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Officials from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) and student representatives hosted a groundbreaking for the NEO Women and Friends Outdoor Centennial Classroom at the tenth annual Founders’ Day on March 29. The new classroom will provide a comfortable outdoor learning or meeting location for students, faculty, and staff.

“This outdoor classroom is meant to engage students however they learn best, whether it is auditory, visual, or kinesthetic. The design creates an environment where students engage face-to-face rather than just seeing the backs of each other’s heads,” said Alisen Anderson, Agriculture Instructor and NEO Women and Friends member. “NEO Women and Friends has been working toward this as a Centennial project for over a decade, so it’s satisfying to finally break ground.”

“Truly this year’s Founders’ Day celebration highlights the amazing impact women have had on the history of NEO,” said Dr. Hale during the event. “I may be biased, but I think one of the most influential women has been NEO First Lady Donna Hale. She jumped in with both feet when we came to Miami and I am incredibly proud of what she has accomplished as the president of NEO Women and Friends.”

As part of the annual celebration, Jordan Adams, coordinator of public information and marketing, announced the School of Liberal Arts as the winner of the James Mabon Campus Improvement Award. Staff and faculty from the school submitted a proposal that would provide furniture in the Shipley Hall common area, a space that almost every student attending NEO visits. The NEO Tutoring Center’s Whiteboard project and the Maintenance Department’s fountain vacuum project also received partial funding. Funding for the Mabon Award comes from the NEO President’s Partners and runner-up funding comes from the NEO Development Foundation.

Senator Micheal Bergstrom and Representative Ben Loring also delivered a Legislative Citation congratulating NEO in celebration of its centennial. Senator Bergstrom noted that as an educator in Bluejacket, he would often recommend NEO and continues to support rural two-year colleges as an affordable education option that supports local economies.

For a full album of the event, visit Facebook.com/gogoneo.  (Photo from left: Senator Micheal Bergstrom, President Jeff Hale, Representative Ben Loring, