Southeastern News

University seeks third party comments regarding accreditation

DURANT, Okla. –  Southeastern Oklahoma State University is seeking comments from the public about  the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency.

Southeastern will host a visit February 24-26, 2014, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Southeastern has been accredited by the Commission since 1949.

The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the University to:

Third Party Comment on Southeastern Oklahoma State University,
The Higher Learning Commission,
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Ill. 60604-1411.

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s web site at

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing.

All comments must be received by January 24, 2014.

Honor graduates recognized at Commencement

DURANT, Okla. – Thirty-eight students graduated with honors December 14 at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement, held in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Guest speaker was Mr. Scott Crain, a local businessman and 1984 graduate of Southeastern.

The honor graduates are listed by permanent hometown (Oklahoma, unless otherwise noted):


Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)

(Oklahoma unless otherwise noted)

Andrew Michael Abdinor, Klerksdorp, South Africa; Daniel Wade Stahlheber, Midwest City

Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)

Micah Lee Moore, Durant; Tyler Weston Slawson, Durant; Nickolas E. Wann, Poteau

Cum Laude (with honors)

Ashton Brooke Faries, Sherman, Texas; Christopher C. Jones, Kingwood, Texas; Katherine Leigh Littrell, Bells, Texas; Stephiane Stovall, Wichita Falls, Texas


Summa Cum Laude

(Oklahoma unless otherwise noted)

Charles A. Bull, Millsap, Texas; Joshua E. Dobbs, Newcastle; Diana Joyce Gillum, Sherman, Texas; Bridgett Renee Hertz-Olson, Broken Bow; Bree Anna Labeth, Wilson; Royce E. Martos Jr., Newalla; Vy Le Phuong Nguyen, Dalat, Vietnam; Kathryn Marie Robertson, Wapanucka

Magna Cum Laude

Ryan Joseph Dobbs, Sherman, Texas; Shelby Paige Fraser, Flower Mound, Texas; Kolton Garrett Hall, Bonham, Texas; Kaylee Michelle Johnson, Durant; James Russell Keeton, Ardmore; Kelsey Rae Lee, Davis; Allie McKinzie, Atoka; Shacole LeWanda Smith, Durant; Vickie Lynn Smith, Smithville

Cum Laude

Andrew Robert Cacho, Durant; Ross T. Davis, Denison, Texas; Misty D. Feller, Mustang; Tasha Flowers, Whitewright, Texas; Jordana Maria-Lynn Green, Denison, Texas; Zachary Ray Harmon, Caney; Christian Aaron Jeter, Durant; Nicole Dianne Murphy, Muldrow; Katherine Malia Rings, Whitewright, Texas; Donald Ticer Jr., Oklahoma City; Demetra Paige Wilkerson, Durant; Kasey Nicole Wilson, Hartshorne

Southeastern alumnus Scott Crain was the guest speaker at Commencement.

Southeastern alumnus Scott Crain was the guest speaker at Commencement.

Graduate Stephanie Gardner of Durant is congratulated by Southeastern president Larry Minks.

Graduate Stephanie Gardner of Durant is congratulated by Southeastern president Larry Minks.

A well-decorated cap is displayed at Commencement.

A well-decorated cap is displayed at Commencement.





Southeastern celebrates Candlelighting

candle3jpgDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University celebrated the season with the 92nd Annual Candlelighting and Concert on Friday in historic Montgomery Auditorium.

Because of winter weather, the event was moved from Monday to Friday night.

The historic event dates back to December 18, 1921.

) Three scenes from the Candlelighting ceremony included Brittney Ann Wortham with candle.

Three scenes from the Candlelighting ceremony included Brittney Ann Wortham with candle.







University closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed for the holidays December 24-January 1. Offices will re-open on Thursday, January 2, 2014.

The first day of spring classes is January 13.

Southeastern Candlelighting re-scheduled for Friday, Dec. 13

DURANT, Okla. – In keeping with tradition, Southeastern Oklahoma State University will mark the holiday season with the 92nd Annual Candlelighting and Concert on Friday, December 13, at 7:30 p.m.  The event will take place in historic Montgomery Auditorium on campus and is free and open to the public.

Candlelighting was originally scheduled for Monday, Dec. 9, but was postponed due to the winter weather.

This year’s Candlelighting concert — Carols and Confections — will feature the Southeastern Symphonic Choir, Natalie Reitz, conductor, presenting major works from the vast repertoire of Christmas music. The music for this season is noteworthy for its florid and descriptive content, and has become a staple of Christmas celebrations worldwide.  Other works include Mozart’s Regina Coeli, Holst’s Christmas Day, and Nehlybel’s Estampie Natalis.  All works will be accompanied by Robert McFadden.

The concert will once again include the audience singing of traditional Christmas carols focusing on the festive nature of the season.  The Southeastern Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Ben Shaffer, will join in for the traditional carol sing.  Cardinal Key and Blue Key Honor Societies will once again serve as acolytes in the candlelighting portion of the evening.

The traditional Candlelighting event is designed to reflect the festive nature of the season, and serves as a great way to start holiday celebrations.

For more information, please contact the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Department of Music at 745-2088.  This event is made possible through a grant from the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Cultural and Scholastic Lectureship Fund.

Southeastern senior named finalist in Norton Anthology poetry contest

Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Sally Pickens and Tucker Brown, who entered the 2013 Norton Anthology poetry contest with “How Do I Love Thee?”

Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Sally Pickens and Tucker Brown, who entered the 2013 Norton Anthology poetry contest with “How Do I Love Thee?”

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University senior Sally Pickens has been named one of four finalists in the 2013 Norton Anthology international poetry-reading contest.

Pickens is a graduate of Durant High School, a member of the Southeastern Chorale and a student of Skip Robinson’s  unique Center for Rhetoric and Professional Development. She is majoring in music and English. Her plans include traveling and possibly teaching.

Norton has been the gold standard for literary anthologies for almost a hundred years, containing the greatest literature of the world, along with introductions by the leading scholars of our time.

College and high school students were invited to submit an original video recitation of selected works. The works selected by the Norton editors were Sonnet 43 (“How Do I Love Thee?”) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Sonnet 130 (“My Mistress’ Eyes’’) by William Shakespeare; “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson; and “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson.

Electronic technology has made it possible for entries to come from all over the world.

Pickens is a finalist in Sonnet 43 (“How Do I Love Thee?”) in the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Division. The poem is often considered the most romantic in literature. Pickens was assisted in her recitation by Southeastern student Tucker Brown.

The editors at Norton Publishers will determine the eventual winner. The contest, however, has been opened to a popular vote world-wide that will have some bearing on the decision of the judges.

Southeastern student Allen Fritts won the 2012 contest with his recitation of the poem, “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe.

To vote for Pickens, click on Click on Sonnet 43. Pickens is the first to recite.

Voters can help Southeastern repeat as international winner in this prestigious Norton Anthology competition.

Retirement reception to honor Dr. Jerry Polson on Monday, Dec. 2

Jerry PolsonDURANT, Okla. – The community is invited to attend a reception Monday (Dec. 2) for Dr. Jerry Polson, who is retiring after 44 years of service at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The come-and-go reception will be from 2-4 p.m. Monday in the Visual & Performing Arts Center at Southeastern.

Currently Professor of Physics and Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs – Outreach and Research/Dean of Graduate Studies, Polson will retire effective December 31, 2013.

He served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry, Computer and Physical Sciences for 20 years and also contributed to the University by his membership and involvement with the Curriculum Committee, NCA Steering Committee, Budget Committee, General Education Committee, Academic Council, Administrative Council, Distance Learning Council, as well as Chairman of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Athletics Representative.

He is also active in the community as a member of the Durant City Council.


Southeastern closed Nov. 27-28-29 for Thanksgiving

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed Nov. 27-28-29 for the Thanksgiving holidays.

Classes will resume and all offices will re-open on Monday, Dec. 2.

Scott Crain to address graduates Dec. 14 at Commencement

DURANT, Okla. – Local businessman and alumnus J. Scott Crain will be the speaker at Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement.

Commencement will be held on Saturday, December 14, in Bloomer Sullivan Arena. Two ceremonies will be held as follows:

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

School of Arts & Sciences

John Massey School of Business

Master of Technology

Master of Science (Occupational Safety & Health)

Master of Business Administration

Master of Science (Aerospace Administration and Logistics)

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

School of Education & Behavioral Sciences

Master of Arts (Clinical Mental Health Counseling)

Master of Education

Master of Arts (Teaching)

Master of Science (Sports Studies and Athletic Administration)

Scottpic[1]Scott Crain is a 1984 graduate of Southeastern, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. He is currently owner-operator of Texoma Manufacturing, LLC, and started his first manufacturing company (now Waste Quip) 25 years ago in Durant.

Crain has twice been a finalist for the Oklahoma Investment Forum’s Grace & Franklin Bernsen Oklahoma Venture of the Year Award, and has also been nominated for the SBA small business of the year.

A graduate of Durant High School, he is active in the community, having served as a founding member of the Durant Sports Association, which raised funds for the Durant Sports Complex. He was also a member of the Durant Community Facilities Authority, which oversaw the construction of the complex as well as the improvements at Paul Laird Football Field.

An ordained minister, Crain is a charter member and elder at Fusion Bible Church in Durant.

Crain and his wife Carol are the parents of Drew (a Southeastern graduate) and Chase. His father, Jim Crain, also graduated from Southeastern.

Kithara Duo to perform Thursday as part of Musical Arts Series

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Musical Arts Series will present the Kithara Duo at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 21) in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

The concert is free and everyone is invited to attend. The Duo will perform Thursday afternoon at Washington Irving Elementary School in Durant as part of MAS’s commitment to music education.

The Kithara Duo has performed across the United States, Europe and South America. Based in Fort Worth, the Duo organizes workshops and other learning experiences for many musicians. The Duo has expanded the guitar repertoire through arranging and through original compositions for solo and duo guitar

Southeastern’s Musical Arts Series was founded in 1973 by Dr. James Wintle, who passed away Nov. 16.

Dr. Jeri Walker, Donna Massey Professor in Music Education at Southeastern, took over the Musical Arts Series when Wintle retired after 40 years as Professor of Music.

Walker said, “We are indeed indebted to Dr. Wintle for his work in organizing and promoting the Musical Arts Series and the Steger/Bass Piano events all of these years. His tireless efforts to bring quality musical experiences to the community has enriched people of all ages and added so much to our musical quality of life. Dr. Wintle’s influence will continue for another 40 years and beyond in the lives of his students, colleagues and the community. He will be missed.”