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East Central University

1909 - 2009

Celebrating 100 Years

Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

East Central University - Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

Celebrating 100 Years

This publication is a collection of memories from the past combined with a look toward East
Central University’s future.
This book touches on some of the major aspects of life at East Central University over the past
100 years and is not all-inclusive. Narrowing down the selection of topics and information was a
difficult task as the university’s history is so rich.
It is our hope that both alums and friends of ECU will be inspired to reflect on their own
memories of East Central University and be encouraged to get involved in ECU’s next 100 years.
As ECU looks forward to embarking on its second century, we honor all of those who have
gone before us. Encompass the past. Enrich the future.

Class of 1915
East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 1
East Central University - Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

Graphic Design/Layout and articles written/arranged by:

Susan Ingram


• 100 Years of Living at ECU

written by Cathie Harding & Susan Ingram

• What Happened to East Central’s Elephant?

written by Dr. B.J. Tillman, reprinted from East
Central University’s Public Service Program schedule, 1983

• Funding to Support Research Opportunities

written by Jill Frye

• ECU and the Arts Go Hand In Hand

written by Amy Ford

• Looking Back 100 Years - Tiger Athletics

written by Brian Johnson & Gerald Williamson

Written content contributed by:

Diane Berty, Amy Ford, Jill Frye, Cathie Harding, Brian Johnson, Kathy
Johnson, Gina Smith, Ryan Wetherill & Gerald Williamson

The content of this book has come from a variety of sources including:
• A History of East Central State College, 1909-1949, by John Gillespie & Dale Story, edited
by W. Harvey Faust
• East Central State College, 1949-1969, by W. Harvey Faust
• The East Central Story – from Normal School to University, 1909-1984, by Palmer Boeger,
Casper Duffer, Marvin Kroeker, Bill Tillman, Lynda Stephenson, Don Stafford, Margaret
Lewis, Orville Robbins, Stanley P. Wagner & Tom Wood, edited by John A. Walker
• East Central University, 1969-1989, by Palmer Boeger & Davis D. Joyce
• The East Central University Story, 1980-2005, by Alvin O. Turner
• Articles from ECU’s newspaper, The Journal
• Articles from Ada Evening News
• The Pesagi Yearbook
• ECU presidential reports
• Self-evaluation reports for North Central Accreditation
• Countless individuals who have shared their memories and/or gathered information to make
this collection of memories possible
• The 2009 ECU faculty & staff

2 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

East Central State Normal School
The beginning

100 Years of Living at ECU

A look back at residence life

Fight On Tigers
Roary the Tiger, ECU’s fight song and
Dr. Duane C. Anderson alma mater
Interim President
East Central University The Great Depression
East Central struggles through the
On behalf of the faculty and staff, both depression years
current and former, I welcome you to East Central
University! The Rock Garden
It is a privilege at this point in history to serve
as the Interim President of East Central University. Looking Back 100 Years - ECU & the
Although I’ve been at ECU for 19 years as the Automobile
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, to The timeless issue of cars and
assume the Presidency during our centennial year parking on campus
is an exceptional honor.
East Central University is steeped in riveting War Brings Change to ECU
history and tradition that echoes through the halls A look at the effects of wartime at ECU
and across campus. ECU has come from its modest
beginnings in 1909 when the first classes were Through the Years
held in local churches to the beautiful campus of A pictorial history
2009 that boasts many venues for educating the
21st century student, including the newest addition, 100 Years of Student Life
the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. This $27 A look back at student activities on
million complex will become the home for the arts
on the ECU campus and a venue to share many
exciting events with the community and southeast
The Pesagi Yearbook
We treasure the history and traditions of East
Central University, but we also strive to change, Horace Mann Training School
update and move into the 21st century with ever
more technology that expands the classroom walls What Happened to East Central’s Elephant?
to encompass the whole world. As we discuss the Separating the myth & fact of ECU’s
past 100 years, current students may be as amazed popular legend
at the ECU of 1909 as the 1909 students would
be amazed at the world of 2009. All students who A Pictorial History
enter East Central University today are connected Academics
to our storied past. Just as the students of long ago
came to East Central Normal School desiring more ECU & the Arts Go Hand In Hand
for their lives, students today come with the same
desires. They may access their futures with different A Pictorial History
technologies, but the desires are very similar. Faculty & Staff
We invite you to join in celebrating the history
and tradition of our first 100 years and to anticipate Looking Back 100 Years
with excitement the changes that the next 100 years Tiger Athletics
will bring. As we commonly say on campus, “Once a
Tiger, always a Tiger!

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 3

East Central University

East Central State

Normal School,
students and faculty
on the front steps of
Science Hall, 1914

Summarized from The East Central Story, individual had given enough money he would write that
from Normal School to University, they should “exhibit greater civic pride.”
Unfortunately, the citizens of Ada were not the only
1909 – 1984 ones who had this idea and delegations from the
competing towns swarmed the legislative session.
The citizens of early Ada aspired to see their town
Competition for the normal schools became so heated
become a thriving community that offered plenty of
during that first session that a fist fight erupted on the floor
opportunities for incoming families and businesses. They
between Pontotoc County’s Sen. Reuben Roddie and
felt that one way to accomplish this goal was to secure a
Sen. J.S. Morris of Booker. The first Oklahoma Legislature
state-sponsored college.
adjourned without establishing any new normal schools for
After statehood in 1907, Ada was up against five
the state.
other towns, all of which were larger, to be chosen as one
During the second legislative session, approval
of three sites for a normal school. City leaders worked
came for three normal schools to be established – one at
together to plan a strategy to secure the normal school and
Tahlequah, one at Durant and one at Duncan. At the last
the Ada promoters agreed to keep a delegation of citizens
minute, some of the Ada delegates persuaded a member
at the state capital in Guthrie in order to influence the first
of the legislature to replace Duncan’s name with Ada’s.
state legislature.
The bill eventually made it through both the House and the
The people of Ada worked together to raise funds for
Senate after much additional political maneuvering.
the delegation by hosting band concerts and dinners. Otis
On March 25, 1909, Gov. Charles N. Haskell signed
Weaver, editor of the Ada Evening News, used the paper
the Ada Normal School bill. When word reached Ada
to help raise the needed funds for lobbying. He even listed
every mill and factory in town blew their steam whistles
the names of the individuals who had contributed and
in celebration of the creation of the East Central State
how much money they had given. If he didn’t feel that an
Normal School.

EAST CENTRAL UNIVERSITY began as • 1909 - 1919 East Central State Normal School
the East Central State Normal School and
• 1919 - 1939 East Central State Teachers College
throughout its 100-year history has had five
• 1939 - 1974 East Central State College
different names, marking ECU’s evolution
• 1974 - 1985 East Central Oklahoma State University
from normal school to college to university.
• 1985 - Present East Central University

4 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

For the first 11 years, East Central State Normal
School served as both a high school and a two-year Did you know . . .
college. Classes began in September 1909, despite That while students have always paid various fees to attend East
the fact the new college did not have its own buildings.
Central, tuition was free for in-state students through the 1940s.
Classes were held at various churches throughout the city
• 1934 - Out-of-state students charged $25 tuition fee per
and eventually moved to the high school.
Most of the land for the original campus was donated
by Dan Hays, a Chickasaw Indian. This was to be • 1951 - Graduate students charged $8 per hour tuition.
the beginning of a long-standing partnership with the • 1953 - Undergraduates charged a fee of $3.25 per semester hour.
Chickasaw Nation. • 1980 - Undergraduate tuition was an average of $15 per hour.
East Central’s first building, Science Hall, was built by • 1991 - Tuition had more than doubled to $35 per hour for
Texas Building Company for $94,700 and was completed undergraduates.
by the summer of 1910. • 2000 - Tuition for undergraduates was $50 per semester hour.
The second building on campus was a wooden • 2009 - Average undergraduate tuition costs are $139 per hour.
gymnasium built in 1913. The gym was located just
southeast of Science Hall.
Gordon, who was the dean of Trinity University in
The Board of Normal Regents named the first
Waxahachie, Texas, became the second president on May
president of ECSNS as Rev. E.N. Sweet of Lawton.
20, 1916.
However, Sweet refused the job and the board named
During homecoming activities in the fall of 1916, the
Charles W. Briles, Muskogee school superintendent, as
East Central Alumni Association was formed. Ola Davis, a
East Central’s president. Briles had graduated from the
1913 graduate, was elected the first president.
University of North Carolina and taught in Texas for nine
In 1918, ECSNS added commercial courses as part of
years before becoming a member of the faculty at the
the curriculum and started to expand its influence beyond
University of Texas.
the campus. The faculty began sponsoring debate clubs,
Briles served as ECSNS’s president for seven years,
literary societies, extension classes and correspondence
surviving much political turmoil. The shaky politics of the
new state greatly affected the normal schools, all of which
Also in 1918, the president’s home was built on East
went through two presidents during Briles’ seven-year
Central’s campus. Today, the president’s home is used
for meetings and receptions. It now adjoins the Sterling
Throughout the summer of 1915, Oklahoma Gov.
Williams Foundation and Alumni Center which serves as
Robert L. Williams removed several of the normal
offices for the Alumni Association and the East Central
school presidents and on May 20, 1916, the state board
University Foundation Inc.
dismissed Briles as the president of ECSNS. Briles moved
By the beginning of the 1920s, East Central had
to Stillwater and taught at Oklahoma A&M College.
achieved a sense of stability and permanence.
Briles’ successor was James Marcus Gordon.

East Central State

Normal School
library, 1917

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 5

100 Years

East Central students spend free time away from their studies in the Knight Hall Lounge, 1948.

