Southeastern News

Southeastern to celebrate Homecoming October 5-6-7

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2017 on October 5-7.

One notable change in the schedule this year is the traditional Saturday Homecoming parade is being moved to Thursday night, October 5, at 6:30 in downtown Durant.  That evening’s event will kick off the Homecoming festivities; following the parade there will be food trucks and a live band at Market Square presented by Durant Main Street for all Southeastern alumni and friends and the Durant community.

 

Traditional activities include the 31st annual Whang Bang Golf Tournament on Friday, October 6, at Chickasaw Pointe.  Registration opens at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start is scheduled for 9 a.m.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet recognizing Distinguished Alumni, Former Faculty and the Benefactor honoree is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni honorees are Joy Culbreath, Director of Education Special Projects for The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Charles McCall, Sr., Executive Vice President of AmeriState Bank in Atoka and President of Atoka State Bancorporation, Inc., and Mark Hughes, civil war historian/author.

This year’s Distinguished Former Faculty award honoree is Dr. Jerry Polson.

The Benefactor Award will be presented to Dr. James O. Young and the Young family.

        On Saturday, October 7, the traditional Coffee and Conversation with Southeastern Athletic legends is scheduled for 8 a.m. in the lobby of the Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium, and the Alumni Tailgate Party opens at 11 a.m. in Tailgate Alley across from Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern’s Savage Storm will kick off at 2 p.m. against Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the Homecoming football game.

Impressive crowd celebrates Homecoming at Southeastern

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, left, presents the Heritage Award to Dr. Don Sullivan, who accepted the award on behalf of his late father Coach Bloomer Sullivan and the family.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, left, presents the Heritage Award to Dr. Don Sullivan, who accepted the award on behalf of his late father Coach Bloomer Sullivan and the family.

DURANT, Okla. – An impressive number of alumni and friends returned to campus over the weekend as Southeastern Oklahoma State University celebrated Homecoming 2016.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet recognizing Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Former Faculty and the Heritage honoree was held Friday in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

Honored this year as  Distinguished Alumni were William Fahrendorf, Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer of Durant’s First United Bank; Lee Lipscomb, retired attorney, Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack; and Bill Groom, TV and film designer.

This year’s Distinguished Former Faculty Award recipients were Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty  Wintle, and the late Dr. James Wintle

The Heritage Award was presented posthumously to Hall of Fame coach BloomerSullivan, with his son  Dr. Don Sulllivan accepting the honor.

Among the special guests attending Friday’s event were Chancellor and former Southeastern president Glen D. Johnson and his wife Melinda.

On Saturday morning, the traditional Homecoming Parade was held in downtownDurant, followed by the Alumni Tailgate Party across from Paul Laird Field.

Crowned Homecoming Queen and King at Saturday’s football game were Kayla Castagnetta, a senior  biology/psychology from Hartshorne, Oklahoma, and

Kirk Sanders, a senior occupational safety and health major from Telephone, Texas.

On the playing field, the Southeastern Savage Storm defeated Southern Nazarene45-14, to run their record to 3-1.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, far right, joins the honorees Friday night at the Distinguished Awards Banquet. Left to right are William Fahrendorf, Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty Wintle, and Lee Lipscomb. Distinguished Alumni recipient Bill Groom could not attend the ceremony due to professional obligations.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, far right, joins the honorees Friday night at the Distinguished Awards Banquet. Left to right are William Fahrendorf, Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty Wintle, and Lee Lipscomb. Distinguished Alumni recipient Bill Groom could not attend the ceremony due to professional obligations.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage congratulates Homecoming Queen and King Kayla Castagnetta and Kirk Sanders.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage congratulates Homecoming Queen and King Kayla Castagnetta and Kirk Sanders.

Homecoming features full schedule of activities

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2016 on September 22-23-24.

Activities begin on Thursday, September 22, with Southeastern Night at the Museum featuring an alumni wine and cheese reception hosted by the board ofdirectors of the Three Valley Museum from 5-7 p.m.

Friday tees off with the 30th annual Whang Bang Alumni Golf Tournament at Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course. Registration opens at 8 a.m. and a shotgunstart is scheduled for 9 a.m.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet recognizing Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Former Faculty and the Heritage honoree is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni are William Fahrendorf, Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer of Durant’s First United Bank; Lee Lipscomb, retired attorney, Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack; and Bill Groom, TV and film designer.

