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ISSUE 12 NEWSLETTER FOR PRESIDENT’S PARTNERS Winter 2014 Dear President’s Partner: As the holiday season approaches and 2014 draws to a close, I w...
Author: Eleanore Bailey
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Winter 2014

Dear President’s Partner: As the holiday season approaches and 2014 draws to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the President’s Partners program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. As a Partner, you have helped us accomplish many great things on campus this year. Partnering with the City of Miami and Miami High School, the campus now boasts a $9 million Multi-Purpose Event Complex at Red Robertson Field that is one of the best in the country. Construction wrapped up in October and was in time to host homecoming festivities for NEO and MHS, as well as the NJCAA Region 2 Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championship Tournament. NEO students continue to distinguish themselves garnering honors in national competitions. NEO Wrestling captured a National Championship title and NEO Rodeo made a third consecutive year appearance in the College National Finals Rodeo in Wyoming. Both are highlights of a truly historic year for NEO A&M College. As a Partner, you have generously supported $50,000 in campus projects and initiatives this year. Your contributions funded travel expenses for our athletes to compete in championships, a new faculty-grant program, NEO’s competition in the prestigious Governor’s Cup, ACT Prep classes for future students, and scholarships for the Top Ten Freshmen, just to name a few. On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of NEO A&M College, thank you for your loyal support of the college. Your generosity has shaped NEO to become an institution we can all take great pride in.

Dr. Jeffery L. Hale President, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College





Front row from left: Dr. Shannon Cunningham, Dr. Lisa Esposito President’s Partner Dr. Bethene Fahenstock, Rachel Lloyd, Taylor Gee, Mattie Moore, Jessica Cryan, Hanna Minson, Jesus Covarrubias, and President’s Partner Carmen Couch. Back row from left: President’s Partner Dr. Clark McQuigg, Brody Cridlebraugh, President’s Partner Mark Rasor, Laura Ashlock, NEO President Dr. Jeff Hale, Madison Vaughan, Tim Taylor, and President’s Partner Amy Ishmael


NEO inducted 10 of its brightest student-learners during the 6th annual Top Ten Freshmen ceremony on November 12. Each student was presented a $200 scholarship awarded by the President’s Partners. “The President’s Partners have funded these scholarships to NEO’s hardest working students for the past six years,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Foundation. “One of the many rewards of this program is watching these students succeed in college, begin careers, and become faithful alumni.” During the ceremony, artist-philosopher, Dr. Lisa Esposito, discussed the importance of creative expression to one’s sense of self and leadership capacity during her keynote address. Nearly 40 students, faculty, staff and community members also participated in an Art Challenge facilitated by art student, Samantha Ervin, earlier in the day and a reception followed the award ceremony. Established in 2009, the Top Ten Freshmen program is sponsored by NEO’s Center for Academic Success and Advisement and President’s Partners. The keynote speaker was sponsored by the American Indian Center for Excellence this year. NEO College President Dr. Jeff Hale started the program during his inaugural year at NEO. The Top Ten Freshmen, who are now sophomores, were selected by a committee comprised of faculty, a President’s Partner representative and a student activities representative. The Top Ten Freshmen receive scholarships, special privileges, participate in leadership development activities and have opportunities to practice leadership skills together. The following students represent the sixth class selected to the Top Ten Freshmen program: • • • • •

Laura Ashlock, Kansas City, MO Jesus Covarrubias, Commerce, OK Brody Cridlebaugh, Princeton, MO Jessica Cryan, Skiatook, OK Taylor Gee, Coweta, OK

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• • • • •

Hanna Minson, Vinita, OK Mattie Moore, Harrisonville, MO Sydney Reynolds, Pullman, WA Tim Taylor, Vinita, OK Madison Vaughan, Coweta, OK


NEO President’s Partners award $1000 in scholarships at a dinner for the River Bottom Annual Hunt for Disabled Veterans. From left: Partners Stacey Satterwhite and Dr. Mark Osborn, NEO Sophomore Hayden Harmon, NEO Assistant Baseball Coach Jamie Williams, NEO Sophomore Trenton Geddings, NEO President Dr. Jeff Hale, and Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Hessee

NEO sophomores, Trenton Geddings and Hayden Harmon were selected as the first recipients. The students were honored at a banquet held in conjunction with the annual hunt. Geddings served four years of active duty in the Army and four years in the Reserves. He is a pre-engineering major with a 3.1 grade point average (GPA). He currently resides in Commerce but grew up on the west coast. Harmon served four years in the Marines, which included two deployments to Afghanistan. He is majoring in kinesiology and has a 3.5 GPA. He is a native of Wyandotte. First preference of criteria for the scholarship is active and retired military personnel; second preference is given to dependents (spouse/children) of active and retired military personnel; and final preference is given to extended family members of active and retired military personnel. The recipient must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and be enrolled in at least 6 hours. Special consideration will be given to students enrolled in an online course that is less than 6 hours.

PARTNERS HELP FUND SCHOLARSHIP TO ASSIST VETERANS The President’s Partners at Northeastern Oklahoma (NEO) A&M College offered their support of $2000, which was matched by the MidAmerica Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), for a total of $4000 to establish a scholarship for veterans at NEO. The scholarship was established to support the River Bottom Annual Hunt for Disabled Veterans, which is held in Miami each year. Two $1000 scholarships will be awarded each year and can be used for tuition, fees, books, as well as room and board. “NEO President’s Partners value higher education and are very supportive of improving access through scholarships,” says Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Foundation. “Several of the President’s Partners are veterans themselves, so providing funding for this scholarship was a good partnership.” The new scholarship is set to begin in the fall of 2015; however, as part of the official announcement, two $500 scholarships will be awarded this spring.

“This scholarship is just another example of how our community pulls together to accomplish positive community growth. NEO is a standalone diamond in a beautiful set, and the PVA is no less brilliant on its own. Our hometown River Bottom Sportsmen have established themselves as a patriotic group of men and women who love the freedom that our nation offers. They have no reservations applauding those who sacrifice to insure that freedom,” Jack Dalrymple, President of the River Bottom Sportsmen.

According to Dalrymple, the scholarship speaks to the uniqueness of the local community. “It tells everyone who will listen that we differentiate between a hand out and a hand up. It identifies us as having core values outlined by our founding fathers,” he added. “Who better to receive a hand up to a better life in our nation, through education, than a person willing to give of themself to protect that same nation.” - 2-

Latairrius McGor a sophomore from Tulsa reviews a book available in the Textbook Bank with President’s Partner Rob Kimbrough. Books are available on loan in the library thanks to funding from the Partners.

TEXT BOOK BANK PROGRAM FOUNDED AGAIN For a fifth year, the President’s Partners have proudly funded the textbook bank program to help ease the burden for many students who are struggling to pay rising education costs. The textbook bank features more than 30 books that are on loan in the NEO library. The program is immensely popular with students, especially during the first few weeks of the semester while many students await their financial aid.

“The textbook bank has become one of the most popular collections in the NEO Library. I know it makes the first few weeks of class less stressful for many of our students who are still awaiting financial aid. NEO’s President’s Partners have created something truly invaluable in funding this project.” Sloane Brown, director of library services As part of the program, a student may utilize the book inside the library for up to two hours at a time. Many students photocopy their homework assignments, but others find a quiet spot and study.

NG CAMPUS AND THE COMMUNITY Jennifer Hessee Executive Director NEO Development Foundation

Season’s Greetings from the NEO Development Foundation. It is a very busy and exciting time on campus as the fall semester draws to a close.

From left: Vice President of Fiscal Affairs Mark Rasor, Manager of Chapman Foundations Management Donne Pitman, Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Hessee, and Asst. Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Shannon Cunningham

PRESIDENT’S PARTNER DONNE PITMAN HONORED AS OUTSTANDING ALUMNUS NEO honored Donne W. Pitman as charitable organizations and one of three outstanding graduates of the causes that work to improve college during homecoming festivities on quality of life.” October 11. He represented the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Pitman graduated with an associate’s degree from NEO and a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado University, where he played football. Pitman also did graduate studies at the University of Tulsa. Pitman is manager of Chapman Foundations Management and responsible for and managing all investments pertaining to Chapman Trusts, as well as The Mary K. Chapman Estate. He began his career with the Chapman organization in 1963, building a career in oil and gas exploration and operations, banking, real estate, and equity management.