6 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

at ECU

From skating parties and weekly

dances to panty raids and hanging
out at the union, throughout
the years residence life at ECU
has extended learning beyond the

Story continued on pages 8 - 9

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 7

If home is where the heart
students. These
apartments were located
where Kerr Activities
is, then the heart of East Center is now.
In the mid-1950s
Central University is in its a legend was born
in Knight Hall. It all
residence halls.
In the early days, although President Charles Briles
began with unusual
thumping sounds
fought to build housing on campus, some Ada residents heard throughout the
initially opposed construction because they liked to rent building, especially
rooms to students. Some townspeople housed as many at the north end of
as eight students at a time. Rates ranged from $5 to the third floor and
$7.50 a week for room and board. in the lounge. Cool
Before housing was built at East Central, students bursts of air would
would gather in the homes of their favorite professors. sometimes follow
Alfred Fentem’s house was always open. “Dad” Fentem the sounds and
liked students and they liked him, twice voting him most strange odors
popular professor on campus. Later the men’s dormitory and other noises
would be named after Fentem to forever symbolize were reported.
those early gatherings. Oddly, the
Residence hall construction began on campus in phenomenon
the 1930s with the completion of both a men’s and a seemed to
women’s dormitory in 1937. Knight Hall, named for occur when
original faculty member Kate K. Knight, housed 178 residents
women, an activity center, a kitchen and dining area and gathered to
a laundry facility. Fentem Hall was smaller and housed socialize
112 men. In 1937 room and board was the biggest and gossip
expense facing students. Rates began at $21 per instead
month. Monitoring student conduct, particularly male/ of study.
female relationships, was the biggest task facing the Some
institution. women
The first dorm residents held skating parties at the even
local skating rink and had weekly dances in the Knight reported
Hall Lounge. The Knight Hall Lounge was also home that
to several tea parties, music recitals and the yearly during
Christmas party. those
If not for the military training programs that took times a
place on campus during World War II, East Central cold,
would have closed due to lack of students. Both Knight soft
and Fentem Hall were filled
with young men involved in the
training program.
After WWII, with the 1950
passage of the G.I. Bill, East
Central, like most colleges,
experienced high enrollment
once again. This time, however,
the student population had
changed. The young men who
returned from war to finish their
education were older, more
experienced and many had
young families that came to
campus with them.
East Central obtained
barracks from military bases
and converted them into
apartments for married
8 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
hand would sometimes brush the back of their necks.
Despite added security and attempts
to explain away
events, the rumor
developed that
it was the dorm’s
namesake Kate
K. Knight herself
haunting Knight Hall.
A ghostly aura
could be seen floating
around her portrait
that was hanging in the
lobby. Terrified women
slept six to eight to a
room and finally after
20 years of rumors and
legends, they approached
President Stanley Wagner
for help. He had the
picture removed from the
dorm and life returned to
normal. Panty raids and reverse panty raids were popular in
Also during the 1950s, the calm of the early 1960s. When housemothers got wind
the newly completed of one, they flipped a switch that turned on a light at the
Memorial Student Union was top of Science Hall to signal the dorm night watchmen.
the hottest spot on campus. The only flaw in the system - students would remove the
The building was built and light bulb.
dedicated to the students who During the 1970s high gas prices and shortages forced
made the supreme sacrifice commuter students to move into the residence halls.
during WWII. By the end of the 1980s, the average age of the
Even if students missed student body was 26. East Central University became a
class for the day, they’d still commuter campus and residence halls no longer shaped
go to the Union at night. There the college experience.
they could dance, play cards, In the 1990s apartment style living became the trend
shoot pool, eat or just lounge. for college residence life and Tiger Commons was built
At the time, Highland Street was to keep up with the times, reviving the residential college
an open thoroughfare that ran experience. The new apartments featured two bedroom
in front of Knight Hall and the and four bedroom units.
Memorial Student Union all the way Living-and-Learning Communities were introduced
to Fentem Hall. Cars would cruise in 2007. Focusing on housing students with common
past the Union looking for parking on academic interests, Knight Hall became the Honors
the already crowded campus. Other Hall and freshmen were grouped in Pesagi, Briles and
students would sit on the benches Pontotoc Halls. The majority of freshmen are now required
and survey the campus activity. to live on campus. Along with the addition of Living-and-
In the 1960s enrollment exploded Learning Communities, a convenience store was opened
with the arrival of the Baby Boomers. in the lobby
To make room for them, Briles Hall of Pesagi to
was built in 1962, Pontotoc Hall in 1964 further meet
and Pesagi Hall in 1965. Six apartment students’
buildings were built from 1963-68 to needs.
house married students.

Residence Life. . . 2009

• Room and board costs for a student in 2009 range from
$800 to $2,000 per semester.
• ECU has four residence halls plus two apartment areas -
Tiger Commons and Adult & Family Housing
• Occupancy rate for campus housing is close to 90 percent.
East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 9
Once a tiger, always a tiger! Phi Kappa Tau t-shirts.
At the time, wearing the tiger costume also meant
The Tiger has been transformed, and having some talent in costume construction. After
almost eliminated, over the years, but Roary spraining his ankle at the first football game
has triumphed to lead ECU into the new because he couldn’t see very well, Liddell
millennium. had to re-build the tiger head. According
Orange and black have been East to the article, Liddell planned to build the
Central’s colors for as long as anyone can mouth open in a roar position, thus being
remember. According to The East Central able to yell and see out of the mouth.
Story, from Normal School to University, Since the mascot uniform appeared in
1909 – 1984, “Orange and black were the early 1950s, it has undergone many
the school’s colors almost from the revisions. The official number of tiger
suits the university has gone through
beginning. It appears ‘Dad’ Fentem
together with R.G. Spears and is unknown, but since the late 1960s
W.D. Little chose these colors there have been at least five different
largely because Fentem liked the “tigers.”
orange and black.” In 1981, Dr. Margaret Lewis
It’s not known specifically when worked with the Martin Hauan firm of
the tiger became East Central’s Oklahoma City to reinvent the tiger’s image
mascot. Like the colors of orange and as a recruitment tool.
black, it has just always been a tradition. According to The Journal, “This Tiger is
East Central University 1969-1989 an uptown Tiger, smart and full of class. He’s
states that, “Betty Roper, 1952 alum, was the smiling, happy and proud of who and where
first to don the mascot’s garb. Betty went he is!”
on to be a prominent teacher in Enid and The only problem left was to name the
elsewhere, and president of the Oklahoma tiger. A contest was held from Sept. 22 –
Education Association.” Oct. 14, 1981, with the winning name being
In 1970, there was discussion to change revealed during Homecoming festivities on
the mascot from the tiger to the thunderbirds, Oct. 17. Sue Wood won the contest with the
in honor of East Central’s association with the name Roary.
prestigious 45th Infantry Division of Oklahoma The current tiger mascot, Roary, is
and the state’s Native American heritage. part of the cheerleading squad and attends
However, the tiger roared on and staked his ECU’s home games and pep rallies. He
territory as East Central’s mascot. even tossed his hat in the political arena
In September 1976, The East Central Journal during East Central’s 2008 Homecoming. The
interviewed the current tiger mascot of the time, Mark Homecoming theme was Vote for Roary!
Liddell. Liddell was very enthusiastic about wearing In 2006, the tiger logo underwent yet
the tiger outfit. another transformation. Dr. Richard Rafes,
“I take pride in wearing the tiger suit and ECU president, called for a new branding of
representing the university at all official functions,” ECU. Jacob Snovel, the ECU library’s audio-
said Liddell. visual assistant, created the tiger’s new look.
Liddell earned the nickname “Tigger” amongst his The spirit logo is an oval surrounding a side
friends and had the name added to the back of all of his profile of the tiger’s head.


10 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

ECU Fight Song ECU Alma Mater
Fight on East Central, Hail, oh hail, our Alma Mater
Fight on for your fame, Loyal, brave, and strong.
Fight on East Central Tigers, win this game. To thee with voices ever ringing
We’re cheering for you, Comes our victory song.
Cheering to the end. Love and honor, strength and courage,
Fight on East Central Tigers, These we pledge anew.
Win, win, win. Hail, oh hail, our Alma Mater.
Hail, oh hail, to you.
“Fight on East Central” has been a tradition at East
Central for close to 50 years. Before the adoption of the While “Fight on East Central” is the university’s spirit
fight song, the band would play a marching song called song and is played at athletic events and pep rallies,
“On the Mall” and “The Tiger Rag,” but in 1962 East the Alma Mater is used at more serious occasions and
Central band director Don Gant penned the words to the ceremonies such as commencement.
now legendary ECU spirit song. ECU’s Alma Mater is commonly used by many other
The university’s administration requested that Gant universities. The tune was originally a melancholy ballad,
come up with a more moving and exciting fight song to “Annie Lisle,” written by Boston musician H.S. Thompson
play during athletic events. He pulled the tune from a in the late 1850s. The song was adapted in 1870 by two
Lutheran hymn that also had been adapted in the 1930s Cornell University students as that university’s alma mater
by the Nazis as a marching song, “Heil Deutschland.” and it has since become a classic.
While most
didn’t realize
the tune was
used by the
Germans in
WWII, the
same cannot
be said for
East Central’s
fifth president,
Dr. Stanley
Wagner, who
had served
behind enemy
lines in the war.
The first time he
heard the song
at East Central
he reportedly
recognized it
and was
Excited East Central fans cheer on the Tigers during a football game.
horrified, but he never
requested that the fight
song be changed.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 11

East Central struggles through the

Great fall enrollment was 1,412, which was 404 more

students than the fall of 1929. This number was
also an all-time high in enrollment up to that time.
According to The East Central Story, from
Normal School to University, 1909 -1984, the lack
of jobs probably contributed to the increase in
enrollment combined with the relatively low cost of
attending East Central.
Tuition was free for in-state students and fees
ranged from $5 - $11 per semester. The greatest
expense for students was room and board. Prior
to the first dormitories being built on campus,
out-of-town students rented rooms from local Ada
Graduating Class of 1932 citizens.
In the early 1930s, some students who
couldn’t afford room and board lived in tents where

Throughout East Central Knight Hall now stands.