This year’s Distinguished Former Faculty are Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty  Wintle, and the late Dr. James Wintle

The Heritage Award will be presented posthumously to Hall of Fame coach Bloomer Sullivan, with his son Don accepting the honor.

Saturday’s festivities will begin at 8 a.m. with Coffee & Conversation with Southeastern Athletic Legends, president Sean Burrage and athletics director Keith Baxter in Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium.

The Homecoming Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. in downtown Durant, and the Alumni Tailgate Party opens at 11 a.m. in Tailgate Alley across from Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern’s Savage Storm will kick off at 2 p.m. against Southern Nazarene’s Crimson Storm in the big Homecoming football game.

For a complete schedule of events, visit alumni.SE.edu or contact the Alumni Office at 580-745-2267.

Southeastern to honor three Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will honor three Distinguished Alumni during homecoming festivities on September 22-23-24.

This year’s honorees are William Fahrendorf, Bill Groom, and Lee Lipscomb. They will be recognized at the Southeastern Alumni Association’s Distinguished Awards Banquet on Friday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

In addition, all of the current and former Distinguished Alumni will be introduced in pre-game ceremonies on Saturday, September 24, as Southeastern takes on Southern Nazarene in a 2 p.m. kickoff at Paul Laird Field.

“This year’s group of honorees is truly exceptional,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage.  “They have demonstrated a high standard of excellence in their chosen fields, while serving as great ambassadors for Southeastern for many, many years. Their success also serves as an inspiration for our current students and the dreams they have.’’

William Fahrendorf 4x6William Fahrendorf serves as Executive Vice President/Chief Administration Officer of First United Bank.  In this role, he oversees the planning and directing of the bank’s staff and service functions; develops and oversees staff and service policies, objectives and initiatives; and monitors operational performances.

Fahrendorf’s banking career began in 1971, over 45 years ago, with Durant Bank and Trust Company, a one-location operation with $23 million inassets.  First United is now a $3.2 billion financial institution serving 30-plus communities in Oklahoma and Texas.

While working at Durant Bank and Trust and carrying a full college course load, Fahrendorf also served his country as a Staff Sergeant and Drill Instructorwith the 95th Division of the United States Army Reserve.  He is a 1976 graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Known for his quiet, low-key manner, Fahrendorf is also recognized for his local and state leadership in service to the governance of the Oklahoma Public Education System.  He wasappointed to the Durant School Board to serve the remainder of a term in 1989 and remained on the board until 2000.  He was also elected to the Oklahoma State School Board Association and served from 1994 until 2000.  In 1998, he served as the association’s President.

Along with his success in business and stewardship of Oklahoma’s public schools, Fahrendorf’s contributions to Southeastern Oklahoma State University are also significant.

He served on the Southeastern Foundation’s Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2010, and as chairman from 1997 until his retirement in 2010.  During his tenure, the assets of the Foundation more than quadrupled.

Fahrendorf, and his wife Pam, a retired Chair of Computer Science at SOSU, reside in Durant and have three daughters and four grandchildren. His family has established a fully-fundedendowed scholarship.

groom[3]Bill Groom has enjoyed a long career as a successful television and film designer.

Groom graduated from Southeastern in 1972 with a double major in art and theatre. He earned a Master’s in Fine Arts degree in Theater Design from Tulane University in 1974.

He was the recipient of a record four consecutive Emmys for his work on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.’’ Other recent TV credits include HBO’s “Vinyl,’’ and “When We Rise,” an ABC TV 7-part series about the history of the LGBTQ movement that will air next year.

Among Groom’s other credits is a 7-year stint as the art director of the popular TV comedy show, “Saturday Night Live’’ on NBC.

Since leaving SNL in 1984, he has worked on hundreds of TV shows and scores of movies,  including “Milk,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “A League Of Their Own” and “Preacher’s Wife.”

Prior to his career in television and film design, Groom taught in the Theater Department of State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Groom, originally from California, Missouri,  is married to the Rev. Dr. Jane Ann Looney Groom, also a Southeastern graduate. Their two sons both work in the entertainment industry. Brooklyn, New York, and a tiny hamlet in the Catskills are home to the Grooms.

