Southeastern News

Whang Bang alumni golf tournament set for Oct. 4

DURANT, Okla. – One of the highlights of Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Homecoming is the Whang Bang Alumni Golf Tournament. The 27th-annual Whang Bang is scheduled to tee off at 9 a.m. Friday, October 4, at Silverado Golf Course. Registration opens at 8 a.m., one hour before the shotgun start.  The tournament is a 6-person scramble limited to the first 144 players to register.


Registration fee is $100 per player and includes green fee, cart, Savage Storm golf and more fun package, goodie bag, t-shirt, breakfast and lunch, free beverages and a chance for a new car courtesy of Stuteville Ford of Atoka.  The Savage Storm Golf & More Fun Package includes two mulligans (entered into a drawing for door prizes) and a card game on the course.

There are also prizes for Closest-to-the-Pin and Longest Drive for both men and women.

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

Golfers may register online at <> with an early registration deadline of September 25.  For more information, call (580) 745-2288.

Hole sponsorships are available at $50.

The Whang Bang kicks off Friday’s Homecoming activities and leads directly to the best tailgate celebration in the Great American Conference.

Joining the fun is simple.  Just show up on Saturday, Oct. 5, in Alumni Alley across from Paul Laird Field. Come early, grab a parking place, stake out a spot for your grill, lawn chairs, etc.  A picnic lunch will do in place of grilling or you can purchase food from the Sodexo food services trailer.

Follow the team into the stadium through “The Walk” and boost the Storm to victory against Texas A&M -Commerce. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. 

FAA agreement allows Southeastern to offer ATP certification at reduced hours and cost

DURANT, Okla. – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted authority to Southeastern Oklahoma State University to certify graduates of the school’s professional pilot program to be eligible for an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with reduced aeronautical experience.

The FAA and Southeastern recently signed a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to that effect. Southeastern is one of six universities to have this LOA and the only school in Oklahoma with this distinction.


“The authorization allows our professional pilot graduates to receive an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate at a reduced number of hours – 1,000 instead of 1,500,’’ said Dr. David Conway, director of the Southeastern Aviation Institute.  “The ATP is now required by the FAA for a pilot to occupy the right seat of a regional transport aircraft. Our program exceeds the professional and flying requirements for this reduction in hours.’’

Conway noted that the agreement also would result in significant savings for participants.

“To put it in perspective,’’ Conway said, “this would cost an individual $50,000 to rent an airplane to build their hours or they would have to work at least a year in flight instructing or at some other venue to build those 500 hours.’’

Southeastern offers its nationally-known aviation programs at four locations:    Durant, Tinker Air Force Base and Rose State College in Midwest City, and Oklahoma City Community College.

Southeastern awarded 2014 Military Friendly Schools ® Designation for second consecutive year

DURANT, Okla. — Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has named Southeastern Oklahoma State University to the coveted Military Friendly Schools® list for the second consecutive year.

The 2014 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and ensure their success on campus.

“Southeastern is proud to be recognized as a military-friendly campus for the second year in a row,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “The University provides assistance to veterans and their dependents in a variety of areas, including applying for admission and financial aid and understanding their VA education benefits. Additional resources available include career counseling and tutoring. In essence, we make every effort to assist our veterans as they work to reach their goals in higher education.’’

“Inclusion on the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools® shows Southeastern’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media and a nine-year Navy veteran.   “The need for education is growing and our mission is to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.  These schools have world-class programs and policies for student support on campus, academic accreditation, credit policies, flexibility and other services to those who served.

Now in its fifth year, the 2014 list of Military Friendly Schools ® was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools nationwide approved for VA tuition funding. The survey results that comprise the 2014 list were independently tested by Ernst & Young LLP based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media.

Each year, schools taking the survey are held to a higher standard than the previous year via improved methodology, criteria and weightings developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country.