The New Deal programs came to both East Central
and Oklahoma with the election of Ernest Marland as
University’s 100-year history many governor in 1935. The biggest benefit to the campus was
world events have created significant the construction of two dormitories through the Public
Works Administration. The project provided jobs for 165
challenges for the institution from men.
political interference and budget cuts Construction began in 1936 and the two new dorms,
Knight Hall for the women and Fentem Hall for the men,
to two world wars and the population were opened in 1937. The buildings were named after
explosion of the baby boomers. The original faculty members Kate K. Knight and Alfred L.
Fentem. Both were still teaching at East Central in 1937.
Great Depression of the 1930s was no While students had enjoyed “campus life” activities
exception. since the school’s beginning, with the opening of
The administration of East Central, along with faculty
residence halls, campus life quickly came into full swing.
and staff, struggled during the 1930s to continue to The school newspaper, The Journal, began to dedicate
provide quality education while facing drastic budget space to gossip columns that centered on those living in
cuts from the state and, oddly
enough, at the same time a
surge in enrollment.
Salaries for faculty
members dropped 30 percent
during the Depression.
President Adolph Linscheid
made the decision to not cut
the number of faculty and staff,
but to distribute what funds the
university did have among all
the employees.
The rise in enrollment at
East Central placed more strain
on already heavily burdened
faculty. Normal class size
went from about 20 students The Pride of Tigerland - East Central State Teachers College
to more than 50 crammed Marching Band, 1930s
into a classroom. In 1931,
12 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
the dorms. The hottest
went on a date with
topics tended to be who
whom, or which girl
received a phone call from a certain boy.
timers” to share memories of their school days at East
By the end of the decade, the worst of the Great
The telephone operators even got into the spirit of Depression had passed and East Central had survived
things by having their own column, “Switchboard Gossip.” despite drastic cuts in state funding. The school still
Some advice included, “If Knight Hall and Fentem Hall managed to strengthen its curriculum, improve academic
students must cut classes, it would be wise to remember preparation of faculty members and introduce new degree
that at mealtime you are likely to see Miss Keller, Mr. programs that would pave the way to a brighter future.
Davis, Miss Mitchell and Miss Walker. Also at the noon
meal there will be Miss Knight and Miss Hoover.”
They also offered suggestions: “Something to invent: a
telephone for Lucille Farris to put in her car so her ‘public’
can talk to her.”
Despite the serious economic times facing the
school, students still managed to enjoy themselves and During the Great Depression needy students
experience a sense of normal youthfulness. could apply for small loans from a fund that had been
Dances were held weekly in Knight Hall Lounge which established by the college in the early 1920s. Money
was furnished with a radio. Card games were a popular for the fund had accumulated from contributions by
pastime. Music recitals and tea parties were common and several graduating classes and from life membership
at Christmas, the lounge was decorated with a Christmas dues to the Alumni Association.
tree and artificial snowballs were hung from the ceiling. By the Depression, the fund was a significant
The students had a Christmas dance and gift exchange source of emergency money for students. In addition,
that sometimes featured an appearance by Santa Claus. individual faculty members helped students with food
Also during the Depression years, a great milestone and other necessities.
in the school’s history was marked. In 1934, East Central East Central has come a long way since the
celebrated its 25th birthday. On Thursday evening, May 1930s. The university and the ECU Foundation now
17, a dinner was held by the Ada Chamber of Commerce offer over 300 different types of scholarships to help
at the Aldridge Hotel to honor the pioneer citizens of Ada students fund their education.
who worked hard to bring East Central to the city. In addition to scholarships, federal and state
Many smaller celebrations were held throughout the financial aid plays a critical role in helping ECU
week in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club students. ECU has participated in financial aid
and the Lions Club. There was also a gathering of the “old programs since their creation. In the most recent
award year, ECU provided $31 million in federal,
state, institutional and private sources of aid to 4,470

Newly constructed Knight Hall, 1937

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 13

Students visiting in the Rock Garden, 1955

The Rock
Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
D uring the 1930s, East Central gardener Roy
“Pop” Harris was busy improving the appearance of
campus. With the help of student workers through the Opportunities To Give
National Youth Administration, Harris reclaimed the hilly • President’s Circle • Athletics
slope that runs north to south through the campus. Rock • Annual Fund • Hallie Brown Ford
terraces were built on the hill along with water ponds and a • Rock Garden Fine Arts Center
colorful array of plants and shrubs were added. • Tiger Club - Seat Naming
• Callixylon Society
The Rock Garden soon became a favorite hang-out - Room Naming
for East Central students, especially those looking for a • Horace Mann Society
romantic rendezvous. It remained a popular meeting place
Deferred or Planned Gifts
throughout the decades, with its popularity tapering off
• Bequests • Charitable Gift Annuities
in the 1980s. The construction of the Instrumental Music • Charitable Lead Trusts • Individual Retirement
Building, built in front of the terraced hillside in 1980, • Charitable Remainder Trusts Accounts (IRA’s)
changed the view of the Rock Garden. • Life Insurance
Today, the terraces and steps of the Rock Garden are
crumbling and in great need of repair. Funds are currently Gifts In-Kind
being raised for the restoration of the beautiful hillside that Tangible property includes works of art, books, real estate,
contains special memories for many East Central alums. equipment, collections - virtually all physical objects in your
possession. If the gift is accepted by the University for its use,
transfer of ownership to ECU with a written statement of fair market
East Central University Foundation Inc. value of the gift at the time of the donation will be provided to the
The East Central University Foundation Inc. was donor.
organized in February 1970, when five alumni -
W. Harvey Faust, R. Burl Harris, James A. Thomas Sr., Gifts to Endowments
Hugh Warren and Oscar L. Parker - filed the Articles of Endowments may be unrestricted or restricted as to
Incorporation with the State of Oklahoma. These five plus purpose, depending on the donor’s intent. They may fund student
scholarships, faculty chairs, professorships or lecture series.
Dr. Stanley P. Wagner, then president of East Central,
Endowments are a great way to double an ECU investment.
contributed a total of approximately $2,000 with which to
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education match qualified
begin operations. professorship, lectureship and chair endowment gifts.
For the first 20 years the ECU Foundation Inc. Currently ECU has 25 endowments totaling nearly $9 million
experienced slow and steady growth. By 1990, the (including Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education match).
endowment had grown to approximately $2 million. The
income from the investments was used almost exclusively
to fund scholarships to incoming freshmen at ECU.
In the early 1990s, spurred on by a declining state
economy due to the oil and gas “bust,” of the 1980s, the
Foundation decided to begin its first aggressive attempt
to raise funds and to expand its service in a significant
way to assist with the needs of the university in addition
to scholarships.
The “Foundation for the Future” campaign set an
ambitious base goal of $1.2 million and a challenge goal
of $1.75 million. By the close of the campaign in 1996,
the campaign had exceeded all expectations, raising over
$3 million.
As ECU looks toward its future, the athletic
department and each college within the university has
committed to raising $15,000 in order to establish an
endowment for student scholarships.
These include the College of Education and
Psychology, the College of Health and Sciences, the
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the School of
Business, the School of Graduate Studies and the ECU

Athletic Department.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 15

100 Years

ECU & the

16 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 17
“It seemed as if each student of the 1960s had a
car and the strong urge to drive it.”
- The East Central Story, from Normal School to University 1909-1984.

F ord’s famous Model T and assembly line technique At the time, Highland Street was open across campus,
of building automobiles came along about the same time running in front of Knight Hall and the newly built Memorial
as East Central was born. While the early-day founders of Student Union on the south side to Fentem Hall on the
the school had many problems to consider, it’s safe to say, north side of campus. It was a pastime of students to sit
parking was not one of them. on benches outside the dorms and check out new arrivals
It wasn’t and watch other students cruise around looking for parking
until the spaces.
1920s that As the baby boomers came to college in the
East Central’s 1960s, East Central’s enrollment sky-rocketed and the
students and administration struggled to accommodate the influx of
their cars new students and their cars. While three new dorms were
became a built along with new apartments for married students, the
challenge. struggle for adequate parking continued.
Some older In an attempt to help regulate parking, the East Central
citizens in Ada State Honor Court was assigned the duty of holding traffic
viewed cars court. During the first eight weeks of traffic court there
as houses of were about 17 cases a week of improper parking.
prostitution The dean of students suggested the parking problem
on wheels would be solved if those students who lived within walking
and felt that distance actually walked to class instead of driving.
students An editorial in East Central’s school newspaper, The
shouldn’t be in Journal, states, “Why is there still a parking problem on
a car together campus? Ask any student who drives a car and see the
in mixed reaction. Be prepared for an answer something
company. like this, ‘What good are parking rules and their
As a Students enjoy enforcement if there isn’t enough room for all the
result, the visiting after class in cars.’”
popularity of
the automobile
their cars in the late
created more teens and 1920s.
work for East Central’s faculty. Beginning
in the 1920s and lasting through the 1930s,
all male faculty members took turns monitoring the streets
surrounding campus. If male and female students were
caught in a car together after dark without a chaperone,
they faced a one-week suspension from school.
During the war years of the 1940s, cars and fuel were
so scarce that air cadets training at East Central would
drive four miles to Abbott’s pasture airfield in an old car
with a faulty fuel pump. One of the cadets sat on the front
fender and poured gas into the carburetor. It was said the
drive to the field was more dangerous than the flying.
By the mid-1950s, America’s love of the automobile
was in full swing and the campus of East Central was not
exempt. Not only were students coming to school, they
were bringing their cars with them. The administration took more drastic measures by the
To try to regulate parking and ease some of the traffic mid - 1970s to deal with 250 more cars on campus than
congestion, the school erected parking meters in 1956 parking spaces. The school began issuing parking decals
and at one point a city patrolman was stationed at the and stepped up the consequences of illegal parking.
intersection of 10th Street and Francis during the noon According to The Journal, “The first violation is a
hour to direct student traffic. warning. If a second violation occurs after a week and

18 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

before the first violation is taken care of, the security office
will attach an immobilizer to the vehicle. It isn’t removed
until the citations are taken care of.”
In the 1980s students favored newer, sportier cars
and the campus turned into a commuter campus with
many choosing not to live in the dorms and in the 1990s,
administrators said there was plenty of parking available to
students. The only flaw was a majority of it was at Norris
Field. After parking there, students would face a steep
climb to get to class.
In 2007, to alleviate overcrowding and the popular
practice of residence hall dwellers driving to class, parking
permits were issued with slight restrictions. Students
could only park in the areas designated on their permits.
If a student lives in Pesagi Hall, they can only park at
Pesagi Hall without facing the possibility of a parking
ticket. Cars line the road
ECU Police Chief Bert Miller in front of the
estimates that the campus police An illegally
Memorial Student
write 20 – 30 parking tickets a day. parked student
Union, 1969.
receives a
ticket, 1975. Students can still appeal to the
ECU Honor Court if they feel the
ticket was issued in error.
Miller said that he has seen a decrease of cars on
campus with the high gas prices and in the fall of 2008,
ECU started a campus-wide car pooling system that
involved linking commuting students via the internet.
Alleviating parking problems comes at a price.
In 2006, each new parking space cost $3,000. The
price covered asphalt, striping and upkeep. Building a
parking garage, which some have suggested over the
years, would cost approximately $14 million.
The university has added several new parking lots
over the past couple of years and to date has just over
2,900 parking spaces, of which 1,600 are located on
the “upper” portion of campus compared to a student
enrollment of 4,000 plus.
As student population grows during ECU’s second
century, the issue of where to park and where not
to park will continue to be a popular issue with the
students. It could even be considered a “tradition”
among East Central’s students and alums alike,
The highest fee is $150 for parking in a handicapped whether their graduation year is 1959 or 2009. All can
space, which is set by a state mandate. Most other fees share stories about finding a parking place on campus
range from $10 - $35 depending on the type of parking that won’t lead to the inevitable parking ticket.
“The first couple of weeks of each semester we
just give out warnings unless someone’s parked in a
handicapped or restricted zone, such as a fire lane. We Students
want to give new students the opportunity to become embrace their
accustomed to where they can park and where they can’t,” cars, 2006.
said Miller.

