Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

March 2010

Student Union Named in Honor of Glen D. Johnson

The student union at Southeastern Oklahoma State University is now officially known as the Glen D. Johnson Student Union.

University officials and dignitaries from throughout Oklahoma gathered in the union atrium Feb. 25 for the official announcement and ceremony.The naming was formally approved in January by the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) board of regents, but the Feb. 25 event marked the first public announcement.

 

Photo of Larry Minks, Chancellor Johnson and Regent Gordon.
Southeastern president Larry Minks, center, congratulates Chancellor Glen D. Johnson on the naming of the Glen D. Johnson Student Union. Looking on is Regent Jan Gordon, chair of the Regional University System of Oklahoma board of regents.

Johnson, who now serves as chancellor for the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, served as the 16th president of Southeastern from 1997-2007.

Among the chancellor’s family members in attendance were his mother Imogene and wife Melinda. Also present were a number of regents, university presidents, and public officials.

“I am deeply appreciative and humbled by the decision of the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents to name the new Student Union at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in my honor,’’ Chancellor Johnson said. “The years that Melinda and I spent at Southeastern were truly ten of the best years of our lives. I reflect back on the energy and vitality of our students and the dedication and hard work of our faculty and staff in providing our students with a top quality educational experience. Without their efforts and the support of our alumni, the accomplishments that we achieved together during my tenure at Southeastern would not have been possible. This new Student Union will benefit countless generations of future Southeastern students. It is located in the heart of the campus and is already the hub of campus activity. It is a tremendous honor to have my name associated with such an outstanding facility.”

“No one is more deserving of this recognition than Chancellor Johnson,’’ said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “As president of Southeastern, he made the dream of a new student union possible, along with many other projects. We are truly honored to have him back on campus and to recognize him in this manner.’’

Joining Minks in offering congratulatory remarks during the ceremony were State Regent John Massey; Regional University System of Oklahoma Regent Jan Gordon; Southeastern Vice President for Student Affairs Sharon Robinson: and Southeastern Student Government Association president Trent Castleberry. A number of former SGA presidents from Johnson’s tenure as president also attended the event.

“I think this recognition demonstrates the appreciation that Southeastern has for Chancellor Johnson,’’ Regent Massey said. “He served the University with total dedication and commitment for 10 years. The University and students will benefit for many years from the physical improvements and new programs that have come from Glen Johnson’s leadership.”

Formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the student union were held on Oct. 14, 2006, during Johnson’s tenure as president.

While president of Southeastern, the new student union building was the largest in a significant series of construction projects under his leadership.

Other projects involved additions and renovations to academic classrooms, the Biological Sciences building, North Hall, University bookstore, theatre complex, and the Choctaw and Chickasaw Towers Residence Halls. New construction projects included a residential housing facility (Shearer Hall & Suites), the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center and public safety complex, a tennis courts complex, a utility central plant, EOC and Educational Talent Search buildings, and a general classroom building, which opened this spring.

The new arena (Bloomer Sullivan Arena) and renovated football stadium (Paul Laird Field) were funded through a City sales tax in which President Johnson was instrumental in its passage in 2004.
Johnson initiated efforts to establish the Southeastern Branch Campus in McCurtain County (Idabel). He also worked to establish Southeastern’s academic course offerings at Grayson County College (Denison, Texas), and the partnership with Eastern Oklahoma State College to offer classes in McAlester.
In addition, he established the Southeastern Aerospace Programs at Tinker Air Force Base and Oklahoma City Community College.

Johnson originated initiatives and programs such as the Presidential Partners, President’s Leadership Class, Recognition of Top 10 Freshmen, the Spirit of Southeastern Award, the Faculty-Staff Appreciation Banquet, and the Glen D. Johnson Golf Tournament, which became the largest fundraising event for the Southeastern Foundation.

He served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1982 to 1996 and was Speaker of the House from 1990-1996 .

Johnson was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2006.

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