History of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
Northeastern Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (NEO) had its beginning on March 17, 1919, when Governor Robertson signed Senate Bill number 225 creating the Miami School of Mines. A special Board of Regents, authorized under House Bill number 552, organized the school so that it offered only college work, largely of a scientific nature. After holding classes for a year in the Mining and Exchange Building in Miami, the institution moved to its new location on 40 acres of land given by interested citizens of Miami. Here the College operated as a School of Mines until 1924 when during a special session of the legislature, the name of the school was changed to Northeastern Oklahoma Junior College and general collegiate courses were added to the curriculum.
Control of the College remained in the hands of the special Board of Regents until 1939 when Northeastern Oklahoma Junior College and the six teachers colleges were placed under the Board of Regents for Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges. A 200-acre farm was purchased, agricultural courses were added and shop buildings were constructed and equipped to carry on the mechanical work. Over the three decades, NEO College expanded its academic programs and co-curricular activities. NEO became recognized nationally for its intercollegiate athletic programs and livestock judging team.
Today, NEO continues to offer a comprehensive experience along with the advantages of a small, two-year college. The college has nine intercollegiate athletic teams, cheerleading, dance, agricultural judging teams and rodeo. NEO has over 40 clubs and organizations, providing students with a variety of leadership and community service opportunities. Students from any discipline can participate in co-curricular activities, such as band, vocal music and music theatre.
What is a Norseman?
In 1945, NEO was gaining recognition academically and for its impressive football team. Famed football coach S.A. ‘Red’ Robertson felt it was time for the college to have an official mascot, something NEO had been previously lacking. Because NEO is located in northeast Oklahoma, Robertson began researching images originating from the northeastern regions of the world. It was then that he found the Norsemen of Europe.
The Norsemen were warriors who roamed the world, fighting ferociously in battle. Robertson felt this was an excellent mascot to represent the college. Charles Banks Wilson, renowned artist and founder of NEO’s Art Department, was commissioned to create the Norseman logo that NEO still uses today.
Decades later, in 1981, Dr. Nick Calcagno, former art instructor, designed and created the nine-foot Norseman statue that graces the entrance to NEO’s campus.