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Laura Dahl, Director
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Phone: 580-349-1354 * Fax: 580-349-1350
Email: lola@opsu.edu
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**For Immediate Release**
Celebrations Planned for “Prized Possession of the Panhandle”
By Laura Hays
- Released by OPSU Campus Communications 01-17-2008

Goodwell - Oklahoma Panhandle State University will commemorate its 100th Birthday in 2009. Rather than make it a one-time celebration, the OPSU Centennial Committee has already sponsored some activities and has been hard at work on more events as well as special projects. Chair Dr. Sara Jane Richter said, “OPSU’s legacy must be treated and celebrated as a prized possession of the Panhandle.”

The Committee developed a logo that will be used on a number of items to sell such as clothing and souvenirs that memorialize the milestone. Other fund raising endeavors include the sale of memorial bricks for the new planter on the Hughes-Strong lawn, the site of the State of Oklahoma Centennial tree as well as Centennial flags that will be displayed throughout Goodwell and restoration of the campus statue, “The Sower.” Another very special project in the works is an original piece of music commissioned by the committee and written by OPSU’s Director of Instrumental Music, Dr. Matthew Saunders.

Other plans consist of identifying “Legends of OPSU” and collecting and publishing biographies of those individuals or groups who have contributed to OPSU. “Biographies” of campus buildings will also be researched as well as the history of OPSU. Videotaped interviews with alumni, faculty, administrators, personnel and community members have already begun and will continue for the next two years. Once these projects are completed, an OPSU history book and documentary will be planned incorporating all of the information.

Several events spanning the next two years have been proposed. The October 25, 2008 Homecoming celebration will feature the upcoming Centennial year and on November 1, 2008, OPSU will host a 99th birthday party. New Year’s Eve 2008 will be the focus of a special Centennial party, and in the spring of 2009, Hughes-Strong Hall auditorium will be renamed “Centennial Theatre” during a special ceremony. During the 2009 Homecoming celebration, a Centennial time capsule will be packed and secreted in a special location for future generations to uncover and enjoy. Festivities will continue through the May, 2010 Commencement.

The Committee has been working on all of these plans for over six months, and the dedicated group of volunteers seeks funding for these many ambitious and meaningful pursuits. A special account has been set up through the Panhandle State Foundation for monetary donations, and your tax-deductible gift may support any of the specific projects planned. To make a contribution, please contact Dr. Doris Looper or Charmen Rider at 580-349-1392 or via email at foundation@opsu.edu.

Do you have any OPSU memorabilia that you would be willing to share? Richter stated that the committee is particularly looking for trophies, banners, programs and photos or anything else that documents OPSU history. If so, please contact her at 580-349-1472 or via email at saraj@opsu.edu. “The success of the OPSU Centennial project depends on the support of its alumni and friends. OPSU continues to contribute to the economic, educational, cultural and social fabric of the High Plains, and we look forward to celebrating the past and the future of the University with the support of alumni, friends, and area citizens,” said Dr. Richter.

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