FEBRUARY 2, 2007

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NWOSU and SSC celebrate milestone anniversaries

NWOSU's 110/100 logo, Centuries of Success.
NWOSU's 110/100 logo

Northwestern Oklahoma State University has kicked off its celebration of Oklahoma's Centennial, as well as its own 110th anniversary. The university is planning a number of special events through May 2008.

A special 110/100 logo has been designed especially for this celebration. Several items with this logo are available for sale in the NWOSU Bookstore including a white or gray t-shirt with the three color 110/100 logo, a red hoodie, coffee mugs, magnets, folders and notebooks.

Oklahoma officially became a state on Nov. 16, 1907, approximately 10 years after NWOSU held its first classes on Sept. 20, 1897. To plan celebrations for both events, the university established a 110/100 Centennial Committee with subcommittees that will coordinate efforts to offer special events, publicity and campus grounds improvements, in conjunction with the celebration.

"We have a great committee that is generating exciting ideas for this celebration," said Dr. Mike Knedler, dean of arts and sciences and co-chairman of the committee with Kathy Earnest, instructor of English. "We hope to get the entire community of all three campuses involved. We are still welcoming ideas from faculty, staff and students. We would particularly like to see student organizations get involved with ideas for this 18-month celebration."

Knedler said that several small activities will be scheduled throughout the celebration, as well as a number of larger scale events. One larger event being planned is the "Northwestern Normal School First Day of Class Celebration" on Sept. 20, to mark the first day of classes held at NWOSU in 1897. Activities on this day will include a cookout, re-enactments of early days in education in the restored one-room schoolhouse on campus, speakers and musical performances.

Knedler said that this celebration, as well as NWOSU's entire 110th Anniversary Celebration, has been recognized as official state centennial projects by the Oklahoma Centennial Commission. The local committee is looking forward to having more projects and events being granted the same distinction.

Another large scale event will come April 25-28, when the university's theatre and music programs unite to present Rogers and Hammerstein's musical "Oklahoma!" in Herod Hall Auditorium. Kimberly Weast, assistant professor of theatre, and Eddie Vandewalker, director of choral and vocal studies, recently held auditions for the production and both students and employees have landed roles.

Knedler also said that next year's annual Northwestern Homecoming celebration has been set for Oct. 6 and is expected to be even bigger and better as the university celebrates both the state's centennial and NWOSU's 110th year in higher education.

To keep everyone up-to-date about upcoming centennial projects and events, a special 110/100 centennial Web site has been created at www.nwosu.edu/110.

Photo of guests attending SSC's celebration of 75 years of service.
Guests attend the Dec. 11 celebration of SSC's 75 years of service to the community.

Seminole State College celebrated 75 years of service to the community in December with an array of speakers, food, honored guests, long-time friends and college supporters. Approximately 270 guests gathered in SSC’s Foundation Hall on Dec. 11, to pay tribute to the institution, which began in the local high school 75 years earlier.

Speakers on-hand to celebrate the event included SSC President Jim Utterback, former SSC Regent Melvin Moran, former SSC President Jim Cook, and University of Oklahoma President David Boren. Newly-appointed Oklahoma Chancellor for Higher Education Glen Johnson and Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor-elect Jari Askins also provided special comments on the event.

Immediately following the program, a ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony was held for the many upcoming SSC building and expansion projects.

Construction is currently underway on a 150-bed, suite-style student housing facility. This state-of-the-art residential learning center will be located on the main campus of SSC directly north of the Roesler Residential Learning Center.

A new maintenance facility will be constructed on the far north end of campus. Construction of the new facility includes a metal building, access road and new parking lot.

A wellness/athletic training facility and softball complex will be constructed on college property just south of Highway 9 across from the main campus. The facility will be constructed in compliance with Title IX to provide state-of-the-art fields and facilities for the Lady Trojan Softball Team.

The expansion of Tanner Hall will allow for the development of a Student Success Center and provide a modern one-stop shop for students’ academic testing, placement, advising and other essential services. The renovation project will also create much-needed classroom space.

Earlier on the afternoon of Dec. 11, a special luncheon was hosted for former SSC faculty, regents and administrators in the meeting room in the E. T. Dunlap Student Union on the SSC campus. The luncheon was designed to honor individuals who have contributed to SSC over the past 75 years.

Seminole “Junior” College began as the 13th and 14th grades in Seminole High School in 1931. In 1969, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recommended the development of a state-supported junior college that would be separate from the local high school. Classes were moved to the First Presbyterian Church that year, while an official classroom building was being constructed on the northwest side of town.

The community continued its support for the college by approving a $250,000 bond issue to finance the new facility and help support the college until 1975, when SJC became a fully state-supported institution. At the time, Seminole was the only community in the state of Oklahoma to ever impose a sales tax on itself for the support of a college.

Now standing on an 82-acre campus, the college is composed of 12 buildings, has an annual fall enrollment of more than 2,200 students, employs 125 individuals full-time and operates on an annual budget of more than $15 million.

Contacts: Steve Valencia, NWOSU associate vice president for university relations, 580.327.8478, and Shannon Webb Denniston, SSC media relations coordinator, 405.382.9525