Did you know that cars did not have . . .

• Radios & heaters until the 1930s • Four wheel drive & airbags until the 1970s
• Turn signals until the 1940s • Remote keyless entry
• Seatbelts, electric windows, power steering & hybrid cars until the 1990s
& disc brakes until the 1950s

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 19

brings change to


20 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

From WWI to the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the men
and women of East Central have always played an active role during
wartime. Each conflict has brought both major and minor changes
to campus that have in one way or another left permanent reminders
to future generations. Story continues on pages 22 - 25.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 21

Shortly after James Marcus Gordon
became the second president of East
Central State Normal School, he, along
with the school and the country, had to
face the effects of U.S. involvement in
the First World War.
The male students on campus disappeared as they A member of the wwi satc receives attention
enlisted in the war effort. Fall enrollment for 1917 showed from the Normal School women, 1918
a 19 percent drop from the previous year. The students
and faculty who remained on campus participated in
Liberty Loan drives and planted victory gardens north of commemorate those from the school who had given the
Science Hall. ultimate sacrifice.
A Student Army Training Corps (SATC) unit was World War II affected campus in much the same way
assigned to the campus as part of a nationwide student as WWI. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec.
training program that 7, 1941, East Central’s students,
was headed by the War
Department. Students could M ore than 400 students and
faculty and staff alike enlisted
in the military. If it were not for
stay in school until it was time former students of East Central military training programs once
for them to go on active duty. Normal served in WWI, with five again being placed on campus,
They received 13 hours of East Central would have closed
military instruction per week. dying in the line of duty. due to lack of students.
The SATC unit consisted A training unit for the Army
of about 100 young men. In preparation for this program, Air Corps was stationed on campus to provide both
East Central transformed its newly built wooden gym into military and
military barracks. Cots were moved in and additional bath
facilities were built as part of a temporary structure.
More than 400 students and former students of East
Central Normal served in World War I, with five dying in the
line of duty. President Gordon oversaw the construction
of a memorial gateway at the end of Main Street
in front of
Hall to

WWI Student Army Training Corps, 1918

22 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

Members of the WWII
Army Aircrew Training
Corps, 1940s

teacher training

Sixty-six men from East school for

Central died in WWII. The through high
school, was
Memorial Student Union was changed to
completed in the early 1950s prepare young
and dedicated to those students men and
women for the
who died in the line of duty.
war effort. In
the high school, young men took part in a ground class in
academic training for 300 men. aviation, while a course in basic nursing was added for the
According to The Journal, “It is not anticipated that this women.
arrangement will overtax the facilities of this institution. Sixty-six men from East Central died in WWII. The
Displacement of enrollment here through military service Memorial Student Union was completed in the early 1950s
and other forms of war work has been well in excess of the and dedicated to those students who died in the line of
300 new campus inhabitants.” duty. Their pictures are displayed in the lobby.
The remaining female students were glad to see an The Korean War and Vietnam War did not have the
influx of men on campus. In a popular gossip column in same impact on campus as the two previous World Wars.
The Journal the staff wrote, “The war is affecting the girls While students and former students were called to duty,
in more ways than one. Not only does the new defense there was not the mass exodus from East Central as there
plan take the sheer silk hose that lead to glamorous legs, had been previously.
but the draft system has made girl’s tag dances more or While unrest and protest were taking place at many
less a necessity than a novelty.” college campuses across the nation during the late 1960s
The curriculum at Horace Mann, East Central’s and early 1970s, East Central’s campus didn’t see the

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 23

and carrying weapons. A rifle range was constructed under
the west bleachers at Norris Field for ROTC use as well.
ROTC was a mainstay on campus until the late 1990s.
In 2006, the Oklahoma Army National Guard
established its first-ever Guard Officer Leadership
Development (GOLD) program at ECU. Through the
GOLD program, students can minor in military science and
earn 10 hours of college credit and earn commissions as
officers in the OANG.
During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ECU has
made use of technology to assist students serving
overseas. When the local Oklahoma National Guard
Charlie Company 1-180 was mobilized and deployed in
2006 to Afghanistan, the university
established three online classes
that soldiers could take while on
active duty.
However, once the unit arrived
rotc members raising
the flag, 1984
in Afghanistan, its mission changed
and they were moved to an area
that saw heavy combat. As a result,
same action. There were some protests, many who had enrolled in the
but overall, students were calm about the online classes were unable to finish
situation. Some East Central students the course work.
did publish an independent newspaper For 100 years students,
known as The Shadow that was critical of faculty and staff of East Central
America’s involvement in Vietnam. have joined the call to arms when
Due to hostility at other schools, needed. From serving in the
the army contacted East Central about military to providing a place for
placing a Reserve Officers Training Corps rotc student rappelling
military training to planting gardens
(ROTC) unit on campus. The first classes off one of the buildings on on campus, or most recently,
in military science were held in the fall campus, 1970s developing online classes and
semester of 1971. organizations sponsoring care
The Journal recounts watching the package drives – East Central
members of the ROTC unit rappelling off of Briles Hall and University’s history would not be complete without the
swimming in the pool at McBride Gym while in full uniform telling of its efforts during times of war.

ROTC Students, 1990s

24 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

Veterans Upward Bound
is a federally funded TRIO grant
program at ECU that is designed to
prepare eligible veterans to enter or
re-enter post-secondary programs,
whether it is a technical or vocational
school, or a two - or four - year
college, anywhere in the United
The program offers classes,
workshops and individualized
instruction. In addition to the
academic preparation, VUB offers
information about programs of
study and careers, assistance
with admissions and financial aid
applications, individual counseling,
and referrals to other veteran

Sgt. Dewayne Riley and Cpl. Mark Kosemund, Veterans Workforce

ECU’s Veterans Upward Bound program.
participants in
Investment Program
is a federally funded program at ECU

that is intended to meet the workforce
investment needs of veterans and to
perform outreach activities to develop
and promote employment and job
training opportunities.


at ECU allows students to minor
in military science, earn 10
hours of college credit and earn
commissions as officers in the
Oklahoma Army National Guard.

Pictured at right are officer

candidates David Young, Keith
Jones, instructor Sgt. 1st Class Joe
Zook, officer candidates Michael
Hill and Rashena Smith.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 25

Through the Years
1923 1970s

Interpreter Service Program for

deaf and hard of hearing students
began at East Central in 1974 as the
only program of its kind in Oklahoma.
Its purpose was and still is to provide
support services to students who are
deaf and hard of hearing.
The program began with one
interpreter and four students.
In conjunction with the Interpreter
Service Program, ECU offers the only
degree in Oklahoma in Counseling
Services for the Deaf and is the
only university in the state to offer
residential living facilities that are
1990s 2004 equipped especially for the deaf and
hard of hearing.

Science Hall President’s Home Horace Mann Administration McBride Gym

1910 1918 1919 1926 1927

26 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

The Office of International Students & Programs was
dedicated in the spring of 1994 with the office officially opening in
October 1994.
The number of students and the diversity of the international
population at ECU made it one of the fastest growing new
programs in the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors
In four short years the program grew from nine students
from four countries to 74 students from 23 countries. In 2009, the
program has 70 students representing 32 countries.
International students have brought wonderful diversity
to the ECU campus. Since 1994, the campus has enjoyed
many multicultural fairs, dinners and fashion shows. The Ada
community has been very welcoming and has partnered with ECU
in hosting students and working on campus projects. 1990s 1996


East Central’s Human Resources Club has served Thanksgiving

dinner to the Ada community for approximately 30 years.
What began in the 1970s with members of the Human Resources
Club cooking turkeys in their own ovens, peeling potatoes and
serving approximately 200 people, has grown to a university and
community event, serving meals for almost 4,000 people with
approximately 300 volunteers.
The club raises funds from activities such as bake sales and
1984 soliciting donations from the community.

Norris Field Fentem Hall Knight Hall Linscheid Library

1930 1937 1937 1949

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 27

Continuing Education
began in the fall of 1974. Its
humble beginning showed an
enrollment of approximately
2,000 students and the
program offered 122 classes
its first year. Today the Center
boasts an all - color schedule,
offers more than 300 classes
each year and has increased
its enrollment to more than
20,000 in 2008.


ECU’s Collegiate Officer

Program was the first one
implemented in the state.
It is a collaborative
arrangement between the State
of Oklahoma Council on Law
Enforcement Education and
Training (CLEET) and ECU that
Mikhail Gorbachev,
allows students to fulfill Oklahoma
former president of
police officer certification
the Soviet Union (1985
requirements while completing
to 1991) spoke to a
their bachelor’s degree.
capacity crowd in ECU’s
Kerr Activities Center on
Oct. 25, 2005.
Gorbachev’s visit to
ECU was organized by
a committee chaired by
Dr. Mara Sukholutskaya,
associate professor of
English and languages
and was funded by gifts
from Ada businesses,
organizations and
2008 individuals. 2006

Memorial Boswell
Student Union Horace Mann/Faust Hall Education Chapel Briles Hall

1951 1953 1957 1957 1962

28 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

1974 1920s

A program to remove architectural barriers and

modify facilities to accommodate handicapped
students was put into place for the campus of East
Central in 1966 using funds from a federal grant. East
Central became a national model for other institutions
in being a barrier - free campus.
ECU’s Office of Disability Services currently serves
approximately 90 students by providing readers
and scribes, note taking, individual testing, student
advocates, adaptive equipment and resource referrals.