Lipscomb-4x6Lee Lipscomb enjoyed a successful 42-year career with Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack in Los Angeles, a law firm he co-founded in 1974. He retired in 2014.

Lipscomb graduated from Durant High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Southeastern in 1961.

Four decades as a litigator in California found Lipscomb and his company in the thick of many interesting cases. In the early years, the firm primarily defended aviation insurance companies, but his ties to Lloyds of London Underwriters led to high profile cases involving entertainment law and motion picture litigation.

Lipscomb  handled the Lloyds’ claims of MGM arising from the death of actress Natalie Wood and was successful in forcing MGM to finish her last, nearly completed film, “Brainstorm.” He also worked on the case of Bette Davis, when the movie star walked off the set of her last film, “Wicked Stepmother.”

Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack is also well-known known as lead counsel in the Hinckley and Kettleman, California, water contamination cases against Pacific Gas & Electric Company.  This resulted in approximately $700 million recovered for 1,500 clients and is commonly referred to as the “Erin Brockovich” case.

During his summers in high school and college, Lipscomb  worked as a firefighter with the U.S Forest Service. This included a five-year stint as a parachute firefighter. He completed his military service with the U.S. Army Reserve in 1968.

After his firefighting career, Lipscomb obtained his Commercial, Multi-Engine instrument and instructor pilot ratings. He then started an independent aircraft insurance claims adjusting company and later incorporated Aero Loss Adjustors, Inc., which he operated for four years while attending the Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

Lipscomb enjoys retirement life with his family — wife Robin, two sons, a stepdaughter and two grandchildren. The Lipscombs currently reside in Jackson, Wyoming.

Southeastern to celebrate Homecoming September 23-24

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2016 on September 23-24.

Traditional activities include Whang Bang Golf Tournament at Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course on Friday, September 23.  Registration opens at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start is scheduled for 9 a.m.

The Distinguished Awards Banquet recognizing Distinguished Alumni, Former Faculty and the Heritage honoree is set for 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni are William Fahrendorf, Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer of Durant’s First United Bank; Lee Lipscomb, retired attorney, Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack; and Bill Groom, a TV and film designer.

This year’s Distinguished Former Faculty award honorees are Dr. Gordon Eggleton, Betty Wintle, and the late Dr. James Wintle.

The Heritage Award will be presented posthumously to Hall of Fame coach Bloomer Sullivan, with his son, Dr. Don Sullivan, accepting the honor.

On Saturday, September 24, the Homecoming Parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. in downtown Durant, and the Alumni Tailgate Party opens at 11 a.m. in Alumni Alley across from Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern’s Savage Storm will kick off at 2 p.m. against Southern Nazarene’s Crimson Storm in the big Homecoming football game.

For a complete schedule of events, visit alumni.SE.edu or contact the Alumni Office, 580-745-2875.

Southeastern to celebrate Homecoming Oct. 23-25

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2014 on October 23-24-25.

This year’s theme is “Destination Homecoming” and the three-day event should have something for everyone, including current students, alumni and friends.

Honored as Distinguished Alumni will be Dr. Jesse Arnold, Ms. Josephine Wildcat Bigler and Dr. David Whitlock.

 

Recognized as Distinguished Former Faculty will be Dr. Pat Dunham, Dr. Phil

Dunham and Dr. Robert Oliver.

Along with banquets, pep rallies, campus tours, the Whang Bang golf tournament, tailgate alley and the Homecoming football game, numerous reunions are scheduled. For information on reunions, check http://alumni.SE.edu.

The following schedule includes some of the many events scheduled for Homecoming weekend:

Thursday, October 23

SE Night at the Museum, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Three Valley Museum, 401 W. Main Street.

Friday, October 24

28th-annual Whang Bang Golf Tournament, Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for 9 a.m. Participants may register online at http://alumni.SE.edu. The Whang Bang has started a highly popular tradition that has legends from Southeastern’s storied athletics history serving as honorary starters. This year’s honorary starter is SE Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Beard.

Distinguished Awards Banquet, 5:30 p.m., Visual and Performing Arts Center. This event features introduction of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty.

True Blue Rally, 8 p.m., amphitheater.

Saturday, October 25

Coffee & Conversation with Southeastern Athletic Legends, 8 a.m. Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium. Former Southeastern athletes gather to reminisce. Hosted by Southeastern president Sean Burrage and Director of Athletics Keith Baxter.