Southeastern Chorale’s dinner-silent auction scheduled for Sept. 28

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Chorale, Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s premier choral ensemble, will host its annual dinner and silent auction on Saturday, September 28, in the Ballroom in the Hallie McKinney Building on campus.

Auction items include donated gift items from local businesses, restaurant packages, personal services, and home décor items. The silent auction will begin on Friday, September 27, in the Ballroom and culminate Saturday night.

The event, titled “Two B’s or Not Two B’s,” will feature Southeastern Chorale members entertaining with the music of Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, and others.  The fundraiser will begin at 6:15 p.m. in the Ballroom with hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner beginning at 7 p.m.  A dessert auction, led by Dell McLain, will take place during the event.

Tickets are $30 and currently being sold by Chorale members.  Seating is limited.  If you would like to purchase tickets, please call 745-2874.

Parents, Family, and Friends Day set for Sept. 21

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will host “Parents, Family, and Friends Day’’ on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Events will take place at Tailgate Alley (between 1st and 2nd on University Blvd. across from Paul Laird Field).

The schedule of events is as follows:

3-5:30 p.m. —  Registration/check in

4-5 p.m. – Potato Sack Race

5:00-5:45 p.m. – Live Music

5:45-6 p.m. — Chorvettes, Sparks Dance Team and Cheer performance

6 p.m. —  Football game vs. Henderson State University

Discounted football tickets will be available in the event tent.

To register, go to

Three former faculty members to be honored at Homecoming

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will present the Distinguished Former Faculty Award to three individuals as part of the 2013 Homecoming celebration.

Dill    Dr. Jan Dill, Dr. Ken Washburn and Dr. John “Rick” Wright will be honored at the Awards Banquet on Friday, October 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Dill (’83, ’87) retired from Southeastern in 2004 as Assistant Professor of Business Information Management.  She spent 19 of her 28 years at Southeastern as an instructor/assistant professor.
Dill earned her Ed.D. in Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction – Higher Education in 2003 from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Southeastern.
From 1985-94, she served Southeastern as Instructor, Departments of Management and Marketing, Office Administration and Business Education. Dill was granted tenure in 2001 and was Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Marketing from 2001 to 2004. She received numerous teaching awards and served on several committees while at the University.


Washburn]Washburn began his 17-year tenure at Southeastern in the fall of 1978.  A native of North Carolina, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at New Mexico Highlands University and completed his doctorate at the University of Northern Colorado in 1971.
After a tour of duty with the United States Army that included an electronics program at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and service with a missile battalion in Germany, he spent 15 years at New Mexico Highlands.
His Southeastern career included stints as an Electronics Coordinator, Chair of the Electronics Department, and Chair of the Industrial Technology Department.  He retired in 1995 as Professor of Electronics.



WrightWright earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Arkansas State University and received his master’s degree in biochemistry and doctorate in inorganic and radiation chemistry at the University of Mississippi.
After a stint with the U.S. Air Force, Wright completed his doctorate. He then was employed as a research technician at Washington University in St. Louis.
Wright joined the Southeastern faculty in 1973 as assistant professor of chemistry.  He quickly secured research funding from the National Institutes of Health.  He, with colleagues, published numerous papers and articles describing their primary research conducted in the Southeastern laboratories.
He says “first of all, I wanted to be a good teacher.’’ But he was also active in the field of cancer treatment research during his career.

Wright co-authored three scientific research books.

40th Season of Musical Arts Series begins Sept. 19

DURANT, Okla. – The 40th season of the Musical Arts Series (MAS) will begin on Sept. 19 with a Garden Party on the lawn of historic Morrison Hall at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Featured entertainment will be authentic Zydeco music from Louisiana with food for purchase catered by the Iron Gate. Dinner  will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the music begins at 7:30 p.m.

The Musical Arts Series has offered outstanding  musical experiences to audiences of all ages since 1973 and this season the celebration continues with eight renowned ensembles and soloists. All performances are free and open to the public. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.  and are in the Southeastern Fine Arts Recital Hall, unless otherwise noted.