1916 1950

Family & Adult Kerr Activities

Pontotoc Hall Housing Pesagi Hall Center

1964 1964 1965 1974

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 29

1959 1965

1950 1962

Physical &
Elvan George Instrumental Environmental
Athletics Building Music Building Sciences University Center

1980 1980 1991 1997

30 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

The Alumni Association
was formed during
Homecoming, 1916. Ola
Davis, a 1913 graduate,
was the first president.

The association continues
to preserve ECU’s history
and acknowledge the
accomplishments of

The Alumni Association

also helps current students
by funding several
scholarships each year.

1984 1950

Hallie Brown Ford

Linscheid Library Tiger Commons Fine Arts Center
Future buildings. . .
• Pat O’Neal Strength &
Conditioning Center
• Wellness Center
• Conference Center

1997 2003 2009

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 31

100 Years
32 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
East Central Normal School
students spend time outside the
classroom on the front steps of
Science Hall, 1916

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 33
While academics have
been the primary focus of East
Central University throughout
its 100-year history, it is
inevitable that when a large
group of students come
together, a culture of student
life will develop outside the
classroom, helping to shape
the overall college experience.
Students on campus
playing in the snow, 1957

As early as 1910, when Science Hall,

the first building on campus was completed,
students would gather on the front steps before
and after class to visit.
In 1913, a group of rambunctious students
procured three elephants by paying the trainer
$5 the night before East Central was to play a
football game against Edmond. The elephants
belonged to a circus that was camped in Ada
for the winter. As many students as possible
climbed onto the elephants and proceeded to
parade through the streets of Ada shouting and
hollering about the upcoming football victory.
During the late teens and early 1920s,
students enjoyed hanging out at Wintersmith
Lake and Byrd’s Mill as evidenced from
school yearbooks of the time. Students would
also gather at the homes of popular faculty
By the 1930s, East Central had begun to
feel the effects of the Great Depression, but this
did not stop students from enjoying a social life.
Dating, as always, was a popular pastime. The
College Shop stood on the corner of Francis
and Main streets where the Hallie Brown Ford
Fine Arts Center is now. Housing a juke box
and soda fountain, it was a popular place to
meet before heading out on a date.
With the completion of the first two
East Central Students dormitories on campus, Knight Hall and Fentem
Bowling, 1950s Hall, campus life took on a whole new role.
There were now students on campus 24 hours

34 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

a day.
Up to this
point, East
The Journal,
had been
devoted to
academic news Greek Service Saturdays, 2008
not only about
A look at the Beatles,1976
East Central,
but that of the
surrounding grade school districts. East Central was, after
Greek organizations have played an important role on
all, originally a teacher training college and the newspaper East Central’s campus by contributing leadership, service and
reflected that. scholarship opportunities. Although Sigma Tau Gamma was
Once the dorms were opened, The Journal began chartered in the late 1930s, most chapters formed in the 1960s with
to devote space to gossip columns detailing who was the arrival of the baby boomers.
dating whom. There were also articles about official dorm Since then two local chapters were formed in the 1990s. Only
gatherings, parties and dances. one of the local chapters continues today. Every Greek chapter has
As World War II changed the student population on a home away from home at Pesagi Residence Hall.
campus, it also changed student life. The women left on Today’s Greeks are very diversified and carry on the traditions
campus still held social activities including all-girl dances of those before them by presiding over Student Senate and other
and card games. Female students also planted gardens student organizations, and participating in community and national
on campus and participated in Liberty Loan drives. service.
Post WWII changed the student population of campus
as well. When men returned to campus they were older
than traditional college students and many of them brought
their families with them.
Like the construction of residence halls on campus,
the completion of the Memorial Student Union in 1951
brought major change to student life at East Central. It
became the official place to “hang out” on campus. Greek “Bunny” Party, 1976
The Union offered students a place on campus not
only to socialize and relax, but to play games - from cards ECU established national chapters on these dates:
to pool to eventually pinball and other arcade games. • Sigma Tau Gamma, Tau Chapter - 1938
Jeannie Bell Acker Denton recalled in The East
• Pi Kappa Alpha, Epsilon Omega - 1963
Central Story from Normal School to University 1909-
• Chi Omega, Phi Theta - 1964
1984, “Everything was centered in the Union. When you
• Zeta Tau Alpha, Zeta Theta - 1966
were sick, you missed class, but you went to The Union
• Phi Kappa Tau, Gamma Xi - 1966
anyway. In fact, students often missed class to stay in The
• Alpha Gamma Delta, Epsilon Xi - 1968
Union and dance or to play in the poolroom upstairs.”
• Zeta Pi Lambda - 1990

Mud Olympics, 1993

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 35

The popularity of the Memorial Student Union
continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Prior to
the Union, the most popular “hang-out” on campus
was the Rock Garden. The terraced Rock Garden was
built on the eastern hillside of campus in the 1930s. Its
popularity continued through the 1970s as well.
In the 1960s East Central’s population exploded
with the arrival of the baby boomers. With the boomers
came an aggressive building program to house the new
students. Three new residence halls, Briles, Pontotoc
and Pesagi, were added in the mid-1960s. There were
now more students than ever on campus 24 hours a
Panty raids became popular and were conducted
on a regular basis. In one edition of The Journal a photo Students on the front steps
titled “Spring came early to the E.C. campus” shows an of Science Hall, 1916
Ada fire truck with its extension ladder leaning against
the top of the flag pole once centered in front of Science
The caption reads, “Pictured above are Dale Tinsley
on ground and Herman Wilhite on ladder, as they
remove a brassiere and pair of panties from the campus
flagpole. Some unknown pranksters had hoisted the
‘flags’ and then cut the hoist cable.”
Student life in the 1970s closely mirrored that of the
1960s. The national political and social unrest during
the Vietnam era didn’t really affect East Central. Some
mild protests against the war were held at the Quad,
a popular gathering place behind the former Linscheid
Library, now Danley Hall. The Quad has since been
taken over by the James Plaza and “the mall.”
During the 1980s and 1990s East Central became
a commuter campus but social opportunities were still
in abundance for students both on and off campus,
including going to the movies and bowling.
In 1986 ECU held its first Mud Olympics. Students
Students listening to music
competed in a variety of events, including wheelbarrow at the Student Union, 1959
racing, tug of war and spoon relays. Competition was
open to all students and turnout was huge.
Some say students fell into a pattern of
entertainment in the 1990s that included: Mondays
- going to the movies, Tuesdays - going bowling,
Wednesdays - attending church, Thursdays - partying
and Fridays - going home.
The University Center, completed in 1997 to
host special events, initially intimidated students who
described it as a place to store couches. Now it has
evolved into the new campus hangout.
Pool tables, ping pong tables, big screen plasma
TVs and Xboxes have been added to bring and keep
students in the center. Students can choose from a wide
variety of foods in the snack bar including the popular
college favorite, Starbucks coffee. They can also
workout at the Tommy Hewitt M.D. Wellness Center.
ECU’s student programming board, CREW, was
formed in 1994. After attending a national conference
on student government, Student Senate proposed the
idea of a volunteer student board to plan and implement An East Central student plays an arcade
game at the Student Union, 1981
traditional and new events for all students.

36 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

The first CREW chair was Emily Ray Fletcher. Several East Central University - 2009
former members have gone on to become directors
of student activity offices at other institutions of higher Our Focus
CREW hosts many events throughout the year and As ECU continues on its current path of examining and
all are free. In addition to traditional Welcome Week and seeking different ways to advance the university, these
Homecoming events, Spirit Week and Orange Crush, are areas of focus:
one of the most popular events takes place the last day • Student-centered experiences
of classes and is known as “The Greatest Day Ever.” It’s • Quality instruction and improved student learning
a day of stress-relieving events and is capped off by the • Grant funding
annual Mudstock Volleyball Tournament. • Enrollment, retention to graduation rates
Trends and fads come and go and East Central has • Economic development and community steward-
seen many throughout the century, as well as serious ship
times and carefree times. No matter what, one thing has • The university’s state and national reputation
always stayed constant and that is the ability of students to • Fundraising and donor development
socialize and have fun outside the classroom. No one can
predict the future of ECU’s second century, but it is safe to Quick Facts
say students will always find entertainment, be it hanging
out on the front steps of Science Hall or interacting with • Undergraduate enrollment - 3544
friends via Facebook or MySpace. • Graduate enrollment - 816
• States represented - 20
• Countries represented - 30
• Out of state students - 5.5%
• Student/faculty ratio - 18:1
• Male/female ratio - 4:10
• Undergraduate degree concentrations - 69
• Graduate degree concentrations - 17
• Student organizations - over 70
• Athletics - 13 sports at the NCAA Division II Level
• Mascot - “Roary” the Tiger
• School Colors - Orange & Black

• 2.8% Hispanic
• 3.4% Other

Sliding on the hill, 1969

Student Senate Student gathering and pep rally at the Quad, 1965

Professor of Government Charles F. Spencer Student Senators serve on key university

(later to be named ECU president) was designated to committees that help to shape campus policy.
act as faculty counselor for the first formal beginning Senate representatives are also leaders in areas of
of student government. academics, with several being members of the Honor
On May 6, 1947, the first election of officers Society.
was held. They outlined the purpose “to bring Student Senators work in conjunction with the
about a closer relationship between the college student body and university administration to better
administration, faculty and student body, to further the quality of student life on campus both inside and
unity and cooperation among the students, and to outside the classroom. The purpose adopted more
promote the objectives for which the College exists.” than 60 years ago still governs Student Senate today.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 37