“It was a privilege to honor Donne Pitman as one of our outstanding graduates. As a steward of the Chapman Foundation, Mr. Pitman has dedicated his career to supporting numerous

Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation

Currently, Pitman serves as Trustee of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Boys’ Home, Trustee Emeritus of the University of Tulsa, National Council member of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Falcon Foundation Board at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. In 2009, Pitman was inducted into the NEO Athletic Hall of Fame. He played receiver for the Golden Norse and was a member of the 1959 championship team. He received recognition as an NJCAA All-American in 1960. Pitman also received the Carl Rigney Student Athlete Award at NEO for his outstanding traits in academics, leadership and athletic ability. Active in the Tulsa and Colorado Springs communities, where he maintains residences and manages both Chapman Foundation offices, Pitman has three children and has been married to his wife, Sandie, for 40 years. - 3-

In this issue you can read more about two noteworthy President’s Partners. Mr. Donne Pitman recently received NEO’s Outstanding Alumnus award during the 2014 homecoming festivities, and Mrs. Anna Milligan was named Chair of the NEO Foundation. As support for the President’s Partners grows, I would like to welcome our newest member, Kathy Shamel Fuhs. Kathy was back on campus in October as part of the Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions for the 1969 National Championship football team. The President’s Partners have been hard at work supporting various projects and initiatives. This semester, the program has provided funding scholarships for the prestigious Top Ten Freshmen, textbook bank to help students who cannot afford to buy books, professional clothing for students through Peggy’s Closet, and much more. Thank you for your support of NEO A&M College. As a Partner, your generosity will help ensure that our students receive an outstanding education and experience college life at its best. If you know of someone who would make a great addition to the Partners, please contact the Foundation Office at 918-540-6250. I hope you enjoy the winter edition of the President’s Partners Preview and take great pride in the many projects you have supported this semester. Jennifer Hessee Executive Director NEO Development Foundation


PARTNERS SUPPORT “KEEPING NEO BEAUTIFUL” NEO President Dr. Jeff Hale instituted a new event to Morgan was honored for campus grounds. He began recognize and thank the physical plant for “Keeping NEO as temporary help following a damaging hailstorm and has Beautiful,” which acknowledged the hard work put forth since worked at NEO for the past 11 years. He is described by the entire physical plant. As part of the initiative, the by his supervisor as multi-talented and task oriented. He is President’s Partners awarded six individuals $250 each for now overseeing all fleet operations and landscaping. “From going the extra mile in keeping NEO’s campus clean and the looks of NEO’s campus, he does a fantastic job managing safe. the landscaping and has made the campus look beautiful on a limited budget,” Grimes said. Those receiving top honors were Jim Wiford, Delores

Oswald, Jack Pryor, Brad Morgan, John McMain, and Jamie Williams. Wiford received a custodial award. He has worked at NEO for the past nine years of which the last three he has been a custodial supervisor. He serves as the ‘go-to’ guy for the rest of the custodial staff. He is responsible for all the work in the Fine Arts Center and distributes all cleaning supplies, and he also refurbishes floors in various buildings during the summer. According to his supervisor Steve Grimes, “Jim is always enthusiastic about making NEO look great. He is described as organized, gets along great with the staff and has brought the custodial crew to a higher level of professionalism.” Oswald received a custodial award. She has worked at NEO for seven years and began overseeing the Student Union shortly after it was renovated in 2011.“Oswald has done a great job in keeping the building looking brand new. With all the daily activity and special events, this is a demanding job, yet she is always friendly and helpful to students and visitors,” Grimes said. Pryor received the Building Maintenace award. A master electrician who has been on staff for the past 12 years, Pryor’s dedication during a recent energy audit from Johnson Control Energy Team yielded very few areas of concern in regards to campus electrical and lighting systems.“Pryor is very dedicated to his position,” Grimes said. “He does a great job in looking for ways to conserve energy and is very budget-conscious when purchasing materials.” - 4-

McMain was honored for farm facilities. He has been overseeing the NEO Farm for the past three years and his responsibilities include custodial work for the college arena, assisting in the management and care of the college’s cattle herd, maintaining the upkeep of the farm, (mowing and fencing), feeding the livestock and more. “Thanks to his tireless efforts, the farm looks the best it has ever has looked in its history,” said Tyler Dewey, supervisor and department chair of agriculture. “He is a one-man shop.” Williams was honored for athletic facilities. A long-time supporter of NEO Athletics, he has been on staff since 2012. In just two years, he has created a new student-athlete lounge for NEO baseball players.“He painted the baseball press box, dugouts and upgraded the press box and visitor areas to include air conditioning,” said Dale Patterson, athletic director. “Williams designed and developed an indoor pitching area for baseball and softball with heat and lighting, and he brought a corporate signage program to Homa Thomas Field. He is an asset to the college.”

