**For Immediate Release**
A Life Dedicated to Education
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 09-14-06
by Scott Puryear
Goodwell, Okla. — Perhaps the highest compliment anyone may receive is when that person is known as a truly decent human being. Being a decent human being is definitive when it comes to Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Sara Jane Richter. She is dedicated to the school she has been associated with for over 20 years and she cares deeply for her students as they begin to make their way on their respective career paths. She is also one multi-talented lady.
In addition to her administrative duties as a Dean, Richter also teaches courses in English and is widely recognized for her theatrical work. She is one of the most popular instructors on the OPSU campus, and is also great fun to talk with, especially when one steers her into a conversation on her favorite actor – Steve McQueen.
Richter, a native Oklahoman from Hennessey, has been with OPSU since 1985. She received her undergraduate degree in English from Phillips University and Masters degrees in both English and History from Oklahoma State University. In addition, she earned her doctorate in English from Oklahoma State.
According to Richter, “OPSU is a delightful place to work, and I have never regretted coming here.”
One of her students, Tyler Puryear, a senior from Guymon, said, “Dr. Richter will make you work, but she makes learning a lot of fun. No matter how busy she is, she will always make time for her students.”
Richter is also a noted historian and in demand to make presentations in any one of several subjects, including the Santa Fe Trail.
A well known stage actor and director in the area, she has performed many roles and one of her favorites is a one-woman show on the writer of “Little House on the Prairie” fame, Laura Ingalls Wilder. Richter also possesses an excellent sense of humor, as well as solid comedic timing, and has demonstrated that many times on stage, including a hilarious role in last year’s OPSU production of “Into the Woods.”
An accomplished singer and pianist, Richter has made many public appearances, and has performed the National Anthem at many OPSU athletic events. Recently, she entertained the audience at the annual banquet for the Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross in Guymon with some very classy piano work.
Though highly visible and so very entertaining in the performing arts and public speaking, the field of education is where her heart is.
The famous writer and statesman, William Butler Yeats, once said: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Dr. Sara Jane Richter has lit the fires of curiosity and learning in the minds and hearts of hundreds of students in her life.
It is a life dedicated to education and a life dedicated to caring about her students.