Southeastern News

Admissions-Recruitment Office moves to Welcome Center

DURANT, Okla. – The Office of Admissions and Recruitment has a new home on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University  – the Welcome Center.

The Admissions-Recruitment staff recently made the move from the first floor of the Administration Building  (A-101) to the Welcome Center, which is located at the southeast corner of 5th and University.

According to University officials, the new location will better serve visitors, prospective students and their families by offering improved parking and access to campus for tours and events.

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment serves as the central hub for admissions, campus tours, recruiting efforts, and international services. Prospective students are encouraged to come by the office if they have any questions regarding application for admission to the university, to turn in a transcript or ACT/ SAT scores, or to speak with an admission counselor.


An open house of the facility is being planned for early next year.

The Welcome Center also houses the offices of Special Events, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Development, which are now located in the west end of the building.

To contact the Office of Admissions and Recruitment, call 580-745-2060.


Southeastern closed December 23-January 2 for holidays

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University will be closed December 23 through January 2 for the winter holidays. The University will re-open on Tuesday, January 3.

Spring classes will begin on January 9.

Southeastern Speech and Debate competes at Cameron

DURANT, Okla. The Southeastern Speech and Debate Association competed in the Cameron Christmas Classic  Dec.  2-4 at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.

The forensics tournament featured novice and varsity divisions of National Parliamentary Debate, National Forensics Association-Lincoln/Douglas Debate, and all 11 American Forensics Association National Individual Events.

Representing Southeastern were Dylan Candelora, sophomore English major; Fisher Fulton, freshman accounting major; Charles Jackson, junior communication and theatre double major; Connor Judd, freshman business and communication double major; JacobMorrison, freshman political science major; and Ralontae Worley, junior communication major.


Some 20 colleges from five states competed in the event.

Judd and Morrison, both from Durant, placed first in the Novice Parliamentary Debate competition. According to the rules of Parliamentary debate established by the National Parliamentary Debate Association, Parliamentary debate is an extemporaneous, generally policy-oriented form of two-person debate that values audience adaptation. In each debate, a two-student team represents the government side (or the sideaffirming the resolution); a second two–student team represents the opposition side (or the side negating the resolution). Students are expected to present arguments supporting their side while refuting arguments of the other team.

Parliamentary debate was based loosely on the British model of parliament, but has evolved to a moreAmericanized hybrid of extemporaneous speaking and debate.  As a unique format of intercollegiate debate, Parliamentary debate privileges a breadth of knowledge about current events, domestic policy, and foreign affairs; embraces a range of argumentative forms, including both technical and more traditional styles of argument; and, rewards extemporaneous delivery, i.e., “thinking on your feet.”

Jackson, of Fort Worth, Texas,  reached the finals in the AFA-IE of Prose and Program Oral Interpretation (POI).  Jackson would bring home several trophies from the weekend, including a first place finish in Prose and a second place finish in POI. The duo of Judd and Worley (Cleveland, Ohio), took first place for their Duo Interpretation. Worley also brought home individual events finals finishes in POI.

SSDA’s next forensics tournament will be the Cowtown Swing at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, January 19-22, 2017.

To learn more about Southeastern’s intercollegiate forensics program and SSDA’s tournament schedule visit the Department of Art, Communication and Theatre website at or contact Speech and Debate Advisor Dr. Randy Clark at ext. 580-745-2556.

Southeastern Chorale to perform in Ardmore, Idabel

DURANT, Okla. – The Southeastern Chorale, the premier choral ensemble for Southeastern Oklahoma State University, will begin its annual Winter Tour with two concerts in early January.

The Chorale will present Hodie! – A Choral Concert, on Monday, Jan. 2, at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Ardmore. The concert begins at 6 p.m.

On the following evening, Jan. 3, the Chorale will perform at First United Methodist Church in Idabel at 6:30 p.m.

Both concerts are free and open to the public.

The concerts will focus on Christmas and Epiphany works emerging from Spanish, French and African American cultures. They are in preparation for the Southeastern Chorale performance to be presented Jan. 6 at the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans on the Feast of the Epiphany.

The resulting works utilize a wide range of vocal techniques and writing styles ranging from Renaissance festival music to African American spirituals.

This Winter Tour will also see the Chorale performing 11 other concerts in high schools and at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Fall commencement held at Southeastern

Commencement speaker Wren Baker congratulates a graduate.

Commencement speaker Wren Baker congratulates a graduate.

DURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University held two Fall Commencement exercises Saturday at Bloomer Sullivan Arena.