Homecoming Parade, 10 a.m., downtown

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. Student tours will include campus and residence halls, plus a lunch ticket. Special Alumni tours will also be held. Register online at http://www.SE.edu/future-students/visit. Tours leave from the entrance to Paul Laird Field.

Pre-Game Ceremony, 1:50 p.m., Paul Laird Field. Introduction of Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty, past and present.

Kickoff: Southeastern vs. Northwestern, 2 p.m.

Discover Durant “A Market Fair,” Market Square, downtown, 6 p.m.

Southeastern Homecoming scheduled for Oct. 23-24-25

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate Homecoming 2014 on October 23-24-25.

This year’s theme is “Destination Homecoming” and the three-day event will offer something for everyone, including current students, alumni and friends.

Honored as 2014 Distinguished Alumni will be Dr. Jesse Arnold, Ms. Josephine Wildcat Bigler, and Dr. David Whitlock.

Recognized as 2014 Distinguished Former Faculty will be Dr. Pat Dunham, Dr. Phil Dunham, and Dr. Robert Oliver.

Along with banquets, pep rallies, parade, campus tours, the Whang Bang golf tournament, tailgate alley and the Homecoming football game, numerous reunions are scheduled. For information on reunions, check http://alumni.SE.edu.

The following schedule includes some of the many events scheduled for Homecoming:

Thursday, October 23

SE Night at the Museum, 5:30-7 p.m., Three Valley Museum, 401 W. Main Street. Enjoy an evening full of surprises as the Durant Historical Society hosts this popular event. Refreshments will be provided.

Friday, October 24

28th-annual Whang Bang Golf Tournament, Chickasaw Pointe Golf Course. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and a shotgun start is set for 9 a.m. Participants may register online at http://alumni.SE.edu. 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 2014 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty award recipients.

True Blue Rally, 8 p.m., amphitheater.

Saturday, October 25

Coffee and Conversation with Southeastern Athletic Legends, 8 a.m., Bloomer Sullivan Gymnasium. Former Southeastern athletes gather to reminisce. Hosted by Southeastern president Sean Burrage 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 http://www.SEedu/future-students/visit. Tours leave from the entrance to Paul Laird Field.

Southeastern Marching Band Enters, 1:45 p.m., Paul Laird Field.

Pre-Game Ceremony, 1:50 p.m., Paul Laird Field. Introduction of Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty

Kickoff: Southeastern vs. Northwestern, 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.

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 to honor three Distinguished Alumni

Gail Gorski

Steve Robinson

Towana Spivey

DURANT, Okla. — Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Alumni Association will honor three individuals with the Distinguished Alumni Award during Homecoming festivities in September.

An awards banquet will formally honor Gail Gorski (’74), Steve Robinson (’86), and Towana Spivey (’68) at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 28, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

Gail Gorski was a sophomore in high school when her dad, who worked for General Electric, was transferred from Illinois to Kentucky. Instead of ruining her young life, it was the beginning of a career filled with firsts.

After one airplane trip with a friend, she started flying as a hobby at Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 1968.

She was torn between horses and planes. At six feet, Gail was too tall to be a jockey and her dad, after paying for lessons that led to her private pilot’s license, strongly suggested she consider college and her career.

The airlines required a degree in aviation. Purdue, Parks College and Southeastern were the only schools in the nation at that time (1969) offering an aviation degree. Southeastern won the race and Gorski had to sell her horses to pay for her flying.

Gorski attended Southeastern from 1970-74, with her junior year spent at the University of Louisville when she was chosen Kentucky Derby Queen. She spent most of that year traveling.

Gorski was hired in 1975 as the first female VIP pilot for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and was based in Washington, D.C. The following year, she became the first FAA Flight Inspection Pilot, based in Atlanta, Georgia.

January 8, 1978, was a red-letter day as she was hired by United Airlines as its first female pilot and based in San Francisco. At that time, United was the largest airline in the free world.

Today, Gorski flies as Captain on the Boeing 747-400 to China four days a week. Her routes include Sydney, Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, Saigon, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, London and Frankfurt.

Gorski’s degree in aviation and business led to national and international success and recognition as a groundbreaking female flyer.

Steve Robinson is a home-grown success story. Growing up in Bokchito, Oklahoma, he started working at the age of nine in his father’s grocery store.