On Oct. 8, Heinavanker, a vocal music group that performs ancient Runic music,  will be in concert. The American Brass Quintet, in an encore performance for the MAS, will perform on Oct. 24. The final fall concert will be a guitar ensemble, the Kithara Duo, on Nov. 21.


The clarinetist Rocco Parisi and pianist Maurizio Barboro, both from Italy, open the spring concerts on Jan. 28. Canadian percussion quartet TorQ will perform on Feb. 25, followed by Dimitris Saroglou, a pianist from Greece.


The 2013/2014 MAS Season concludes with a three-day residency given by the Fifth House Ensemble, a chamber group from Chicago. This residency involves all ages of children, Southeastern students, and culminates with a concert on Friday, April 25.


One of the highlights of the artists’ visits is performing in the local schools. Students hear live music of outstanding quality in a variety of genres and styles, meet performers from all over the world, and are very enthusiastic about the experience.


The MAS would not be possible without the support of the donors and sponsors, who will be introduced at each concert. For more information about the MAS or to become a donor, contact Dr. Jeri Walker at or 580-745-2385.

Southeastern Symphonic Winds opens season on September 24

DURANT, Okla. — The Southeastern Symphonic Winds – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s premier instrumental ensemble – begins its 2013-2014 concert season with a program of classic and new wind band repertoire entitled “Joy Transfigured” on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the Durant High School Auditorium.

The program includes works by Michael Markowski, Samuel Barber, Johann Sebastian Bach, Steven Bryant, Gustav Holst, and Paul Hindemith.

“The theme of the program is the metamorphosis of musical ideas from one composer to another, and many of these pieces involve a composer using another musician’s idea in a new way,” said Southeastern’s Director of Bands, Dr. Jacob Wallace. “On this concert, Hindemith borrows from Carl Maria von Weber, Barber uses Bach’s music, and Markowski takes a melody from a Gary Wilson song.”

Wallace also noted major composers on the program.

“We’re focusing a lot on Bach this semester, and there are two pieces by Bach on this program that sound very different from each other,’’ he said. “We also have a great opportunity to perform Gustav Holst’s First Suite in E-flat, which is one of the most important pieces ever written for band. All of the music is exuberant and joyful in some way, especially the works by younger composers Michael Markowski and Steven Bryant, each of which has a lot of influence from popular music of the late 20th century.”

The program is being presented at Durant High School as a collaboration with the music programs of the Durant Schools.

“We’re very thankful to the faculty and staff of Durant, especially Mr. Chris Gregg, for helping to make this performance in this beautiful hall possible,” Wallace said.

The program will open with a joint performance by the drumlines of the Pride of Durant and the Spirit of Southeastern Marching Band.

The Southeastern Symphonic Winds is a performing ensemble consisting of Southeastern students and is open to qualified students in all disciplines pending competitive audition. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.  For more information, please contact the Department of Music at 580-745-2088 or Dr. Wallace at 580-745-2084.

Southeastern to honor three Distinguished Alumni on Oct. 4

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Alumni Association will recognize three Distinguished Alumni as a part of Homecoming 2013 festivities.
This year’s honorees are Dr. Jim Barnes, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Assistant Chief Gary Batton, and Mr. Robert “Rob’’ Wells. They will be recognized at the Distinguished Awards Banquet on Friday, October 4, 5:30 p.m., in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.
Barnes   Barnes (’64) served as the Oklahoma State Poet Laureate for 2009-10. Of Choctaw and Welsh ancestry, he grew up in Summerfield, Oklahoma. His bachelor’s degree from Southeastern was in English and theatre. He earned his master’s degree (1965) and Ph.D. (1970) from the University of Arkansas.
Barnes  was a professor of comparative literature and writer-in-residence from 1970-2003 at Truman State University (Kirksville, Missouri), where he helped establish a strong poetry series at the  University’s  Press. Barnes still serves as poetry editor there.  He also helped create the T.S. Eliot Prize, one of the premier poetry prizes in the country.
After retirement from Truman State, he was a Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing and English at Brigham Young University from 2003-06.

