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Austin College to honor Southeastern president with Distinguished Alumnus Award banner

Austin College to honor Southeastern president with Distinguished Alumnus Award

October 5, 2021

Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Thomas Newsom will be honored as a Distinguished  Alumnus by Austin College this fall during homecoming activities.

Newsom, a 1991 graduate of the Sherman (Texas) college, is one of six individuals to receive this recognition at an awards dinner on Oct. 22.

A Sherman native, Newsom began his duties as the 21st president of Southeastern in April of 2020. Under his leadership, the University achieved record enrollment with more than 5,000 students in fall 2020 – all in the midst of the pandemic.

Throughout a career of more than 20 years in higher education, he has lead several colleges and universities in the Southwest on a path to academic excellence and achievement.

Prior to arriving in Durant, Newsom served as Vice President of Student Success and Dean of Students at Texas A&M-Commerce. He also served for five years as President of Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

Newsom  has  established a number of working groups at Southeastern to address such important issues as academic excellence, growth, student recruitment and retention, diversity, athletics, and support services.

One of his goals is to increase the number of undergraduate students on campus by building a more vibrant in-person experience.

Newsom is active in Imagine Durant, the Durant Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Durant Industrial Authority.

He earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas, an M.S. in Higher Education from Texas A&M-Commerce, and a B.A. in Business Administration from Austin College.

He will become the third member of his family to receive the AC Distinguished Alumni Award, joining his parents Don and Carol Campbell Newsom, both retired public school educators, who received the honor in 2019 and 1997, respectively.

Newsom and his wife Vicky, a teacher in the Denison ISD, have three children – Katie, a current Southeastern student, Will, an Austin College graduate, and John, a current AC student.