Southeastern News

OBU recognizes Dr. Mary Ann Craige with Alumni Achievement Award

(Dr. Mary Ann Craige, a name synonymous with music education, was recently honored by Oklahoma Baptist University with its Alumni Achievement Award. Earlier this year, Dr. Craige retired from Southeastern Oklahoma State University after a highly-distinguished 50-year career as Professor of Music. The article below, originally published in the OBU Magazine, is reprinted with permission and courtesy of OBU).

 

An Example Worth Following 

 

OBU president David Whitlock presents the Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Mary Ann Craige.

OBU president David Whitlock presents the Alumni Achievement Award to Dr. Mary Ann Craige.

Colleagues of Dr. Mary Ann Craige, ’62, say she is a consummate music educator whose attention to music excellence, professionalism and sweet demeanor make her a role model for all educators.

A professor of music at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Craige credits her personal and professional success to a God-given passion for music and a deep desire to serve the Lord with her musical gifts.

“Music has always been a major part of my life,” Craige explained. “I just did it. It’s where I felt comfortable. It’s where I belonged. Piano, choir, church music, from a very early age, I did it all. Then, when I was fourteen, I sensed God’s call on my life to serve Him, not necessarily vocationally, but in the area of church music, so I surrendered.”

Encouraged by the enthusiastic support of her family and opportunities for service provided by her home church, First Baptist Church of Durant, she wasted no time and began pursuing that call immediately.

“I started playing in church when I was just 14,” she said. “Piano, organ, whatever was needed. I directed children’s choirs. I even served as interim music minister for a while. Whatever there was to do in the church related to music, I did it because I loved music and I loved the church.”

When the time came for Craige to go away to college, choosing a school was easy.

“I chose OBU for the positive Christian atmosphere,” she explained. “Having been raised in a Christian home and in the local church, I felt like it was the natural next step to take.”

Craige’s undergraduate experience at OBU far surpassed her expectations.

“It was wonderful! I just loved it. I got a fabulous education, and the staff was so supportive. They made us feel comfortable and safe.”

Although she found the entire OBU faculty to be “very sweet and helpful,” a handful of those individuals made a particularly profound impression on her.

“Dean Warren Angell was such a talented individual,” she said. “He influenced all of us by example. He could play the organ, piano, sing, direct, compose. It was amazing! It made all of us want to try harder, and even though he was so talented, he made himself available and took the time to help those of us who were just learning.”

“Dr. Strickland was a fantastic Bible teacher,” she continued. “Her knowledge was extensive, but the way she presented it was even more impressive. I don’t know how she did it, but she made the Bible come alive for us. She made it funny, if you can imagine that! It’s hard to explain, but she was a true gift to those of us who were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to learn from her.”

“Then Dr. John Wesley Raley, well, he was just a wonderful man!” she said. “He knew, loved, and spoke to everyone on campus, and his wife Helen was just as warm and kind. She had a photographic memory and would give herself six weeks each year to memorize every freshman’s name. Once she knew your name, she never forgot it or where you lived. I remember that she and Dr. Raley both came to my senior recital. They did that kind of thing for everybody. They truly cared.”

Following her graduation from OBU, Craige earned both a Master of Music and Ph.D. in College Teaching and Piano Performance from University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Even as she furthered her education, she continued to serve in the local church, playing piano and organ at First Baptist Church of Denton during her time away from home.

In 1966, she accepted an offer to teach at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where she recently celebrated 50 years of service to her students. It was at Southeastern that she met her husband Danny, who was a dentist, 30-year Navy veteran, pilot and flight instructor. The couple became active members of Craige’s home church, First Baptist Church of Durant, and she resumed her position as church organist, one she still holds 40 years later.

A gifted teacher and mentor, Dr. Craige has had a profound influence on the lives of the Southeastern students with whom she has worked. Many of her students have gone on to pursue and obtain graduate degrees in music and/or perform nationally and internationally for known music artists and teachers on a regular basis. She is thankful for OBU professors who taught her, by example, how to invest in the next generation.

“I’ve tried to care for my students the way that my professors at OBU cared for me,” Craige said. “I make sure that they get what they need when and how they need it so they can succeed.”

