DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University officially opened the Legacy Plaza on the front lawn of the Durant campus with a ceremony at the conclusion of Freshman Convocation on Saturday. The university also launched the Legacy Fund campaign with the opening of the Plaza. Campaign information and options to support the project can be found at www.SELegacy.org.
The Class of 2027 processed through the plaza on the way to the convocation and touched their Class Brick that will be placed in the plaza, signifying the start of their legacy at Southeastern.
Dr. Thomas W. Newsom, 21st President of Southeastern; Joe Hill, chair of the Alumni Association; Jenny Sanchez, chair of the Southeastern Foundation; and Ryker Baughman, Student Government Association President and third-generation legacy student at Southeastern; offered comments at the opening ceremony.
The Legacy Plaza – which was built primarily with federal funds as part of Southeastern’s Native American Student Serving Non-Tribal (NASNTI) designation from the US Department of Education – features bricks engraved with the names of donors to the Legacy Fund as well as water features to frame the front lawn of campus. The final piece of the Legacy Plaza will be the installation of a Native American sculpture to be installed a year from now.
“The Legacy Plaza is our formal way as a university to tell our Legacy story,” President Newsom said. “The Legacy Fund will allow our alumni and friends to not only declare the importance of their legacy at Southeastern, but also help ensure that others will have the ability to achieve their legacy as well.”
The Legacy Fund will primarily raise money for scholarships for incoming students whose parents or grandparents are Southeastern graduates. Prior to the official launch of the campaign, over $364,000 has been committed to the fund. The Legacy Fund is already funded at a level which will endow scholarships for up to sixteen (16) legacy freshmen in the fall of 2024. One of the goals of the fundraising campaign is to endow scholarships for every future freshman legacy student.
“These scholarships are especially impactful at Southeastern, as over 20 percent of our incoming freshmen and 10 percent of our incoming transfers this semester are legacy students,” Newsom said. “This opportunity will continue to make Southeastern an attractive and affordable option for future students’ education.”
In addition to the scholarships, the Legacy Fund will contribute to future expansion of the Legacy Plaza and create financial resources to support implementation of the university’s Vision 2040 Strategic Plan. Including the initial construction of the Legacy Plaza and early contributions to the Legacy Fund, funding for the project has already eclipsed $1,000,000.
For more information on the Legacy Fund and its impact on the present and future of Southeastern, and to become a part of this project, please visit www.SElegacy.org.