Pesagi Yearbook
East Central University’s Pesagi Yearbook is a tradition “Everybody knows Bob, but not everybody likes him,”
almost as old as the school itself. “Pesagi” is a Chickasaw the prophecy read. “He knows this, but is not worried about
word meaning teacher and was chosen as the name for it in the least. ‘Fair-minded men will differ on important
the East Central Yearbook by the senior class of 1913, the questions,’ Kerr says. He likes to fight, and this spirit is
first year the school published a yearbook. likely to lead him into politics. Once in, we venture that he
That first book was dedicated to Charles W. Briles, will not stop before adding to his name U.S.S.”
the first president of East Central. The greeting read, “To There were 11 members on the first Pesagi Yearbook
all who may be interested, we, the class of 1913, present staff in 1913 compared to three students who currently
this, the first number of the Pesagi. In it are portrayed produce the book.
the various activities of the student body of the East “For many years students designed the pages on
Central Normal. In regard to the faults of the book we ask paper layout sheets and sent them, all the photographs,
you to temper your the typed copy and other graphics to the publishing
criticism with mercy, company which did all the technical work,” said Jill Frye,
but in regard to the current advisor for the Pesagi.
commendable parts, “Then we began doing the layouts
be as extravagant as and entering text on computers.
you like. “Today, the book is produced
“While the Senior online. Everything goes to the
class has been publisher
responsible for the electronically,
Pesagi, credit is due camera ready,” she
no less to the other said. “Everything you
classes that have so see on the pages
faithfully aided us was designed,
both through their written, measured
representations and placed on the
and by contributing pages by students
material. via the computer.
“To the Faculty we extend So they actually
our thanks for the kindly aid and do more work than
advice. yearbook staffs did
“Finally, if this Annual succeeds in arousing greater several years ago.”
devotion and school spirit among the students of E.C.S.N. From 1929 –
(East Central State Normal School) and a stronger sense 1947 the Pesagi
of loyalty among the Alumni, the class of 1913 will feel that was discontinued
the real purpose of this issue has been accomplished.” because of the Great
The book was bound in a soft, chamois material. In the Depression and then World War II. The yearbook was
following years the books were bound in bukrum, a soft brought back in 1948 with a title change from Pesagi to the
leather. By the mid 1920s the yearbook was bound in the Tiger.
traditional hard cover. There was yet again a break in yearbooks from 1952 –
The early yearbooks contained sports, clubs and 1955. In 1958, the decision was made to change the name
class photos for all of the normal school from the two- back to the Pesagi in honor of the original yearbooks and
year teacher accreditation program to the preparatory East Central’s original purpose, training future teachers.
classes to the classes of grade school children that were The first yearbook to have a color cover at East
held within the normal school to assist in teacher training. Central was in 1961 and in 2008, the first-ever all color
The grade school eventually had its own building, Horace yearbook was produced.
Mann, but was still a part of East Central through the The 2009 Pesagi Yearbook, titled “Then and Now,” is a
1950s. special edition that will feature a centennial theme.
The early yearbooks also contained class jokes and “Yearbooks often contain a section about the year’s
class prophesies. The 1915 Pesagi contains a prophesy events, fads and pop culture. They are a great historical
for then student Robert S. Kerr, a prophesy that held much reference not only for the school, but to record current
truth as Kerr went on to be governor of Oklahoma and a trends of the time,” said Frye.
powerful United States senator.

38 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

Horace Mann Training School

1916 1923

Pesagi - Teacher
From the beginning, East The new building, which was located
Central’s main purpose was to where the current Physical and
train teachers. When Science Hall Environmental Science Building is,
was completed in 1910, classroom housed the teacher training school
space was reserved for the headed by John Zimmerman.
“training school,” whose students In 1925, Horace Mann became
were elementary and junior high an accredited four-year high school
age. in addition to the junior high and
In 1919, funds were approved elementary divisions of the school.
for the second classroom building In 1953, the new Horace Mann
on campus. Originally called the building was completed and still
Education Building, its name was stands today. The training school
later changed to honor famous was moved to this building and
educator Horace Mann. remained there until the program
was discontinued in 1960.
Horace Mann Building, 1959

1954 1956

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 39

What Happened to

East Central’s Elephant?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article first appeared in the Local
Public Service Program schedule, dated 1983 by Dr. residents mostly
B.J. Tillman, East Central Executive Vice President. remember Honest
Bill as being a colorful, energetic
person and the elephant as being big,
East Central University isn’t located in the grassy friendly and named Diamond. However,
plains of Africa, nor is it in the tropical rainforest of South events that transpired indicated something else about
Asia, but it certainly is one of the few colleges in the Diamond. She must have been very old with bad lungs
southwest that can lay claim to its own pachyderm – a very because she died while in winter quarters in north Ada in
large and very dead one. late 1919.
ECU came into possession of its elephant through Undoubtedly, Diamond’s death created serious
a fluke of geography and history. As many East Central problems for Honest Bill. He lost the principal animal
alums and long-time residents can attest, in an earlier era, performer of his circus and, furthermore, he had the costly
Ada, Hugo, Ringling and certain other towns in southern problem of disposing of a very large and dead elephant.
Oklahoma were used as wintering places for circuses. Records don’t indicate if Diamond had a successor in
Certainly southern Oklahoma isn’t Florida or California, but the circus but they do document what happened to her
the area did have plenty of hay and a mild climate which remains. Honest Bill “generously” gave the pachyderm
provided convenient, if not ideal, wintering quarters for to East Central’s science department which solved his
carnivals and small circuses that were so popular before problem but created one for East Central.
the automobile and movie theatre became common. Professors Hatchett and MacMillian and student
Ada wasn’t as popular with showmen as Ringling or Gilmon Mackin saw the elephant’s demise as an
Hugo, nor was it very successful in the shows it attracted. unexpected, unusually promising opportunity to
However, it did have one regular winter resident. Ada was accomplish two goals. One, they could offer anatomy
selected for the wintering site by Honest Bill Newton’s students a chance to expand their anatomical experience
Country Circus for several years. far beyond the typical laboratory regimen of rat and frog
History was to show that Honest Bill’s entertainment dissection; and second, the elephant’s skeletal remains
enterprise didn’t have the promise of other area circuses, would, when properly displayed, provide an interesting
such as Ringling Brothers, who gave a name and some item for East Central’s fledgling museum.
fame to Ringling, Okla. Not much is remembered about The elephant project called for moving the expired
Honest Bill’s Circus except that it had an elephant and that pachyderm to the campus for fitting entombment in a
the bandmaster was named James, the carefully built box, and after a carefully calculated interval,
father of Harry James, the famous big to uncover the remains for reassembly of the skeleton for
band conductor of the study by students and admiration by museum visitors.
1940s. The elephant project plans were easier formulated
than followed. First, few in Ada or East Central – then as
now – had any experience in moving and disposing of a
dead elephant; second, in the 1900s, moving a ton-plus
of rigor mortised pachyderm from North Broadway to
the campus was no small task.
East Central faculty and students were equal to the
task. Mr. Hatchett and his anatomy students enlisted
the aid of Hugh Norris and the Industrial Arts
Department. Together, they formed a transport
team and a carpentry crew. All faced a challenge,
for dead elephants don’t keep long in Oklahoma,
even in winter.
Needless to say, plans were quickly carried out.
First, the elephant was moved to the campus in a
wagon and then placed, with a hand winch, in an air
tight, waterproof box, custom made by the industrial
arts students for the occasion. The institution didn’t
have “work study” in those days, but a great number
of students volunteered their services. In those simpler

40 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

times, before TV, Star Wars and E.T., the elephant project
provided much excitement to the campus community. Funding to Support Research Opportunities
The entire elephant was placed in the box and
covered with quicklime to hasten decomposition. All went
well for a few days, but it soon became embarrassingly
apparent that the vault designed to protect the remains
of the elephant wasn’t protecting the olfactory senses of
the campus and all of east Ada. To further complicate the
problem, chickens near the campus were dying of the
College administrators and faculty called an
emergency meeting to literally bury the problem. However,
to realize something from the experiment, the elephant’s
head was removed and the remainder left in the box for
quick and deep burial. During the 2009 fiscal year, ECU will receive $20 million from
With student, faculty and community cooperation, the grants and other external funding, not including donations.
elephant was quickly decapitated and buried along the hill These funds will provide on average nearly 75 full-time jobs that
that marked what was then the east edge of campus. The contribute about $3 million to the economy, as well as several
burial site was carefully remembered by those involved, for part-time jobs that provide an additional $1 million.
plans called for opening the grave in three to five years. In fact, $20 million in external funding is more than ECU
Time passed, campus events increasingly called for receives annually from state funds ($18.8 million in fiscal year
faculty attention, and students graduated, leaving few 2009) - making ECU one of the nation’s leaders in grant receipts
who were directly involved with Diamond’s burial. To when compared to similar institutions, not including institutions
further delay completion of the elephant project, the Great which are considered health, medical or engineering schools or are
Depression hit and cuts in college appropriations caused historically black colleges.
the museum plans to be shelved. Challenges in state funding have become a current theme
Next, World War II accelerated normal attrition of in Oklahoma and across the country, requiring institutions to find
both students and faculty. Even though normal operation more of their own funding. ECU would not be able to provide many
academic enhancements, cultural events or other activities without
of the college during those times called for much faculty
this funding.
attention, the elephant for the museum was never
Looking toward the future it appears that there may be growth
completely forgotten, because Mr. Hatchett, Gordon
opportunities linked to undergraduate research. ECU plans to
Harrell and Hugh Norris were still on the faculty and very increase funding for undergraduate research by $3 to $5 million
interested in a natural science museum. over the next five years.
Eventually, World War II ended and brought a flood ECU has 75 to 90 grant projects in operation on an annual
of students and new prosperity to American campuses, basis including:
including East Central. East Central, in an effort to serve • Federal TRIO Program - support for students from
its students, reactivated its plans for a library to provide disadvantaged backgrounds
study and research space for students with an area to • Teaching American History - professional development
house the long delayed museum space for the skeletal for area teachers
remains of Diamond. • Math and Science Partnership - professional
Unfortunately, 25 years had passed and members development for math and science teachers
of the college community who had been involved with • Nursing Department - ECU’s nursing program expansion
Diamond’s dissection and burial were hard to find. to Durant and Ardmore
Searches were launched, probers were used and a • The Tribal Policing Program - training for law officers
great many shafts were sunk, all to no avail – Diamond’s from about 85 entities across Indian Country
grave was lost. The search went on for a few years, but • Two USDA grants also made possible the beginnings of
gradually, space in the library was needed for students the Arts District of Ada
and research material, and interest waned, but never Although ECU has experienced tremendous success in
completely died. securing grant funds, from a variety of sources, the need for
In recent years an updating of East Central’s external funding continues.
history by Harvey Faust and a new book about Ada Unfortunately, grant funding does not address all facility and
programming needs and the institution has a very limited ability to
by Roy McKeown have regenerated interest in the
subsidize these unmet needs.
elephant project. Countless questions have been asked
If ECU is to truly achieve its potential in many areas, but most
of those familiar with Diamond’s demise, but the best
especially in that of undergraduate research, the institution must
information available locates the grave site in a number secure additional funding from the private sector.
of places, varying from under the Education building As East Central University celebrates a past rich with the
to beneath Briles Hall to Wintersmith Park. It seems scholarly achievements of our students and faculty, we look to the
that East Central’s greatest anatomical effort has led future – a future bright with promise – made possible through the
to the campus’s oldest and biggest question, “Where is generosity of our current and future funding partners.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 41

Academics In 1971, new technology enabled East Central
to expand its course offerings to off-campus sites.
Talkback TV was introduced. Students saw black
and white broadcasts and listened to the audio
through telephone. This technology was known as
televised instructional service.
In 1995, interactive television was adopted
with full-color, interactive capabilities that brought
the traditional classroom to new levels.
Now in 2009, via OneNet, ECU offers
classes at locations in Ardmore, McAlester,
Durant, Shawnee, Idabel, Alva, Duncan, Edmond,
Enid, Goodwell, Lawton, Poteau, Seminole,
Talihina,Tahlequah and Wilburton.

