Southeastern Alumni Association

Welcome Letter from Chris Ferguson

Southeastern Alumni, Students, and Friends ~

This year’s Fish Fry Reunion held in Durant, Oklahoma on April 21-22, 2017 will have a very different feel from last year’s 50th anniversary celebration.  For this year’s reunion we have combined popular events from past reunions, as well as changed a few things to make this the best reunion yet. The culmination of the weekend will be the Fish Fry Awards dinner on Saturday night April 22nd. This letter will inform you, and your guests with all you need to know about the weekend.

The weekend’s events will kick-off with an Aviation Career Seminar hosted by the Aviation Alumni Association and the Aviation Department to be held Friday, April 21st at 1pm in the Magnolia Room located in the old Student Union on campus. We have several pilot recruiters lined up to present including American, Envoy, Endeavor, Boutique Air, Republic, Skywest, Southwest, US Air Force, Cape Air, United, and Delta. We also have several corporate flight departments that will be in attendance.

This event over the past few years has grown very popular because it gives our alumni a chance to talk face to face with pilot recruiters from all over the industry right in our own back yard. Make sure to look the part, and bring a few copies of your resume to share with our presenters!

Following the Career Seminar Friday afternoon, the Aviation Alumni Association will be hosting a dinner and meet up at 6 p.m. at Sport’s City located at 5067 South 9th Ave, in Durant.  Sport’s City offers outdoor seating for large groups and has live music on most Friday nights. Sports City will give us a large venue for those traveling in Friday to meet up and have a great dinner with one another.

Saturday’s events will kick-off at 9:30 a.m. at the Southeastern Hangar with a pancake breakfast and fly-in to benefit Women in Aviation and the Southeastern Flight Team. We would like to invite anyone who has a plane to fly-in and park on the Southeastern ramp! Due to the asphalt taxi ways on the Southeastern ramp, we are requesting only aircraft with a max landing weight of less than 12,500 lbs. park on the Southeastern ramp.

As in years past, Saturday is comprised of activities that the entire family can enjoy at the airport. The Aviation Alumni Association will have several activities for students, alumni, and family to participate in, including a bounce house, static aircraft displays and team games! Lunch will also be provided at the airport before we wrap things up mid-afternoon.

Saturday evening the SE Aviation Fish Fry Banquet will start at 6 p.m. and will be held in the Southeastern hangar.  Everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy dinner with the alumni and students. The aviation department will be awarding scholarships to students. The cost of the dinner will be $15 for adults and $5 for children. There will be a reception immediately following the banquet at the Hampton Inn in Durant. This venue will allow alumni to visit with one another and meet with old friends.

Consistent with prior years, we are encouraging those traveling to Durant to stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites located at 3199 Shamrock Lane – (580) 924-0300. When calling to make your reservation, please inform the hotel that you are with the Southeastern Aviation Alumni Association to receive the $79 per night rate.  Rooms are filling up fast, so make your reservation today!

Finally, the goals and ambitions of the Aviation Alumni Association are to provide a financial means to outstanding students, strengthen relationships between students and graduates, serve as mentors to current students, and provide information to students to assist them in making future career decisions. To help fulfill these goals, the Aviation Alumni Association will be asking for your financial help. Your gifts will help the Aviation Alumni Association continue to provide students with activities throughout the year and provide alumni with events such as the Fish Fry.  Additional contributions will also financially assist several students with scholarships to be awarded during this year’s reunion.

If anyone is unable to join us at this year’s reunion, and would still like contribute to the Aviation Alumni Association, you can do so by contacting the Alumni Relations Office at (580) 745-2875.

Those wishing to make a tax deductible donation to the scholarship fund is invited to do so by visiting when donating.  Please note that you wish for your donation to go to the aviation scholarship fund.  If you prefer to donate via check, please make it payable to the Southeastern Foundation, Inc. On the Note/Memo line of your check, write: “Aviation Alumni Scholarship Fund”.  Please ensure your return address information can be found on the check itself or mailing envelope.  Mail your tax deductible donation to: The Southeastern Foundation, Inc., 425 W. University Blvd., Durant, OK  74701.

There are also several aviation scholarships in need of your assistance. The John “J.R.” Rutherford Memorial Scholarship, Dr. Gene Hetsel Memorial Scholarship, and the Jake Marcum scholarship can all benefit from your donations. If you wish to donate to these scholarships, just make a note in the donation notes online or on the memo portion of your check. All contributions through the Southeastern Foundation, Inc. are tax deductible.

We look forward to seeing you and your family, on April 21-22, 2017. For more information on the weekend’s events, please contact the Alumni Relations Office at (580) 745-2875 or visit There you will find a flyer with a list of times and events for the weekend. And as always, please feel free to contact me directly at (214) 538-3032 or

Blue skies and safe travels,

Chris Ferguson

President, Aviation Alumni Association