Southeastern News

Southeastern Oklahoma State University introduces mascot

Student Government Association president Joseph Baden and University president Larry Minks unveil the new bison mascot.

Student Government Association president Joseph Baden and University president Larry Minks unveil new bison mascot.

DURANT, Okla. — Southeastern Oklahoma State University officials gathered with students and community members Thursday afternoon to introduce the school’s new mascot, the bison. The introduction was made during a pep rally style event in the packed atrium of the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

“We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve selected a new mascot for the University,” said Dr. Larry Minks, president of Southeastern. “Our mascot will become demonstrative of the pride, resilience and strength we believe personifies Southeastern and the Savage Storm. People will have the opportunity to not only see the mascot at athletic events, but at many other events within the University, community and Durant area.”

The reveal included the unveiling of the official university mascot imagery and logo, a preview of the bison as a life-size cutout, videos, and remarks by President Minks, Student Government Association president Joseph Baden, Savage Storm football player Coby Ragsdale, Alumni Association president Rob Piearcy, Director of Interactive Marketing/ Director of External Athletic Operations Luke Willman, and alumnus-Savage Storm public address announcer Mark Webb.

To further engage the Southeastern Oklahoma State University community, there will be a “Name Your Mascot” contest taking place from September 5 – September 21. Participants will have two weeks to submit a name they feel best represents Southeastern and its bison. Suggestions will be accepted online at

The top names will be disclosed prior to homecoming in order for students, faculty, alumni and community members to submit their final vote on the mascot name. The winning name will be announced during homecoming festivities October 4th and 5th.

“Not only do we want the university involved, we want our university community involved as well,” said Willman.  “The new mascot has a unique role to create a strong visual identity for Southeastern, to unify our university spirit and to create a sense of belonging for the entire Durant community.”

During the reveal, Southeastern also paid tribute to prior names and mascots by highlighting the invaluable roles they each played in shaping the university’s history and traditions with a mascot evolution tribute video.

In 1921, the ‘Savage’ became the official mascot for Southeastern in honor of the area’s native people. By 2006, the nickname became the ‘Savage Storm’ to comply with a new NCAA policy.

With more than 90 years of history behind the name ‘Savage Storm’, the university has no desire to change its name, but to preserve its tradition through a revamped visual identity. In order to determine what best represented the ‘Savage Storm,’ a mascot committee was developed.

The committee was comprised of students, student-athletes, faculty, staff, administration, athletic department personnel, alumni and community representatives.

Southeastern ranks 6th nationally in producing Native American graduates

DURANT, Okla. — Once again, Southeastern Oklahoma State University has been recognized nationally for its work with Native American students.

According to “Diverse Issues In Higher Education,’’ Southeastern  ranks sixth in  the nation in producing Native American graduates (all disciplines combined) in the Baccalaureate degree category. (Last year, Southeastern ranked 10th in all disciplines combined).

In the undergraduate category, Southeastern has 14 different fields represented in the national top 30. The University ranks number one in  Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health).

In the graduate category, Southeastern is also ranked number one in Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health).

Each year, the magazine publishes its top 100 rankings of minority graduates. The report is based on preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Education.

“It is a real honor for Southeastern to be recognized in this manner,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks.  “We have a number of programs in place to assist our Native American students as they work toward their goals. We are also fortunate to have partnerships in place with The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation that directly benefit our students.’’

In 2011, the University received a $2 million federal grant to enhance the academic success of its Native American students. The five-year Title III grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. This “Connect2Complete (C2C) Project” strives to bolster the retention rates and graduation rates of Native American students at Southeastern.

Currently, approximately 30 percent of Southeastern’s enrollment is comprised of Native Americans.

Also, the Southeastern Native American Center for Student Success provides advisement and assistance in accessing external funding for Native American students. The center houses staff from the Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program and the Chickasaw Nation Education Services and offers a College Success course for new freshmen.

Southeastern also offers a Native American Studies minor, Native American management option, and courses in Choctaw Language and Culture.

Each year, Southeastern partners with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to sponsor “Native American Visitation Day,” in which high school students experience the college setting.

Among other activities, the University hosts the Native American Symposium – this year’s event is scheduled for Nov. 14-15.

Following are Southeastern’s national rankings, by major, in the top 100 degree producers list as released by “Diverse Issues In Higher Education.’’