Craige’s investment in her professional community has been significant as well, and her accomplishments have been many. A member of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity, she served as both chair of the Music Teachers’ National Association composition contest and district chair of the Oklahoma Federation of Music Clubs composition contest for 35 years. In 2014, she was presented with the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2016, the university named her Professor Emeritus of Music.

In 1968, she was asked to put together a show choir for Southeastern. Under her leadership, the Chorvettes were chosen for a month-long USO tour to the Caribbean and selected as the featured collegiate show choir at the Music Festival in Sydney, Australia. They performed at four international Kiwanis conventions and made four international trips, including an exciting two-week trip to France, Belgium and Holland. In 1992, the governor proclaimed the Chorvettes “the Official Goodwill Ambassadors of the State of Oklahoma.”

“Although music is my passion and teaching is my delight, I think that having a part in broadening the educational experiences of the Chorvettes lingers with me as my greatest accomplishment,” she said. “Home stays, visits to international universities and meetings with government officials gave these students a new understanding of cultures. What they learned in history and humanities classes actually came to life for them.”

Inspired by her husband, Craige recently obtained her private pilot’s license and has plans to pursue more certificates in the field of aviation, including her commercial license and training in instruments. She is excited about the opportunities for volunteerism that her continued learning could provide. “I want to see how much further I can go!”

Craige is equally optimistic about the future of her alma mater and the students that currently attend.

“I’ve known David Whitlock for a long time, and I believe he is an OBU president equal to the one that I had,” she said. “It’ll be exciting to see what happens under his leadership. Sometimes, I look online and see all of the special traditions they observe on campus now. Chapel, candlelight vigils, fellowships, it’s all wonderful. OBU students shared a bond and felt a kinship back in my day without all of these things. I can only imagine the community that is being built among students now that they exist. It’s an exciting time to be a Bison!”

Retirees honored at Faculty-Staff event

The retirees joined Southeastern president Sean Burrage for a pre-event photo.

The retirees joined Southeastern president Sean Burrage for a pre-event photo.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s annual Faculty-Staff Recognition event was held Monday afternoon in Montgomery Auditorium.

The event honors retirees and employees for years of service. Other awards are presented by the Faculty Senate and Staff Association.

The list of 33 retirees includes a 50-year employee in Dr. Mary Ann Craige, professor in the department of music and noted performer and teacher of piano.

The retirees have a combined total of 734 years of service to Southeastern and the community.

Also retiring are four members of the University’s executive team and a dean:      Sharon Robinson, vice president for student affairs, 30 years of service; Ross Walkup, vice president for business affairs, 28 years: Dr. Douglas McMillan, vice president for academic affairs, 26 years; Dr. Claire Stubblefield, special assistant to the president, director/office of equity, diversity and compliance, 23 years; and Dr. Lucretia Scoufos, executive dean, academic affairs, 14 years.

Vicki Hudson was the recipient of The Heart of Southeastern Award.

Vicki Hudson was the recipient of The Heart of Southeastern Award.

This year’s  “Heart of  Southeastern Award’’  was presented to Vicki Hudson, who is retiring after 46 years of service to the University. This award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond the expectations and requirements in their job at Southeastern.

         Following is the list of retirees, listed by years of service:

3 Years

Tammy Crow, instructor, behavioral sciences, McCurtain County campus

8 Years

Dr. Dennis Brewster, associate professor, behavioral sciences

9 Years

LeAnn Steadman, custodian

10 Years

Dr. Mary Ann Craige has served the University for 50 years.

Dr. Mary Ann Craige has served the University for 50 years.

Michael Arnold, general maintenance, physical plant

Rachel Seach, librarian, McCurtain County campus

12 Years

Deborah Harper, business services assistant, business office

14 Years

Dr. William Mawer, professor, behavorial sciences

Dr. Lucretia Scoufos, executive dean, academic affairs

15 Years

David Berghauser, motor pool assistant, campus police and safety

17 Years

Dr. Debra Haley, associate professor, management and marketing

Dr. Jeremy Blackwood was named Professor of the Year by the Faculty Senate.

Dr. Jeremy Blackwood was named Professor of the Year by the Faculty Senate.