NG CAMPUS AND THE COMMUNITY The world premier of Call of the River captivated audience members with its powerful glimpse into Native American history Area High School students were provided an opportunity to ask questions of renowned playwright JudyLee Olivia, Director Ben Whaley, and cast members following the world premier of Call of the River.

PARTNERS SUPPORT CULTURAL EDUCATION FOR LOCAL STUDENTS Thanks to the President’s Partners, area high school students experienced firsthand the world premiere of Call of the River by renowned playwright Dr. JudyLee Olivia and enjoyed lunch in the NEO Cafeteria. Hosted by the NEO Fine Arts Department in collaboration with the American Indian Center for Excellence, the play was held October 2 and featured a script that chronicled the experiences of more than 40 tribes. The play explored themes that were common to people removed from their homeland – loss, betrayal, fear, anger, and ultimately, hope.

Kim Martin, Title VII/JOM Counselor from MHS, was one of many educators who brought students to the performance.

“The script didn’t attempt to lay blame or point fingers,” said Whaley. “Instead, it offered a glimpse through the window of those tribes’ experiences. It offered a chance for the audience to bear witness to the stories that were not included in the history books. These were the real stories.”

for Olivia to give community members and students the chance to personally visit with the playwright.

“Both the direction and acting were amazing. The story was told in a manner that all could understand, and I was proud to see a couple of our Native American Club students participating in the play,” said Martin. “I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciate After the production, students also participated in a panel NEO, AICE, and the President’s Partners for making it possible discussion with Olivia and NEO Technical Director Ben Whaley. for our Native American Club to attend.” The premier performance was directed by Whaley. As part of the premier, the Partners also hosted a reception

In a letter addressed to the NEO Foundation, Oliva thanked the Partners for their support.

“I am writing to thank you for funding the reception for my play, Call of the River said Olivia. “I know the students involved in the production greatly appreciated such a lovely event and “This production was really authentic. It changed the outlook I have on Native Americans,” he said. “We really had a it validated all of their hard work and many hours given to the production.” chance to see their life experiences.”

Miami High School (MHS) Senior Brent Braziel agreed.

ANNA MILLIGAN NAMED CHAIR OF NEO FOUNDATION November 6, Milligan succeeds President’s During her tenure, she has served as chair of Partner Phyllis Worley. the Charles Banks Wilson committee and was Two Presidents Partners will also serve instrumental in the completion of the gallery in Kah-Ne Hall. as officers of the Foundation Board. David Thomas will serve as Vice-Chair and Rick Vandaveer as Treasurer.

NEO President Jeff Hale presents outgoing NEO Foundation Chairwoman Phyllis Worley with a resolution granted by the OSU/A&M Board of Regents for her three years of service to the NEO Foundation. President’s Partner Anna Milligan became chair in November.

“Anna’s passion for education, desire to see students succeed, and love of NEO are qualities that make her both a great President’s Partner and a Foundation Board member,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation.

President’s Partner, Anna Milligan, has Milligan joined the NEO Development been named Chair of the NEO Development Foundation in 2009 and for the past three Foundation. Formally introduced during the years has served as vice-chairwoman. Foundation’s annual Fall Fundraising Gala on - 5-

She grew up in Miami and graduated from NEO in 1959. She went on to receive both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degree from the University of Tulsa, as well as Library Science Certification from Oklahoma State University. Milligan served as the director of College Counseling at Holland Hall Schools from 19692005 and also served as a College Consultant. She and her husband, Marshall, reside in Tulsa. She is very active in her church, First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa, as well as several community and civic organizations.



everal President’s Partners and community members took part in the annual “Fall Fundraising Gala,” hosted by the NEO Development Foundation. The event raised a record $40,000. ll proceeds from the evening will fund scholarships and support the mission of the Foundation.


