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NEO Officially Kicks Off Centennial Year

Miami, Oklahoma – Monday, March 4, 2019 – Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) officially kicked off its centennial year by hosting the Oklahoma State University A&M Board of Regents, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson, and hundreds of guests in the Calcagno Family Ballroom for a night of celebration and entertainment by the “Pianist to the Presidents,” Mr. David Osborne.


(Dr. Jeff and First Lady Donna Hale present custom oars to the Osborn Family representing the Founders of NEO)  

During the event, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs Dustin Grover and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Elsie Grover introduced the nine “Power Partners” who have had the most influence on NEO over the last century. Included among the honorees were founders Rep. James Mabon and Sen. J. J. Smith, Nellie Dobson, the City of Miami and Ottawa County, Miami area business partners, INTEGRIS Miami, Miami Public Schools, Tribal Partners of the Intertribal Council and the Cherokee Nation, Crossland Construction, and the NEO Development Foundation.

Faculty Senate President Alisen Anderson gave a powerful testimonial and introduced Chancellor Johnson. Anderson shared how the staff and faculty of NEO supported her throughout her education, even when she was on the brink of going home to Indiana. Anderson later became the NEO student body government president before completing a bachelor’s and master’s degree. She joined the NEO Agriculture faculty in 2013. As well as faculty senate president, Anderson serves as the sponsor for the Agriculture Ambassadors and the Young Farmers and Ranchers Club.

“Mrs. Anderson can I take you with me the next time I go to the Capitol?” joked Johnson as he took the stage. “Stories like those prove how our two-year colleges make a difference in so many students’ lives. To hear your passion and to know that you are sharing that with students is incredibly encouraging.”

Along with the presentations, the incomparable David Osborne performed for guests at the event. Osborne, a Miami native, learned to play by ear at four and began playing professionally at thirteen when he traveled the four state area. He has been invited to play for Presidents Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, and Osborne continues to play as the Artist in Residence at the Bellagio Resort and Caesar’s Palace.

At the conclusion of the evening, Representative Ben Loring and Senator Michael Bergstrom from the Oklahoma State Legislature presented a proclamation from Governor Stitt congratulating NEO on its centennial year.

“Donna and I could not have been more honored to have celebrated this historic occasion with so many alumni, students and friends of NEO A&M College,” said Dr. Jeff Hale. “Our kickoff gala established a high bar for the rest of our Centennial year.”

For more information on centennial year at NEO, contact Jennifer Walker at jennifer.hessee@neo.edu, and to view photos from the event, visit Facebook.com/gogoneo.

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