18 Years

Dr. Paula Allen, professor, English, humanities and languages

Betty Clay, instructor, chemistry, computers and physical sciences

Paula Matthews, custodian team leader, custodial services

20 Years

Mike Morris, assistant professor, chemistry, computers and physical sciences

Dr. Richard Pearlstein, professor, social sciences

22 Years

Dr. Lisa Coleman, professor, director of honors program, English, humanities and languages

Kim McGehee, instructor, English, humanities and languages

Sharon Morrison, associate professor, director, library

Dr. Kelly D’Arcy received The Spirit of Southeastern Award and the Staff Association Administrative/Professional Award.

Dr. Kelly D’Arcy received The Spirit of Southeastern Award and the Staff Association Administrative/Professional Award.

23 Years

Dr. Claire Stubblefield, special assistant to the president, director/office of equity, diversity and compliance (AAO and Title IX coordinator)

25 Years

Dr. Toni Stiefer, professor, educational instruction and leadership

26 Years

Dr. Douglas McMillan, vice president for academic affairs

         27 Years

Dennis Miles, assistant professor, technical access and public services, library

28 Years

Kenneth (Dale) Vanderburg, locksmith/machinist/welder, physical plant

Ross Walkup, vice president, business affairs

29 Years

Tammy Willis, administrative assistant for intercollegiate athletics

30 Years

Sharon Robinson, vice president, student affairs

31 Years

Eddie Harbin, director, physical plant

Nevyle (Buddy) Pierce, assistant professor, mathematics

32 Years

Dr. James Britton, professor, chemistry, computers and physical sciences

40 Years

Carol Coats, director, business office

46 Years

Vicki Hudson, assistant professor, chair/department of health, physical education and recreation

50 Years

Dr. Mary Ann Craige, professor, department of music

Following is the list of award recipients:

Faculty Senate Awards

Excellence in Teaching

Arts, Dr. Alistair Maeer

Business, Dr. Kitty Campbell

Education & Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Blythe Duell

Sciences, Dr. Layne Heitz

Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Outstanding Research and Scholarly Activity

Arts, Dr. Randy Prus

Business, Dr. Martin Bressler

Education & Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Blythe Duell

Sciences, Dr. Karl Frinkle

Faculty Senate Recognition Award for Meritorious Service to the University and/or Profession

Arts, Dr. Riley Coker

Business, Dr. Martin Bressler

Education & Behavioral Sciences, Dr. William Fridley

Sciences, Dr. Christopher Moretti

Faculty Senate Recognition for Adjunct Professor of the Year,

Carolyn Fridley

Faculty Senate Recognition for Librarian of the Year,

Sharon Morrison

Faculty Senate Recognition for Professor of the Year,

Dr. Jeremy Blackwood

Staff Association Awards

Administrative/Professional, Dr. Kelly D’Arcy, director of residence life

Secretarial/Clerical, Sue Haywood, coordinator, special events

Service/Technical, Mark Pierce, physical plant

Spirit of Southeastern Award

Dr. Kelly D’Arcy

Two-piano recital set for Oct. 18 at Southeastern

Two-piano recital set for Oct. 18 at Southeastern

Press Release Date: 10-11-2011

Mary Ann Craige

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will present a Department of Music Faculty Recital at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, in the Fine Arts Recital Hall.

Zweiklavierabend, a two-piano recital, will feature Drs. Mary Ann Craige and Robert McFadden.

The recital is free and open to the public.

The program consists of Prelude and Gigue by D. Zipoli, Toccata in the Dorian Mode by J.S. Bach, Grand Duo, Op. 140 by Franz Schubert and Capriccio (d’apres le Bal Masque) by Francis Poulenc.

Craige has taught Applied and Class Piano at Southeastern since 1966. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas. She serves as coordinator of the Southeastern keyboard area, teaching private and class piano, as well as accompanying various ensembles. She is active as a collaborative pianist, lecturer and adjudicator. She has traveled and performed extensively in the United States, Europe and New Zealand.

Mary Ann Craige

McFadden received his Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance degree from the University of Kansas. He joined the Southeastern faculty in 1984. He has taught private piano, undergraduate music history, music literature and appreciation, and directed readings in music history. He accompanies the Southeastern Chorale, Opera Theatre and vocal recitalists. He has performed nationally and internationally and in 2000 adjudicated the Second Chinese Composers Competition in Hong King.

University’s 90th annual Candlelighting scheduled for Dec.

University’s 90th annual Candlelighting scheduled for Dec.