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Since the inception of the event 13 years ago, the fundraiser has raised more than $275,000 and assisted more than 800 students with scholarships. his year’s event featured a Roaring 20s theme, complete with dinner, entertainment, photo booth, as well as a live and silent auction. Many guests chose to




come dressed in 1920s attire to add fun. Back by popular demand, the evening featured student servers who were excited about the opportunity to provide an entertaining evening with all cash tips benefitting NEO scholarships. ccording to Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Hessee, this year’s fundraiser also hit an all-time high in attendance with nearly 300 in attendance.



hanks to the generosity of many loyal supporters of NEO A&M College, including several of our President’s Partners, the money raised from this event will make a difference in the lives of our students,” Hessee added. “For many students, without a foundation scholarship they would not be able to realize the dream of a college education.”

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PRESIDENT’S PARTNERS MEMBERSHIP CONTINUES TO GROW To date the Partners have contributed a total of $275,000.00. The impact of this team of donors is evident on our campus. Thank you to the following members:

Partners’ Preview Issue 12 Winter 2014

Mr. & Mrs. Alex Acupan (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Stan Beasley (2011-2013) Mr. & Mrs. Tom Berry (2009-2014) Ms. Annette Black (2012-2014) Mrs. Jessica Boles (2011-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Tom Bomford (2013) Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Bowman (2009-2012) Mrs. Carol Calcagno (2012-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Norm Carnett (2000-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Jordan Cash (2013-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Chesnut (2010-2011) Dr. & Mrs. Joe Chouteau (2014) Mr. & Mrs. Jim Conard (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Casey Cook (2009) Ms. Carmen Couch (2010-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Jim Couch (2010-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Art Cousatte (2009-2014) Mrs. Becky Bowman Custred (2009) Mr. & Mrs. Doug Doll (2009-2012) Mr. Scott Donaldson (2013-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Cy Elmburg (2009-2014) Dr. Bethene Fahnestock (2013-2014) Dr. & Mrs. Mark Folks (2014) Chief & Mrs. John Froman (2009-2012) Ms. Kathy Shamel Fuhs (2014) Ms. Nancy Gee (2009-2014) Mr. Charles Glasscock (2011-2012) Rep. & Mrs. Larry Glenn (2009-2014) Mr. Art Goad (2013-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Steve Gwartney (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Brent Hackett (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Sid Hackwell (2010-2014) Dr. & Mrs. Jeff Hale (2009-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Joe Hall (2009) Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Hayes (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Buff Highland (2010-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Jack Horner (2010-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Tim Ingram (2010-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Jason Ishmael (2011-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Erik Johnson (2009-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Curtis Jurgensmeyer (2009-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Pat Jurgensmeyer (2009-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Terry Jurgensmeyer (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Virgil Jurgensmeyer (2009-2014) Ms. Sally Kelley (2013)

Mr. & Mrs. Rob Kimbrough (2014) Mr. & Mrs. Renick Kreeger (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Jessie Langston (2011-2012) Mr. & Mrs. Dick Lillard (2009-2012) Ms. Brittany Martin (2013-2014) Dr. & Mrs. John McFerron (2010-2012) Dr. & Mrs. Clark McQuigg (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Marshall Milligan (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Larry Mocha (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Neal (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Bill Osborn (2013-2014) Dr. & Mrs. Clark Osborn (2012-2014) Dr. & Mrs. Matt Osborn (2010-2014) Mr. & Mrs. William Osborn (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Donne Pitman (2009-2014) Mr. Mark Rasor (2013-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Barry Reynolds (2009-2010) Mr. & Mrs. Clay Roblyer (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Dan Rotelli (2009) Mr. & Mrs. Stacey Satterwhite (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. David Slatton (2010-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Larry Smith (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Robert L. Smith (2013-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Charles Stoner (2010-2014) Ms. Virginia Swanson (2010-2014) Mr. Mark Swanson (2012-2014) Mr. & Mrs. David Thomas (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Paul Thomas (2009-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Steve Turnbo (2009-2013) Mr. Bill Turner (2013-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Toby Tyler (2010-2011) Mr. Rick Vandaveer (2009-2014) Mr. & Mrs. Marcel Walther (2009-2011) Mr. & Mrs. Jack Wimer (2009) Ms. Sally Whittenberg (2013-2014) Ms. Ann Willey (2013-2014) Ms. Phyllis Worley (2009-2014) Mr. Mike Youngwirth (2009-2014) CORPORATE PARTNERS J&M Farms (2011-2012) Integris (2012-2014) Chapters (2012-2014)

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