SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

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Cameron University Launches 100th Birthday with Centennial Celebration

Photo of Cameron University centennial celebration.
Cameron University launched its Centennial Celebration in August with a parachute demonstration team, Comanche tribal dancers, music, fireworks and confetti.

Cameron University launched its official Centennial Celebration with a rousing kick-off event on Friday, Aug. 22 that brought more then 7,000 visitors to Cameron Stadium. Students, faculty and staff members, friends from the Lawton-Fort Sill community and visitors from throughout southwest Oklahoma converged to be a part of Cameron’s 100th birthday celebration. The party kicked off with a family carnival outside of the stadium walls, with inflatable games, a rocking climbing wall, free hot dogs, hamburgers and birthday cake, and Red Dirt music star Johnny Cooper, who delivered a rousing set of rollicking country-rock fusion. Cooper played for more than an hour under the southwest Oklahoma sun, establishing a festive atmosphere for the evening’s activities.

The festivities moved into Cameron Stadium with a spectacular display by the Silver Wings Command Exhibition Parachute Demonstration Team from Fort Benning, Ga., as two jumpers leapt from their aircraft 12,000 feet above the ground and maneuvered their canopied parachutes into the stadium. As they cleared their centerfield target zone, a troupe of Comanche National tribal members took the field for a colorful display of songs and dances representative of the Southern Plains.

CU President Cindy Ross and Student Government President Jessica Daoang then took center stage to lead the appreciative audience in a birthday countdown. As the 7,000+ revelers shouted “Happy Birthday, Cameron” in unison, black and gold confetti exploded into the sea of Cameron well-wishers as CU mascot Ole Kim danced atop a 15-foot tall replica of a birthday cake and the CU cheerleaders celebrated with back-flips and handsprings.

That moment was only the beginning of an exciting night that lit up the Lawton skies. Music lovers decamped from their stadium seats and headed to the field, taking up positions in front of the stage for the event headliners, the Oak Ridge Boys. The famed country vocal group took the stage and delivered a lively and sometimes emotional set that was a veritable “greatest hits live” package on the CU stage. From “American Made” to their signature tune, “Elvira,” the Oak Ridge Boys had the crowd dancing on the field for 90 minutes.

As the famed quartet ended their part of the program, all eyes turned to the starlit night sky, where a dazzling fireworks display lit up the heavens, bringing a colorful and joyous conclusion to the Centennial Celebration Kick-off.

Cameron continues its Centennial Celebration with a series of events throughout the 2008-09 academic year, including speaking engagements by Flags of Our Fathers author James Bradley, inspirational coach and mentor Beverly Kearney, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist George Will, and television host Al Roker.