History Class, 1920s

Environmental Health
Science, 2000

Industrial Arts, 1950

Library, 1980s
East Central began as a two- • Business Administration
year teacher college and by 1920 • Biology
had been given permission to grant • Nursing
bachelor’s degrees. • Elementary Education
Throughout the years the • Human Resources Counseling
curriculum has expanded and • Kinesiology
changed to keep up with changing • Criminal Justice
trends in the workforce. • Early Childhood Education
Of ECU’s 69 undergraduate • Physical Education Teaching

degree programs the current top
majors include: •
Mass Communications
Classroom, 1969
42 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
Nursing, 2003 Education, 2008

In the late 1990s ECU

completed reorganization of
its academic departments into
five academic schools and a
center providing professional
and continuing education to
the public.
In 2007, four schools
became known as colleges.
Currently, ECU’s academic
departments are organized
as the:
• College of Education and
• College of Health and
• College of Liberal Arts
and Social Sciences
• School of Graduate
Chemistry Lab, 1920s Studies
• School of Business

The first computer came to

the East Central campus in 1965,
an IBM 1130, which the university
Cartography, 1990s
rented for $972 a month.
The computer was
surrounded by glass windows so
people could see it. Open houses
were held for community viewing.
The first computer course
was offered that fall.
In 2009, ECU students have
access to 30 computer labs,
student e-mail, an online learning
portal called the “blackboard,”
Computer, 1981 online courses and campus-wide

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 43

East Central and the Arts Go Hand in Hand
Since the early days, faculty and staff in the this is the largest private gift to benefit the university.
Communication, Music and Art Departments have been On Oct. 1, 2005, ECU broke ground on the largest
resourceful when it comes to securing supplies and construction project in its history - the $27 million Hallie
equipment. Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
It has been said that Dr. Dorothy Summers, a theatre The 85,000 square-foot facility will open in 2009
professor who began teaching in 1955, purchased a and will combine ECU’s art, music and communication
surplus of World War II supplies and created costumes departments.
and props for East Central’s early theatre productions, and The facility will be home to a 1,000-seat performance
some of these items remain today. hall, an art gallery and the Chalmers Herman studio theatre
The Art Department has a working printing press from plus rehearsal and academic space for the departments.
1797 that has been in use at East Central for many years. The center’s performance hall will accommodate a full
Some of the first mass communication classes’ equipment orchestra, off-Broadway productions, dance performances
consisted of a small reel-to-reel recorder which was and large conferences. The Hallie Brown Ford Fine
recently retired. Arts Center will be equipped with the newest and latest
During the late 1950s the original Horace Mann technologies available, including a completely digital
Building was renovated to house the fine art programs. television studio and two radio studios. These include
Prior to that time the departments were scattered across video and audio equipment that will record lectures and
campus, some in make-shift military barracks from WWII. performances that occur in the theatre.
When the original Horace Mann Building was torn Naming opportunities are available for theatre seats in
down in the early 1970s, the departments were once again the fine arts center and other areas in the building to help
scattered. meet the demands of rising building costs since the project
In 1975, the Art Department moved to the east side of started.
the Education Building. With the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center as the
The Instrumental Music Building was completed in ‘anchor tenant,’ ECU was able to obtain a USDA grant
1980, giving the department much improved facilities. For to research and develop the Arts District of Ada. With
decades the vocal music groups have been performing in community support it is envisioned that Ada will develop
local churches for their acoustical properties. In 1981, East new businesses and jobs and become a prime tourism
Central’s then-President Wagner submitted plans to for an destination in Oklahoma.
Arts and Letters Complex featuring three buildings centered
around an elevator tower, located behind the auditorium
of Science Hall and the northeast side of the Education
Building. Funding
however, did not
come through for the
new complex.
The dream
of combining and
building a fine arts
facility on campus
did not fade away. In
1989, new President
Bill Cole embraced
the idea of a fine arts
building and began
seeking funds.
Alumna Hallie
Brown Ford became
the long-awaited
answer to East
Central’s vision of a
fine arts facility. In
April of 2004, Ford
made a $5.25 million
gift to the ECU
Foundation. To date 2009
44 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.
Mass Communications, 2007

Orchestra, 1927

Art, 1950s Dr. Dorothy Summers, 1975

Choir, 1976 Theatre, 2007

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 45

When the state of Oklahoma
passed the bill creating East Central
State Normal School, the only funds
provided were for the construction of
Science Hall.
The citizens of Ada lobbied the
legislature for $16,000 - enough
money to pay the faculty and cover
other administrative costs for one
In 1958, full-time faculty earned
an average of $5,300.
By 1970, the average annual
pay for East Central faculty was
By 1980 faculty pay had doubled
to an average of $24,000.
2nd Year Faculty, 1910 In 2009, the average annual
salary for ECU faculty is $53,500.

East Central University has only had five Vice

Presidents for Academic Affairs over the years:

Dr. Edward W. James 1953 - 1972

Dr. Bill J. Tillman 1972 - 1980

Dr. C. Gene Stephenson 1980 - 1990

Dr. John Bulman 1990 - 1994

Dr. Duane C. Anderson 1994 - present

Presidents of ECU Horace Mann Faculty, 1940s

Charles W. Briles James M. Gordon Adolph Linscheid Charles F. Spencer

1909 - 1916 1916 - 1920 1920 - 1949 1949 - 1969

46 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

As education standards have
changed over the years so have
faculty requirements.
In 1958, 33 percent of East
Central’s faculty held a doctoral
By 1982, 44 percent of the
faculty had doctorates.
In 2009, 68 percent of ECU’s
faculty have earned a doctorate.
When the first classes began at
East Central, there were fewer than
25 professors and staff employed.
Today, ECU employs 320 full-time
East Central Faculty, 1920s faculty and staff.

ECU Faculty & Staff, 2008

Stanley P. Wagner Bill S. Cole Richard S. Rafes

1969 - 1988 1989 - 2006 2006 - 2008

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 47


100 Years
Since the institution’s beginning in 1909, East over as head coach for the next eight seasons with
Central University athletics has been synonymous with 1993 being the pinnacle season in East Central’s classic
success as football and basketball have led the way. history.
The Tigers, behind the running of fullback Tyler
FOOTBALL Jack, went 10-3 and captured the NAIA national title
The Tigers have a storied tradition in football with while rolling to victories in three straight playoff games
16 conference championships and one national title in over Western New Mexico (24-22), Arkansas-Monticello
1993. (27-0) and Glenville State (49-35).
Laying the groundwork for that success in the Walbrick guided the Tigers to a conference
latter part of the century was legendary head coach championship in the previous season of 1992.
Elvan George, who guided the Tigers to a 13 - season
record of 88-44-5 from 1959-1971. That included five MEN’S BASKETBALL
consecutive conference championships (from 1964- Men’s basketball has experienced a century of
1968) and four bowl appearances with one bowl title. success with Mickey McBride being the mastermind
George not only excelled as East Central’s head behind 12 conference championships in the early years
coach, but did so at the high school level at Ada as his and Wayne Cobb continuing the winning tradition with
career coaching record was an impressive 253-86-14. eight league titles.
Pat O’Neal continued that success as he took over McBride not only steered the East Central ship
the Tiger program in 1972 and posted a 97-87-2 career to the slew of conference titles, but also made nine
mark as head coach with eight conference titles in 18 national tournament appearances along the way.
seasons. He picked up three straight league crowns One of McBride’s greatest runs came during the
from 1978-80 and four straight from 1984-87. 1949-50 season in which the Tigers went 33-3 and
Perhaps one of the Tigers’ greatest seasons came reached the national title game before falling. That
in 1984 when the squad went 10-2 behind quarterback squad was led by two All-Americans in Claudell Overton
Brad Calip, who still holds several school records, and Stacy Howell. In fact, Overton was a four-time
including touchdowns in a game (seven in 1982 against all-conference selection during his East Central career.
Northwestern Oklahoma State), touchdowns in a season McBride had another All-American and four-time
(19 in 1984) and touchdowns in a career (49). He holds all-conference player in Bart Carlton who played from
the career record for total yardage (3,246 rushing and 1928-32. Carlton achieved his All-American honor
3,406 passing). during his senior year of 1932.
Because of his career efforts, Calip was named to Under McBride’s guidance, the Tigers placed third at
the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., in the national tournament in 1930, advanced to the Elite
2003. He is the only small college player from the state Eight in 1930-31 and 1941-42, and reached the Sweet
of Oklahoma to be enshrined into the prestigious hall. 16 in 1942-43 to go along with a finals appearance in
Following the 1989 season, Hank Walbrick took 1949-50.

