Southeastern News

First United Bank honored with Regents Partnership Award

awardjpgDURANT, Okla. – Twenty-eight business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recognized recently as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

Among the honorees were Southeastern Oklahoma State University and First United Bank. The partnership between Southeastern Oklahoma State University and First United Bank, a family-owned, Oklahoma-based bank, has lasted for two generations. Greg Massey serves as president and CEO of the bank and carries on the family tradition started by his father, John, as a leader not only within his own community of Durant, but also throughout the state. Massey and the team at First United are committed to the economic development of the community of Durant through their contributions as a significant employer in the region and an economic engine within the state. This partnership includes participation in building projects, scholarship programs, alumni activities, and programs dedicated to seeing the university thrive. Additionally, the support they provide the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center, which has been housed at Southeastern since its inception 31 years ago, shows their desire to see small businesses thrive not only in the communities they serve, but throughout Oklahoma.

“Our state system institutions collaborate with the business community to link academic programs directly to employment needs,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These partnerships allow our colleges and universities to provide innovative, interactive learning experiences for students that align with workforce requirements today and in the future.”

“We are very appreciative of the support of First United Bank,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “First United is a business that is truly engaged in communities all across Oklahoma. And the Masseys recognize the value of education and the role it plays in the future of our state.’’