us was we weren’t really big planners. We didn’t know what we were doing, but when we turned those amps on, we knew exactly what we wanted to do.’’

The talent and chemistry of all five band members contributed to the group’s overall success, and Durrill pointed to drummer Jimmy Wright as a catalyst.

“The way Jimmy played – he was the real backbone of our sound. He was a real driving force for us. As far as the concert (2003 Arts Gala), it was déjà vu. We had all gone different directions, but everything came full circle.’’

 

Sadly, the three other band members are deceased.

Bass guitarist Jim Grant passed away in Dallas in 2004; Norman Ezell, rhythm guitarist and songwriter, died in California in 2010; and drummer Jimmy Wright passed away in Denison, Texas, in 2012.

Grant, a Hugo native, was a talented artist who used his creativity to produce logos, posters, and other products for public relations clients in the Dallas area.

As an active and popular student at Southeastern, Grant was President of his Sophomore Class; Delta Zeta Man; President of Sigma Tau Gamma; member of Student Senate, Blue Key, and President’s Club; and elected Friendliest Boy.  (Grant, Rabon, Ezell and Johnny Coble were all members of Sigma Tau Gamma).

Ezell was born in Alabama, but spent his childhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He transferred from theUniversity of New Mexico to Southeastern on a football scholarship and earned a bachelor’s degree in Education (Social Studies).

Like Durrill, Ezell ventured to California after the breakup of the band. He founded two churches, “Gloryland Ministries,’’ and produced a number of gospel albums.  In addition, Ezell taught special education in Taft and Stockton, California.  And like Rabon, he penned a book about his Five American days, titled, “Road Runner. ‘’

Ezell was a longtime resident of Lodi, California.

Wright was a native of Wyoming, but grew up in Durant. After life in the band, he teamed with Rabon’s new group to record an album, and then established several ministries in Oklahoma. Wright  also utilized his  talents as a media director, videographer, and lighting director while working and traveling with various ministries, both nationally and internationally.

Record-setting receiver excels on-and-off the playing field

Kaymon Farmer speaks to a group of students during 8th Grade Career Discovery Day, held on the Southeastern campus in January.

Kaymon Farmer speaks to a group of students during 8th Grade Career Discovery Day, held on the Southeastern campus in January.

DURANT, Okla. – During his time at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Kaymon Farmer excelled both on and off the playing field.

On the field, the Savage Storm wide receiver set a Great American Conference (GAC) and school record for most career receptions with 236, completing his eligibility at the end of the 2016 season. He was also named to the GAC All-Conference team. In addition, the 5-5, 150-pound former walk-on also holds the Southeastern single-season reception record with 77 catches in 2013 (his freshman season).

After redshirting in 2012, Farmer played four seasons at Southeastern, the last three under head coach Bo Atterberry. In addition to his 236 receptions, Farmer scored 21 touchdowns during his Savage Storm career.

Off the field, the Pittsburg (Texas) High School graduate earned his bachelor’s degree in occupational safety & health in May 2016. More recently, he was one of 24 college football players in the nation (all levels) recognized at the Sugar Bowl for being selected to the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

The Good Works Team honors college football players who dedicate their time to bettering the community and the lives of others.  Leadership, character, and academic standing are among the attributes considered for selection to the team.

Among the other honorees was Deshaun Watson, quarterback of the national champion Clemson Tigers.

Farmer is one of just three Oklahoma players selected for the recognition, with the others being Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans and Oklahoma Baptist University offensive lineman Zach Clark.

Mark Richt of the University of Miami was selected as honorary coach of the team, which was honored at anumber of events at the Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans.

Kaymon Farmer gains yardage following a reception.

Kaymon Farmer gains yardage following a reception.

In the local community, Farmer has been active in Imagine Durant, Families Feeding Families, Boys and Girls Club, church, and participated in a mission trip to Haiti.

At Pittsburg, located in east Texas, Farmer excelled in both basketball and football, where he played for coach Robert Manley, who played football at Southeastern in the early 1980s.

Pittsburg, a community of 4,500 residents, has produced two outstanding NFL receivers in Kendall Wright (currently with the Tennessee Titans) and Homer Jones (New York Giants receiver in the 1960s).  Jones, who still lives in Pittsburg, is also famous for introducing the “spike’’ as a touchdown celebration.

“Coach (Ray) Richards (former SE head coach) believed in me and gave me a tryout,’’ Farmer said.  “Sean Cooper (former SE running back and director of sports performance at his alma mater and who is also from Pittsburg) is my first cousin and he has always been like a big brother androle model to me. ‘’

Farmer noted that he will always have fond memories of Southeastern.

“This is a place for growth, a place to find yourself and be part of something bigger than yourself.  Coach Atterberry is the real deal; he sets high standards and holds players and coaches accountable. Great things are going to happen here with this football program.’’

“Kaymon is an exceptional kid,’’ Atterberry said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving (of receiving recognition). He has worked around the clock, on and off the field, in the classroom and in the community.’’

And while Farmer certainly has dreams of playing at the next level, he also plans on being a success at any endeavor he chooses.

“I’m a self-motived guy – I want to be the best at whatever I do. That’s just my mindset.  Football doesn’t define me. If that (football career) doesn’t work out, I’ll be involved in the community working with kids and trying to make the world a better place.’’

Spring 2017 Commencement moved up to May 6

DURANT, Okla. – Mark your calendars now. Southeastern Oklahoma State University has announced that the spring semester will conclude a week earlier than previously announced.

Spring Commencement will now be on Saturday, May 6, instead of May 13; the final day of exams is now May 5 instead of May 12.

Aviation Visitation Day scheduled for February 24

DURANT, Okla. – High school students interested in pursuing a career in aviation are invited to attend Aviation Visitation Day on February 24 at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The event, hosted by the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute (ASI), will include a campus tour and visits to ASI facilities and the regional airport. Other activities include a flight simulator demonstration, panel discussion of aviation careers, and information provided by several regional airline representatives who will be in attendance.

Events will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration in the Student Union. Lunch will be provided.

To register, go to  http://homepages.se.edu/aviation/register-here/

Southeastern students participate in MLK Day of Service community activities

A group of Southeastern volunteers works at St. Catherine’s Food Bank Monday as part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service.

A group of Southeastern volunteers works at St. Catherine’s Food Bank Monday as part of the Martin Luther King Day of Service.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday with 120 students, faculty and staff participating in various community service projects.

Classes were not in session Monday as students began their community service early in the morning.    Volunteers visited  Northwest Heights, Washington Irving and Robert E. Lee elementary schools in Durant, along with the Durant Boys and Girls Club, where they assisted with painting, re-tiling the ceiling, light moving and cleaning.

Southeastern also conducted a Peanut Butter Drive campus-wide to deliver to St. Catherine’s Food Bank. Volunteers from the University also helped with bagging groceries.

Southeastern students demonstrate theirpainting skills at the Durant Boys and Girl Club Monday.

Southeastern students demonstrate theirpainting skills at the Durant Boys and Girl Club Monday.