Southeastern News

Honor graduates recognized at Fall Commencement

Commencement speaker Gary Sherrer offers advice to the graduating class.

Commencement speaker Gary Sherrer offers advice to the graduating class.

DURANT, Okla. – Forty honor graduates were recognized Saturday during Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Southeastern alumnus Gary Sherrer (’73), a former state representative who served in cabinet positions under three governors, was the commencement speaker. Sherrer currently serves as assistant vice president for external relations in

Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Regent Susan Winchester (Chair) of the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents offered welcoming remarks.

Following are the honor graduates, listed by permanent hometown (Oklahoma, unless otherwise indicated):

Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)

Jessica Leann Anderson, Indianola; Elizabeth Morgan Blackburn, Ringling; Jeannette K. Brown, Urbana, Illinois; Brittni Fawn Echols, Durant; Matthew Kent Mobley, Chandler; Zachary Taylor Robinson, Cartwright; Dana Marie Schumacher, Era, Texas.

Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)

James Clifton Casteel II, Lone Grove; Philip Joel Franks, Durant; Jett Ellis Gardner, Antlers; Kristi Nicole Heath, Pottsboro, Texas; Alton Lee Jones, McAlester; Apryl Nicole Mock, Boswell; Jessica Elizabeth Neal, Ada; Crystal Cheyenne Nichols, Denison, Texas; Rebecca Dawn Rathfon, Sherman, Texas; Sarah Susanne Roberts, Lone Grove; Tim Rulla, Sherman, Texas; Jeffery Ryan Stephens, Pottsboro, Texas; Scott Ryan Sundstrom, Friendswood, Texas; Carey Denise Wade, Sherman, Texas.

Cum Laude (with honors)

President Sean Burrage congratulates a graduate

President Sean Burrage congratulates a graduate.

Chance Walker Baker, Hugo; MD Nazrul Islam Bhuiyan, Oklahoma City; Damen Gregory Burris, Edmond; Kevin Camero Caras, Oklahoma City; Dustin W. Fleming,

Dumas, Texas; Jackie Vonn Gill, Ardmore; Jeremy Alan Gray, Tuttle; Melissa Marie Haworth-Cox, Pottsboro, Texas; Jordan Faith Hedrick, Cameron; Patricia Gayle Hill, Choctaw; Sarah Michelle Knight, Coalgate; Jacob Edward Luellen, Coalgate; Hope Renee McClendon-Willis, Marietta; Shayna Briane Milam, Comanche; Hilton Chance Phillips, Idabel; Anthony Blake Stanley, Moore; Kalleigh Carol Tilley, Durant; Robin Nicole Harris Tillman, Ardmore; Justin Mark Wallace, Durant.

Former Cabinet member Gary Sherrer to address graduates at Dec. 13 Fall Commencement

Gary SherrerDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Fall Commencement will be held Saturday, Dec. 13. One ceremony for all graduates will begin at 10 a.m. in Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Southeastern alumnus Gary Sherrer (’73), a former state representative and who served in cabinet positions under three governors, will be the commencement speaker.

Sherrer currently serves as assistant vice president for external relations in

Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He also serves on the board of directors at Rural Enterprises of Oklahoma, Inc.

Sherrer is a co-founder of the First Trinity Financial, an Oklahoma company that has investors in all 77 counties in the state. First Trinity, which was started in 2004, has grown in assets to more than $200 million and now has branched out into 24 other states.

“It’s a real honor to have Gary Sherrer as our commencement speaker,’’ said Southeastern president Sean Burrage. “He has dedicated much of his life to public service, and in the process, made Oklahoma a better place for all of us. We are also very proud of the fact that he is a Southeastern graduate.’’

Sherrer served as a State Representative from 1981-89, and then was named Oklahoma’s first Secretary of Agriculture by Gov. David Walters. He later served as Secretary of the Environment under Gov. Frank Keating from 1995-97, and Gov. Mary Fallin, 2011-13.

The Antlers High School graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in Education at Southeastern, with a major in speech and a minor in journalism. He is also a U.S. Army veteran and was a combat medic in Vietnam.

Southeastern celebrates Founders’ Day

Dr. Davis Norris

Dr. David Norris, standing, an historian and Professor Emeritus, offers remarks about the history of Southeastern during Tuesday’s Founders’ Day celebration at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Also on the program were, left to right, Durant mayor Jerry Tomlinson, Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment Gary Sherrer, Southeastern Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Douglas McMillan, and Southeastern Assistant Professor Vicki Hudson.

DURANT, Okla. – More than 100 people turned out in historic Montgomery Auditorium Tuesday afternoon as Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the community celebrated Founders’ Day.

Dr. Stacy Weger and the Southeastern Chorale opened and closed the event  with “Hymn To The Gold And Blue’’ and the “Alma Mater.’’ Dr. David Norris, Historian and Professor Emeritus, discussed the founding of Southeastern Normal School.

Dr. Douglas McMillan, Vice President for Academic Affairs, spoke to the vision and future of Southeastern, filling in for president Larry Minks, who was ill.

Durant mayor Jerry Tomlinson read a Proclamation from the City of Durant and spoke of partnership with Southeastern over the years.

Gary Sherrer, Secretary of Environment for the State of Oklahoma and nephew of Durant City Councilman and restaurant owner Leon Sherrer, recalled his days as a student at Southeastern before delivering a Commendation from the Governor’s Office.

Founders Day

Mr. Gary Sherrer, Secretary of the Environment, speaks during Tuesday’s event. He later presented a Commendation from the Governor.

Vicki Hudson, Chair and Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, served as MC of the event.

The event then moved to the Glen D. Johnson Student Union Loft for the Peach Cook-Off contest. Judges were Kenneth Furtado, chef of Sodexo, Southeastern Homecoming Queen Amanda Scott and Leon Sherrer, Life Member of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.

There were two categories to be judged: Pies and Jams/Jellies.

Billie Robinson’s Easy Skillet Peach Pie claimed the prize in category one. Kristie Luke’s Peaches and Cream Cobbler was second and Teresa Owens’ Quick & Dirty Peach Cobbler finished third.

Janet Scribner’s entry, Nana’s Peach Jelly, took the honors in category two.

Janna Cottingame’s Sissy’s Peach Jam came in second with Dr. Kitty Campbell’s Peach Honey finishing third.

Serving on the Founders’ Day committee were Dyanna Bowen, Cathy Conway, Ellen Hendrix, Scott Hensley, Vicki Hudson, Stephanie Makke, Charles Matthews, Ross Walkup, Susan Webb, Stacy Weger, and Sadie Woodruff.

Southeastern graduate named Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment

Southeastern graduate named Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment

Press Release Date: 1-17-2011

DURANT, Okla. – Gary Sherrer, a 1973 graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, has been named secretary of the environment by Okla. Gov. Mary Fallin.

Sherrer currently serves as assistant vice president for external relations at Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. He will remain employed by the university.

A native of Paris, Texas, Sherrer graduated from Antlers High School. He received his Education degree at Southeastern, majoring in speech with a minor in journalism.

Sherrer served as environmental secretary under former Gov. Frank Keating and was appointed the state’s first secretary of agriculture by former Gov. David Walters.

He also served in the state House of Representatives from 1981 until 1988 as a Democrat from Snow, in southeastern Oklahoma.

Sherrer, 62, also serves on the board of directors of Rural Enterprises Inc. He previously served as chief administrative officer and assistant CEO for KAMO, a power generation and transmission firm in Vinita. He is one of the founders of Tulsa-based First Trinity Life Insurance Co.

He volunteered for military service and served as a combat medic during the Vietnam War.