The first football game was

played against Southeastern
Oklahoma State Normal School
(now Southeastern Oklahoma
State University).
Tiger fans took a special
train from Ada to Durant to watch
the game.
The first home games were
held by the Katy railroad tracks
between 12th and 14th streets.
The playing field was
eventually moved to the lawn
next to Science Hall where
wooden bleachers were
constructed for the crowd. East Central State Normal School
Football Team, 1911

48 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

In 1909, women’s basketball
was a popular sport and as a
result, by 1910 the new normal
school had a women’s team. East
Central did not have a men’s
team until 1913. The women’s
uniforms consisted of bloomers
and pullover sweaters. For five
years East Central had one of
the best basketball teams in the
state, losing only to OU. The high
point for the women’s team came
in 1914 when they won the state
championship. The following
year, women’s basketball at
East Central was discontinued
due to the belief by public health
authorities that intercollegiate
competition in female sports
was not appropriate. It was not
until 1956 that East Central
had another official women’s East Central State Normal School
basketball team. Women’s Basketball Team, 1911

Cobb coached East Central Men’s Basketball for 30-5 record, won 15 of its first 16 games and reached No.
24-plus seasons (1978-2003) and posted a 417-251 5 in the national rankings, behind the play of All-Americans
record. Gina Farmer and Rebecca Cotton.
His accomplishments include eight regular season Farmer is second on ECU’s all-time scoring list with
conference titles, six 20-win seasons, four NAIA National 1,631 points while playing only two seasons from 1995-97
Tournament appearances and two post-season conference while Cotton is fourth while playing only two years from
tournament championships. 1994-96.
He led the Tigers to an NAIA national tournament The early years of Lady Tiger basketball began in
runner-up finish in 1989 and saw his ECU squads advance 1956-57, under the direction of head coach Mary McPhee,
to the Elite Eight twice in 1996 and 1998. who posted a 229-111 record, before giving way to Eldon
Cobb coached six All-Americans including Marvin Flinn in 1982. Flinn went on to coach East Central for nine
Gaines (1983), Vernell Kemp (1989), Jay McAdams seasons and led the team to back-to-back conference
(1993), Len Cooper (1996), Chuck Liston (1997) and championships in 1988-89 and 1989-90 while coaching All-
Roland Miller (1998, 1999). American Kaye Wilkinson, who is sixth on the Lady Tigers’
Miller, ECU’s two-time All-American, is the school’s all- all-time scoring chart.
time leading scorer with 2,491 points and holds numerous
other school records, including most points in a game (44) BASEBALL
and season (849), along with field goals in a game (19), The 2004 baseball team, under head coach Ron Hill,
season (328) and career (931). Miller was the only NCAA went 30-21 and won the Lone Star Conference North
Division II player invited to participate in the USA Men’s Division title after being picked low in the preseason. Five
Basketball National Team Trials for the Goodwill Games in players off that team – Brandon Hurst, Matt Brooks, Kevin
1999. Wilkett, Tim Fatheree and Jeremy Roy - batted over .300
and one – Corey Hall – was named LSC North Pitcher of
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL the Year after posting a 10-2 record and a 1.91 earned run
Women’s basketball at East Central has enjoyed average. Hurst was named LSC North Player of the Year
success, particularly in the late 1990s, behind head coach after making only nine errors from his hot-corner, third-
Kent Franz. base slot and hitting .316.
Franz guided the Lady Tigers to three straight East Central’s rich baseball history stretches back
appearances in the NAIA national tournament in 1995-96, to the early years as National Baseball Hall of Fame
1996-97 and 1997-98. members and the brother combination of Paul ‘Big Poison’

Tiger Athletics
The 1995-96 ECU team posted a school-record best Waner and Lloyd ‘Little Poison’ Waner spent some time as

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 49

has experienced continual success in cross country.
since those programs began.
The ECU Men’s Cross Country team, behind the
running of Koby Styles, qualified for the NCAA Division II
national meet in 2005 and eventually placed 11th. Styles
finished 27th in the national race to capture All-American
honors. Styles went on to capture another All-American
award in 2006.
Individuals from the men’s and women’s programs
have also reached nationals via qualifying basis
throughout the years.

Women’s Soccer was started in the mid 1990s and
East Central Men’s the Lady Tigers have made two playoff appearances
Basketball Team, 1933
since, reaching the LSC Tournament finals in 2000 and
NAIA National Championship, 1993 advancing to post-season play in 2004. Coach Heather
Beam has led the program in all but the first year of its
students on campus.
Paul Waner, inducted into Cooperstown in 1952,
hit .333 with 3,152 hits, 113 homers, 104 stolen bases
Tennis, under coach Charlie Hibbard’s leadership,
and 1,309 runs batted in during his career with the
has produced winning players such as Dasha
Pittsburgh Pirates (1926-40), Brooklyn Dodgers (1941,
Segenchuk, a three-time ITA national qualifier in
1943-44), Boston Braves (1941-42) and New York
2004-06. The Men’s Tennis teams won conference
Yankees (1943-44).
championships in 1983 and 1987. The Lady Tigers and
Lloyd Waner, who was enshrined in 1967, batted
Tigers have enjoyed national team rankings in recent
.316 with 2,459 hits, 27 homers and 598 RBIs in his
career with the Pirates (1927-41, 1944-45), Boston
Braves (1941), Cincinnati Reds (1941), Philadelphia
Phillies (1942) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1944).
In 2005, the ECU Men’s Golf program received
notoriety when Andrew Bishop won the 2005 LSC
Championship. He was the first individual Tiger to win
Softball came onto the ECU sports scene in the
an LSC title.
late 1990s as the team shared a LSC North Division
The Men’s Golf program won conference
title in 1999 under head coach Ron Miller and posted
championships in 1985, 1990, 1994, 1995 and
five straight winning softball seasons, despite being an
1997. ECU also won an NAIA Southwest Region
upstart program.
Championship in 1998 and earned a District 9 title in
Perhaps the greatest player in the team’s short
history is Cherene Hiesl, who was a three-time LSC
North Player of the Year. She holds the school record for
highest batting average in a season (.517) and is in the
Though the sport of track and field is gone at ECU,
LSC record books for triples in a season (17) and career
there were periods of success and one of the most
notable athletes is Ryan Ade (1993-97). Ade is the
Hiesl was named a Louisville Slugger NCAA
Tigers’ only two-sport national champion after winning
Division II Third Team All-American in 1999 and later
the 1997 national title in the high jump. Ade, a three-
went on to be the starting centerfielder for the 2000
time conference high jump
Canadian Olympic Team.
champion and

The Lady Tigers first Women’s Cross Country team,
under the direction of Susan Payne, promptly won the
1994 conference championship and the men’s program
was started by Payne in 1997. ECU

East Central faculty & staff

enjoy playing tennis for
recreation in 1913, long
before tennis became an
official sport at East Central.

50 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.

ECU’s men
and women
compete in
13 sports

Student fees along with individual and corporate

donations have all served as funding sources for Tiger
Athletics. During the infancy years of East Central sports,
students were assessed a “term activity” fee. A portion of
these proceeds was used to buy equipment and cover
travel costs for athletic teams as well as defray the costs
associated with drama, vocal and instrumental music
The practice of partially funding the athletics
program has been in place since the university’s
inception. Supplementing the athletic budgets has been
accomplished via generous support from alumni, booster
groups, Ada community leaders and coaches.

• Mayhue Tennis Courts – 1928 George and Rachel

Mayhue gave property to East Central
• Norris Football Stadium – Land donation from the
Norris family & Gerald Philpot provided the
materials for the track
• Kerr Activities Center - mid 1970s the Kerr Family
and ECU Foundation raised the funds
• Elvan George Building - ECU football coach Elvan
George’s former players and friends raised funds
for a new locker room in his honor
was also a member of ECU’s 1993 national championship • Pat O’Neal Strength and Conditioning Center –
football team where he was a three-time Scheduled to open in 2009, it was made possible
all-conference safety. by donations from friends of Tiger athletics.
• Generous private donations, student fees and
In the past two years, Women’s Golf (2007) and
university funds made the following possible:
Women’s Volleyball (2008) have been added to ECU soccer field, softball diamond and a women’s
athletics for a total of seven women’s and six men’s sports complex
As ECU embarks on its second century of existence,
additional efforts are needed to continue the growth in
competitive sports.
Running of the Ball Athletics Director Brian DeAngelis established a group,
the Tiger Club, with the goal of augmenting resources for
This has been an East Central tradition since the all 13 ECU sports. The Tiger Club solicits donations from
fall of 1968 for the football game against ECU’s 100- individuals and corporate sponsors alike.
year rival, Southeastern. Through the efforts of this initiative, bleachers for
If the game is in Durant, the East Central chapter football, soccer, tennis and baseball, the renovation of the
of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity runs the ball to the lobby of Kerr Center, along with the aforementioned Pat
Southeastern field the night before the game, arriving O’Neal Center, are dreams that have become realities.
in the morning. The tradition was started under Paramount to the future success of ECU athletics
PIKE president Ralph ‘Butch’ Turner to honor their is creating partnerships with corporations and financial
philanthropy. donors so that budgets can be enhanced. To paraphrase
When the game is at East Central, the the popular African adage about raising children, “It will
Southeastern chapter of Lamda Chi runs the ball to take a collaborative effort of multiple constituencies to
Ada. sustain a successful athletics program.”
In recent years, the fraternity has raised as much
as $3,500 with one run to benefit the community.

East Central University - Celebrating 100 Years 51


Ronald H. White, Chairman

Bill W. Burgess Jr.
Julie Carson
Marlin “Ike” Glass Jr.
Jimmy D. Harrel
Cheryl P. Hunter
John Massey
Joseph L. Parker Jr.
William Stuart Price
Glen D. Johnson, Chancellor



Joe Anna Hibler, Chairman

Jan Gordon, Vice Chairman
Sandy Garrett, Co-terminus (State
Ann Holloway
Belva Howard
Harold Jackson
Michael Mitchel
Connie Reilly
Mark Stansberry
Sheridan McCaffree, Executive



Dr. Duane C. Anderson, Interim

East Central University’s mission is to foster a learning environment in
Dr. Scott Barton, Acting Vice
which students, faculty, staff and community interact to educate students for life
in a rapidly changing and culturally diverse society. Within its service area, East
President for Academic Affairs
Central University provides leadership for economic development and cultural
enhancement. Dr. Diane Berty, Vice President for
East Central University will be recognized both within the state and nation Student Development and Interim
as Oklahoma’s premier comprehensive student-centered regional university, Vice President for University
offering outstanding academic programs and experiences for its students and Advancement
contributing to the betterment of the region and beyond.
Dr. Steve Turner, Vice President for
Administration and Finance

Mr. C.J. Vires, Associate Vice

President for Sponsored Programs
and Research

Dr. Delma Hall, Assistant Vice

President for Academic Affairs
In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education
Amendment Act of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other federal laws and regulations,
East Central University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, handicap,
disability, or status as a veteran, in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to,
admissions, employment, financial aid, and education services. This publication is printed and issued by East Central www.ecok.edu - 580-332-8000
University as authorized by Title 70 OS 1981, Section 3903. 1,000 copies have been printed at a cost of $3,650 03/09

52 Encompass the Past. Enrich the Future.