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The Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Development Foundation is pleased to announce a recent $50,000 gift from the Masonic Charity Fraternity of Oklahoma. The gift will fund student leadership programs on the NEO campus. The Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma Student Leadership Endowment will be used to provide financial support for enrichment activities such as student leadership training and mentorships, as well as activities supported by the Student Body Government and other student organizations that promote and impact the entire student body. NEO has eight elite leadership programs on campus. Two of those include Student Ambassadors and Agriculture Ambassadors which are organizations that recruit for the college on the national, regional and local levels.

The gift was formally dedicated at a reception in the auditorium of Commons Hall on April 30. Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma Gary Beisly along with other masons from across the state were present to formally donate the check to NEO. “We want to help, and do what we can,” Beisly said. “Masons are very involved in education, from pre-k to higher education, we want to advance public education.”

All state-sponsored universities in Oklahoma have received endowments from the Masonic Lodge. Now the organization is starting with colleges across the state to continue their mission in supporting education. “Developing leadership skills and civic-mindedness is an important component of a student’s college education,” said Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “This is a very generous gift to the NEO Foundation that will greatly benefit the students on our campus.”

From left: Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation; Tim Taylor, president of Student Body Government; Gary Beisly, grand master of the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma; Dr. Jeff Hale, president of NEO A&M College; Amy Ishmael, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management; and Anna Milligan, chairwoman of the NEO Development Foundation Board of Trustees

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