Undergraduate (Native American unless otherwise specified)

1 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health)

2 – Communication, Journalism, and related programs

2 – Education

2 – Psychology

3 – Finance and Financial Management Services

3 – Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities

4 – Biological and Biomedical Sciences

6 – All Disciplines combined

6 – English Language and Literature/Letters

6 – History

8 – Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

10 – Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services

12 – Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support services

13 – Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services (Criminal Justice)

27 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering-Related Fields (Occupational Safety & Health — Total Minority category)

Graduate (Native American unless otherwise specified)

1Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields (Occupational Safety & Health)

13 – All Disciplines combined

13 – Education

15 – Business Administration, Management and Operations

18 – Business, Management, Marketing, and related support services

45 – Engineering Technologies and Engineering related fields (Occupational Safety & Health — Total Minority)

63 – Engineering (Aerospace Administration and Logistics — African American)

75 – Engineering (Aerospace Administration and Logistics — Hispanic)

Southeastern to celebrate Homecoming Oct. 3-4-5

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2013 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 3-4-5.
This year’s theme is “Stormcoming” and the three-day event will offer something of interest for all current students, alumni, and friends.

Honored as Distinguished Alumni this year will be Dr. Jim Barnes, Assistant Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Gary Batton, and Mr. Robert “Rob’’ Wells. Recipients of the Distinguished Former Faculty Award are Dr. Jan Dill, Dr. Ken Washburn, and Dr. John “Rick’’  Wright.
Along with banquets, pep rallies, campus tours, a golf tournament and the Homecoming football game, numerous reunions are scheduled. For information on reunions, check  or contact the Southeastern Alumni Relations Office at 580-745-2875.
The following schedule includes some of the many events in store for the Homecoming weekend:
Thursday, October 3
SE Night at the Museum, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Three Valley Museum, 401 W. Main Street. Enjoy an evening full of surprises as the Durant Historical Society hosts this popular event. The Southeastern Hub for Arts Resources in Education (SHARE) will showcase local artisans’ work. Proceeds from the art sale will benefit southeast Oklahoma schools in the areas of art, music and theatre. Refreshments will be provided.

Friday, October 4
        27th-Annual Whang Bang Golf Tournament, Silverado Golf Course. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for 9 a.m. Participants may register online at The Whang Bang has started a highly popular tradition that has legends from Southeastern’s storied athletics history serving as honorary starters.
      Distinguished Awards Banquet, 5:30 p.m., Visual and Performing Arts Center. This event features introduction of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty.
Houston Debate Reception, 8 p.m., Massey Building, 200 W. Main Street. A long-standing reception that allows debaters and communication majors past and present to honor a remarkable teacher and debate coach.
True Blue Rally, 8 p.m., Amphitheater
Saturday, October 5
        Coffee & Conversation with Savage Legends, 8 a.m., Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium. Former Southeastern athletes gather to reminisce. Hosted by Southeastern president Larry Minks and Director of Athletics Keith Baxter.

       Homecoming Parade, 10 a.m., downtown Durant.
        Alumni Tailgate Party, Alumni Alley, 11 a.m. Across from Paul Laird Field.
        Southeastern Campus Tours, 11:30 a.m. Explore the campus during the one-hour tour. It’s great for students and their families who are considering Southeastern. Student tours will include campus and residence halls, plus a lunch ticket. Special Alumni tours will also be held. Register online at  . Tours leave from the entrance to Paul Laird Field.
          Pre-Game Ceremony, 1:50 p.m., Paul Laird Field. Introduction of Distinguished Alumni, past and present.
        Kickoff: Southeastern vs. Texas A&M University-Commerce, 2 p.m.
Discover Durant “A Market Fair,” downtown Durant, 6 p.m. Alumni and friends of Southeastern are invited to enjoy an evening of food, live music, arts and crafts hosted by the Durant Young Professionals.

New Savage Storm mascot to be revealed Sept. 5

DURANT, Okla. – Mark your calendars for Thursday, September 5, as that will be the day the new Savage Storm mascot will be revealed for the first time.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to present a new Savage Storm mascot,’’ said Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Larry Minks. “Our mascot will become demonstrative of the pride, resilience and strength we believe personifies Southeastern.  People will have the opportunity to not only see the mascot at athletic events, but at many other events within the University community and the Durant area.’’

To celebrate, the University will hold a Savage Storm Rally on Sept. 5 at 12:30 p.m. in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union. Students, faculty, and staff will gather for this event, which will include the unveiling of the official university mascot imagery and logo, and a preview of the mascot as a life-size cutout, in addition to remarks by a number of individuals.

A community reveal event is planned for later that day at 5:30 p.m. at Tailgate Alley (across from Paul Laird Football Field). The Savage Storm will then kick off the football season at 6 p.m. against Southern Arkansas.

To further engage the campus and community, there will be a “Name Your Mascot” contest taking place from September 5 – September 21. Participants will have 10 days to submit a name they feel best represents Southeastern and its mascot followed by an on-line vote. Details on the contest will be announced on Sept. 5.