His On Native Ground: Memoirs and Impressions (University of Oklahoma Press), now in its second edition, won The American Book Award in 1998. Among his many volumes of poetry, The Sawdust War garnered the Oklahoma Book Award in 1983.
His community service involves membership in many organizations, including the Associated Writing Programs, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, PEN American Center, and PEN Center USA West. He has sat on several National Endowment for the Arts committees.
garybattonfinal[2]Batton (’89) has served in a number of capacities with The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma since 1987. In 2007, he was named Assistant Chief under Chief Gregory Pyle.

In his 26 years with the Choctaw Nation, Batton  has continuously looked for ways to improve and expand services and has been an integral part of the Tribe’s growth and success. Numerous Choctaw Nation programs and services have been created and enhanced under his leadership, including the Diabetes Wellness Center, the Youth Advisory Board, Veterans’ Advocacy, and Choctaw University.

He helps support Chief Pyle’s initiatives of health, education and jobs by expanding and increasing the profitability of current businesses and adding new businesses. Overall, businesses have shown a 69% increase in profitability since his appointment in 2007 and Tribal services continue to grow and evolve.

In addition, Batton has represented the Choctaw Nation on numerous boards and committees, including the National Budget Committee for Indian Health Service, the National Health Service Corps National Advisory Council, and the Tribal Technical Advisory Committee for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. He currently serves on the Thunderbird Youth Academy Foundation Board, the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Advocates, the Choctaw Nation Chahta Foundation Board, and the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Foundation Board.
He received his bachelor’s degree in management from Southeastern with minors in computer science and accounting.
Wells  Wells (’71) is CEO of TAG Aviation Holding SA, located in Geneva, Switzerland, and is responsible for TAG’s six operating companies. TAG Aviation provides aircraft management, charter services, base level maintenance operations and other services for business aviation worldwide. The company also owns TAG Farnborough Airport in Europe and subsidiary companies in Hong Kong, Bahrain, Spain, and the UK. TAG’s business jet fleet currently numbers nearly 150 aircraft based on all continents, and of the company’s 1,100 employees, nearly 350 are professional pilots.

He joined TAG Aviation USA in 1999 as Base Manager at its Seattle, Washington, operation. In 2002, Wells  moved to  TAG Aviation SA as President and CEO,  responsible for the company’s European operations. He served in that role until 2007.

Wells  received his bachelor’s  degree in aviation from Southeastern and earned his master’s of business from Southern Methodist University.
A licensed pilot with more than 8,000 hours logged, he currently serves on the Board of the European Business Aviation Trade Association. He was previously Executive Vice President for Piedmont Hawthorne Holdings, Inc. (now Landmark Aviation), where he held various management positions for more than 22 years.

Southeastern offers new online degree program in Early Intervention and Child Development

DURANT, Okla. – In an effort to meet the needs of students and the job market, Southeastern Oklahoma State University is now offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Intervention and Child Development.  With the exception of a couple of courses, the degree, based in Ardmore, is offered online.

This degree program provides individuals who are interested in or currently working with young children the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in the field related directly to their work.  It will also aid graduates with employment opportunities in areas such as Head Start, the Department of Human Services, and other agencies.

The new degree program will also address a critical need for earlier intervention for children with special needs. The program is designed for individuals not interested in teaching.

Among the courses in the degree are psychology, Elementary Education, Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and ethics.

Some 15 students are currently enrolled in the program, and the potential for growth is strong, according to Dr. Robin Plumb, Southeastern’s director of academic services at the University Center of Southern Oklahoma in Ardmore.

“The value and quality of childcare will be greatly increased by those who
earn this degree, ” Plumb said.

Formal approval of the new degree program was granted in June by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

For more information, contact Plumb at 580-220-2877.