Commencement speaker was Wren Baker, a 2001 graduate of Southeastern, who serves as Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of North Texas in Denton.

Fifty-seven percent of the graduates are first-generation college graduates.  In addition, eight states and nine countries are represented by this class.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offers congratulations to Taylor Gregory from Ardmore.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage offers congratulations to Taylor Gregory from Ardmore.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, commencement speaker Wren Baker, and Oklahoma StateRegents Chair John Massey visit after the ceremony.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, commencement speaker Wren Baker, and Oklahoma StateRegents Chair John Massey visit after the ceremony.

Rep. Billy speaks at Native American graduation/reception

Rep. Billy speaks at Native American graduation/reception

DURANT, Okla. – Former Oklahoma Representative Lisa Billy was the guest speaker at Wednesday’s Native American Graduation Ceremony and Reception at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Also offering remarks at the event were Native American Institute executive director Dr. Bruce King, left, and Southeastern president Sean Burrage. President Burrage presented her a flute on behalf of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

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!”

Southeastern professor to present program at Johnston County Library

Glenn MelanconDURANT, Okla. – Southeastern Oklahoma State University professor Glenn Melancon will serve as scholar for the final “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” series at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 6, at the Johnston County Library in Tishomingo.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr wll be discussed at themeeting, which is free and open to the public. The New York Times bestseller features a blind French girl and German boy whose paths cross in occupied France as both try to survive World War II.

Dr. Melancon earned his Ph.D. in European History from Louisiana State University. He is the author of Britain’s China Policy and the Opium Crisis: Balancing Drugs, Violence and National Honour, 1833-1840.

The Johnston County Library is a branch of the Southern Oklahoma Library System (SOLS), formerly known as the Chickasaw Regional (Public) Library System.

For more information, call the Johnston County Library at 580-371-3006 or visit at 116 W. Main in Tishomingo.

John Massey School of Business students perform well in business simulation competition

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, left, and Dr. Martin Bressler, right, congratulate the student team of Carl Immanuel-Gerlitz, Stacie Schneider, and Mariah Mayes.

Southeastern president Sean Burrage, left, and Dr. Martin Bressler, right, congratulate the student team of Carl Immanuel-Gerlitz, Stacie Schneider, and Mariah Mayes.

DURANT, Okla. – All business majors in the John Massey School of Business at Southeastern Oklahoma State University participate in the Capstone business simulation.

The Capstone simulation challenges students to draw on their acquired knowledge in management, marketing, accounting, and finance to create and execute a strategy in a competitive and dynamic environment.

In Dr. Martin Bressler’s Business Policy capstone course at Southeastern, the student team of Carl Immanuel-Gerlitz, Mariah Mayes, and Stacie Schneider not only scored higher than the other teams in their course, they scored in the top 10% worldwide (2,919 teams).

JMSB students compete against teams from Penn State, Cal State, the University of Illinois, Florida State, and Brigham Young University.

Gerlitz is a Finance major from Germany; Mayes is majoring in General Business and is from Leon, Oklahoma; and Schneider, also a general Business major, is from Madill.

Stacie Schneider, Carl Immanuel-Gerlitz, and Mariah Mayes make a presentation in class Wednesday.

Stacie Schneider, Carl Immanuel-Gerlitz, and Mariah Mayes make a presentation in class Wednesday.

“The Capstone simulation enabled my students to gain hands-on, practical, real-time learning in a setting like none other for our fast-paced business courses,’’ said Bressler, who serves as the John Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship.

Capstone® business simulation’s interactive platform provides students with the opportunity to test assumptions and learn from mistakes so they are better prepared to step confidently into their business career. Through Capstone, students apply what they’ve learned across all disciplines of business in one strategic, competitive, engaging learning experience.

Success in business begins with strategy and managers make decisions every day on finance, operations, marketing and more. The strategy simulation provides students the experience of running a business in a competitive marketplace — without the real-world risk — along with the opportunity to practice the financial, intellectual, and human skills required for successful business management.

Southeastern president, area public school superintendents share ideas

Southeastern president, area public school superintendents share ideas

DURANT, Okla. – As part of his Public Schools Outreach Initiative, Southeastern Oklahoma State University president Sean Burrage, left, has been meeting with area school superintendents throughout the year.  On Tuesday, Burrage hosted Jon Tuck of Madill, Kevin Duncan of Tishomingo, Ron Whipkey of Kingston, and Gerald Parks, of Calera. The meetings allow the educators to share ideas, while strengthening the relationship between common education and higher education.