Southeastern News

Southeastern begins fall classes on Monday

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will begin fall classes on Monday with officials projecting a continued upward trend in enrollment.

A number of events are scheduled this week in preparation for Monday, including a general Faculty-Staff meeting with president Sean Burrage; a Faculty Symposium; New Faculty orientation; Freshman Convocation; and orientation sessions for students.

James Dry, a member of The Choctaw Nation Tribal Council, addresses students at Wednesday’s Camp Chahta, an orientation program for Choctaw freshmen at Southeastern.

James Dry, a member of The Choctaw Nation Tribal Council, addresses students at Wednesday’s Camp Chahta, an orientation program for Choctaw freshmen at Southeastern.

President Sean Burrage offers remarks at the Faculty-Staff meeting Thursday.

President Sean Burrage offers remarks at the Faculty-Staff meeting Thursday.

Official summons to President’s Office results in happy ending for Southeastern students

Luke Godsey and Sheridan Shewbirt are all smiles after visiting with James Dry, left, and Southeastern president Sean Burrage.

Luke Godsey and Sheridan Shewbirt are all smiles after visiting with James Dry, left, and Southeastern president Sean Burrage.

DURANT, Okla. – Most college students don’t exactly look forward to being summoned to the President’s Office. It no doubt brings back childhood memories of being sent to the Principal’s Office.

Sheridan Shewbirt and her fiancé Luke Godsey were definitely feeling that way Friday morning when they were asked to report to the office of Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage.

Sheridan, a junior from Collinsville, Texas, was relaxing at her residence Friday after an early morning class, when she received a phone call requesting her presence in the Administration Building. Meanwhile, Luke, who is a senior from Collinsville, was in a Communication class taking notes from assistant professor Randy Clark. Just as the class ended at 10:50, he, too, was notified that he needed to go to the President’s Conference Room, immediately.

There, waiting anxiously by herself was Sheridan, wondering what in the world was going on.

“Before Luke walked in, I had texted him and told him that I had been told to go to the President’s Office,’’ Sheridan said. “He texted back and said, ‘ What did you do?’ And I texted back, ‘Well, I don’t know. ‘ ‘’

About that time, Luke arrived in the conference room and Sheridan was “really nervous and shaking. I just couldn’t piece together what was going on, and I thought something was really wrong.’’

Shortly thereafter, President Burrage burst into the room and in a serious tone, said, “hey guys, there’s someone here who wants to ask you some questions.’’ With that, the room went quiet.

Entering the room next was James Dry, and the mood turned from somber to lighthearted relief.

“I felt 100 times better when I saw James’ face,’’ Sheridan admitted.

It seems that James and his wife Carie had met Sheridan and Luke by chance recently when seated next to them at a local restaurant. A friendly and casual conversation ensued between the two couples, with James and Carie noting that they were proud Southeastern graduates. Without their knowledge, James picked up the dinner check for Sheridan and Luke.

“When we first sat down at the restaurant, we noticed that one of them had on a Southeastern sweatshirt and we just struck up a conversation,’’ James said. “It was obvious that they were really good kids. They were proud of the fact that they are going to graduate from Southeastern, and you could just tell that they are great representatives of our University.’’

Ironically, just a week later, the two couples bumped into one another at another restaurant, with this time Sheridan and Luke picking up the check.

James and Carie were so impressed with the young couple that James decided to contact President Burrage and do something special; hence, the Friday morning summons to the Office of the President.

The happy ending to all of this Friday resulted in James (Guest Services Director at Choctaw Casino Resort) presenting the couple four front row tickets to see country singer Easton Corbin in concert at Choctaw. Included with the gift was a handwritten note with an inspirational quote by John Wooden.

“We just want to thank James and Carie for their kind generosity,’’ Sheridan said afterwards, breathing a deep sigh of relief. “It is so heartwarming to know that there are people like this in our community. It is really special.’’

To top it all off, President Burrage thanked Sheridan and Luke for being such wonderful student representatives of Southeastern in the community.