The winning name will be announced homecoming weekend (Oct. 4-5) with the new mascot leading the team on the field against Texas A&M-Commerce on Oct. 5.

Following is the complete schedule of events for September 5:

12:30 p.m. — Savage Storm Rally (Mascot Reveal) Glen D. Johnson Student Union

3 p.m. — Tailgate Alley opens (3rd & University)

4:30 p.m. – True Blue BBQ Cookoff (Tailgate Alley)

5:30 p.m. – Savage Storm Mascot Reveal (Tailgate Alley)

5:40 p.m. – The Walk (Paul Laird Field)

6 p.m. — Football vs. Southern Arkansas (Paul Laird Field)

Southeastern closed on Labor Day

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed on Monday, September 2, in observance of Labor Day. All classes and University operations will resume on Tuesday, September 3.

Southeastern Symphonic Choir to begin rehearsals Sept. 9

DURANT, Okla. — The Southeastern Symphonic Choir will begin rehearsals on Monday, September 9.

Hosted by the Department of Music on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, this group offers community members, and University students, faculty and staff the opportunity to come together to sing major choral works.  This choir is the featured performance group for the Candlelighting ceremony on campus, Southeastern’s oldest tradition, which will be held on Dec. 9.

This year, the Southeastern Symphonic Choir rehearses on Mondays from 6-8 p.m.  This choir is open to all with an interest in choral singing.  With the full use of lighting, organ, and brass orchestration, the concert should prove exciting to singers and audiences alike.

Singers are invited to attend rehearsals in the Fine Arts Building 116, (the Choral Rehearsal Hall).  If you would like more information, please call Dr. Stacy Weger, Director of Choral Activities, at 745-2222, or Sarah Carr, Symphonic Choir Manager, at 745- 2874.

Ornithology students travel to Arizona for field study

sciencegroup ParkDURANT, Okla. — Six undergraduate and three graduate students from Southeastern Oklahoma State University participated in Dr. Doug Wood’s Field Ornithology  (study of birds) class this summer in southeastern Arizona.

This 11-day field class provided students with the opportunity to expand on their knowledge and skills, learning more about avian communities, habitats, field techniques, and conservation efforts.

They also gained valuable experience in an area that employs a number of Southeastern graduates (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. D. A. Forest Service).

Southeastern’s Demetra Wilkerson named Brad Henry Scholar

Demi WilkersonDURANT, Okla. — Demetra Wilkerson of Southeastern Oklahoma State University is one of 10 students from Oklahoma’s regional universities to be designated as a Brad Henry International Scholar for the 2013-14 academic year. These students will spend a semester participating in an international study abroad program at Swansea University in Wales.

The international study program, which was established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in June 2008, provides a $10,000 stipend for students to participate in a semester-long study abroad program affiliated with Swansea. Academic credit for these programs will be awarded by Oklahoma regional universities. Students are nominated for the program by their institutions.

Wilkerson is a senior majoring in English and communication

and plans to pursue a master’s in English. Wilkerson has served as

president of the Student Government Association and as a member of the Honors Program, Student Senate, Alpha Chi and Lambda Pi Eta. She also worked as the editor-in-chief of the honors publication. Wilkerson has been on the president’s and dean’s honor rolls and is a Nigh Leadership Academy Scholar.

“Demi has demonstrated her leadership abilities over the past year as SGA president,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “She is an excellent choice for the Brad Henry Scholar Award and will use this opportunity to further her educational pursuits.’’

“Serving as a Brad Henry International Scholar gives students the opportunity to gain new experiences and a practical understanding of today’s global economy,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “We congratulate each of these students for this honor and recognize the academic achievements and leadership skills that will make them outstanding representatives of our colleges and universities.”

Wilkerson, who is from Durant, is the fifth student from Southeastern to be named a Brad Henry Scholar.

Freshman Convocation

DURANT, Okla. — Freshman Convocation was held Saturday afternoon in Montgomery Auditorium at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Following a short program, incoming freshmen and their parents enjoyed a cookout on the front lawn. Fall classes began Monday.

Convocation-1 Convocation Cookout

Classes begin August 19

DURANT, Okla. – Fall classes at Southeastern Oklahoma State University will begin on Monday, August 19.

Prior to that, on Saturday, August 17, Southeastern president Larry Minks will welcome students and their parents at Freshman Convocation. That event will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Montgomery  Auditorium (Morrison Hall).

Other key dates this fall include Parents, Family, and Friends Day on September 21, and Homecoming, October 4-5.