Press Release Date: 11-17-2011

Candlelighting

Candlelighting will be held on Dec. 5 in Montgomery Auditorium.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will celebrate the holiday season with the community by hosting the 90th annual Candlelighting ceremony and concert on Dec. 5.

The festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. in Montgomery Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.

Candlelighting is the oldest tradition at Southeastern, with its origins dating back to Dec. 18, 1921.

Featuring the Southeastern Symphonic Choir, under the direction of Dr. Stacy Weger, this event offers community members, university students, faculty and staff, the opportunity to come together to begin the celebration of the Christmas season.

Titled “A Christmas Tapestry,” the concert will feature a wide variety of sacred and secular music for the season. Music will range from Randol Bass ‘Gloria, originally written for the Boston Pops Christmas, to the Christmas music of Irving Berlin. With the full use of lighting, organ, and brass orchestration, the concert should prove exciting to singers and audience alike.

The Symphonic Choir will be joined by the Southeastern Brass Ensemble and members of the Southeastern Jazz Ensemble, Brian Walker, conductor; members of the Percussion Ensemble, Dr. Marc White, conductor;, and Dr. Mary Ann Craige, organist.

Candlelighting is supported by the Southeastern Cultural and Scholastic Lectureship Fund and the Department of Music.

For more information, call the Department of Music at 580-745-2088.

University Singers to present concert May 1

University Singers to present concert May 1

Press Release Date: 4-26-2011

DURANT, Okla. – The University Singers will present a spring concert on Sunday, May 1 at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

While serious choral literature is always performed by this ensemble, University Singers includes lighter and more current music in its programming. This ensemble is open to all singers on the Southeastern campus. The music for this spring concert is a mix of sacred and secular music.

Jeremy Blackwood, Director of University Singers, said: “This is an ensemble that is made up of both music majors and non-music majors. These individuals participate because of their enjoyment in singing. Of our repertoire this semester, some of our favorites that we have explored include Ritmo by Dan Davison, Three Japanese Poems by Ruth Morris Gray, The May Night (Die Mainacht) by Johannes Brahms, and Shouts of Joy by Julie Gardner Bray.”

Dr. Robert McFadden and Dr. Mary Ann Craige, Professors of Piano at Southeastern, will serve as accompanists for this concert. Cindy Lin will serve as flutist.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information please contact the Department of Music at 580-745-2088.

University Singers set concert for Nov. 15

University Singers set concert for Nov. 15

Press Release Date: 10-31-2011

DURANT, Okla. – The University Singers of Southeastern Oklahoma State University will present a Fall Concert on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Recital Hall. This concert is free and open to the public.

Jeremy Blackwood, Director of University Singers, said: “Our programming for this concert will feature a mix of sacred and secular repertoire. Since this is an ensemble that is made up of both music majors and non-music majors, I try to include varying styles of music.”

Repertoire includes Come, Come Ye Sons of Art by Henri Purcell, So ben mi ch’a bon tempo by Orazio Vecchi, O God of Love, O King of Peace by Dale Grotenhuis, selections from the Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer and more.

Students performing include Kevin Anastasio, Lone Grove, OK; Brittney Bailey, McAlester, OK; Jordan Brown, Valley View, TX; Madelyn Buck, Kingston, OK; Jessica Carey, Marietta, OK; Jessica Carlon, Lexington, OK; Victoria Cook, Durant, OK; Trevor Foster, McAlester, OK; Micah Glass, Bonham, TX; Aaron Gordon, Cedar Hill, TX; Sierra Haney, Durant, OK; Melissa Haworth-Cox, Pottsboro, TX; Jed Hensley, Denison, TX; Alaina Highfill, Durant, OK; Domanick Hubbard, Gainesville, TX; Keiunta Jones, Paris, TX; Jeremiah Light, Lone Grove, OK; Kerrie Lowry, Durant, OK; Kristen Morgan, Mead, OK; Brandon Offield, Ardmore, OK; Jason Oss, Mead, OK; Slader Pair, Durant, OK; Jennifer Roberts, Antlers, OK; Mindamora Rocha, Gainesville, TX; and Kristal Wharry, Idabel, OK.

Drs. Mary Ann Craige and Robert McFadden, Professors of Piano at Southeastern, will serve as accompanists for this concert.

For more information please contact the Department of Music at 580-745-2088.