Following his graduation from Bokchito High School in 1981, he has been on a one-way ride to the top. His experience in business started in high school when he managed his father’s grocery store and still found time to show Limousin cattle and serve as the State Vice President of the Oklahoma Future Farmers of America.

Robinson earned a double major in Accounting and Economics in 1986 and it has truly served him well. After graduating from college he moved to Maryland with $100 in his pocket and just naïve enough to think that anything was possible. He went to work for a company as an accountant but could not get the entrepreneurial bug out of his system. In 1989, he teamed up with his best friend to purchase a small residential cleaning company based in Maryland, which serviced approximately 250 customers.

In 1996, they decided to take The Cleaning Authority nationwide and started franchising. At present they have 180 franchisees in 37 U.S. states as well as Canada. The company services 76,000 households and employs 4,500 people with total top-line revenues of more $175 million dollars a year.

Today, Robinson lives in Highland, Maryland, with his wife and three daughters and is the Chief Executive Officer of The Cleaning Authority, which was recognized among the “Top 100 Fastest Growing Franchises” by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2003. In 2006, Franchise Business Review listed the company in the “Top 50 in Franchise Satisfaction.”

He has built a mail center and located it on the family farm in Bokchito. The mail center processes and mails more than 50 million pieces of direct mail per year and provides employment for 10 people within the Bokchito community.

Robinson is also the owner of Bushy Park Farms, which is nationally recognized as one of the top producers of show cattle and quarter horses in the country with ranches in Maryland, South Dakota and North Texas.

Steve and wife Jeanne have been tireless supporters of Share Our Strength, a hunger relief agency where his wife worked for 10 years. He has supported the Oklahoma State FFA with financial gifts and has returned to Oklahoma to speak at their State FFA Convention. They have also set up a foundation called “Because it’s You,” to continue their passion of helping others.

Towana Spivey was born and raised in Madill, Oklahoma. He now resides in Duncan, Oklahoma.

After graduation from Madill High School, he earned his bachelor’s degree in History/Natural Science at Southeastern. His graduate studies in Anthropology (archeology) and Museum Studies were at the University of Oklahoma in 1969-71. He did additional graduate work in Conservation of Historic Properties at the University of Denver in 1975.

Spivey was on the staff of the Oklahoma Archeological Survey (OAS) at OU in 1969-72. He conducted some of the first forensic archeology in Oklahoma while working for Dr. Clyde Snow of the Federal Aviation Administration Laboratories in Oklahoma City. The project involved multiple murders near Skiatook, Oklahoma, pertaining to organized crime.

This work led to new training by the OAS for the Oklahoma State Crime Bureau in the field recovery of crime scene evidence.

Spivey has been recognized as a preeminent historian of southwest Oklahoma. He was Historic Archeologist for a joint project of OAS and the Oklahoma Historical Society that led to a fully restored South Barracks at Fort Washita Historic Site.

Spivey spent his professional career preserving and interpreting the prehistory/history of the Trans-Mississippi West with particular interest in the Oklahoma area.

He recently retired after 30 years of dedicated service to Fort Sill and the United States Army. He served as curator and director of the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, a model for several Army Museum programs across the nation.

As a highly respected historian of Indian and military history, Spivey worked to educate the Native American people on the importance of preserving their own materials.

He was inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame in May 2012.

Distinguished Alumni, Former Faculty to be honored at Homecoming September 28-29

Distinguished Alumni, Former Faculty to be honored at Homecoming September 28-29

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will honor the 2012 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Former Faculty, along with presenting the Benefactor and Heritage Awards, during Homecoming on September 28-29.

The Distinguished Alumni are Captain Gail Gorski (’74), Mr. Stephen Robinson (’86), and Mr. Towana Spivey (’68).

Distinguished Former Faculty award recipients are Dr. Walter Britt, Dr. Elbert Hill, and Dr. Pat Robbins (’60).

The Benefactor Award will be presented posthumously to Mr. Albert H. Brigance (’55) and the Heritage Award will be presented posthumously to Dr. Bernice Crockett (’34).

The 2012 honorees will be recognized at a dinner scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, September 28, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.

“Faithful to the Gold and Blue” is the theme of this year’s festivities.

For more information, visit alumni.SE.edu or call 580-745-2875.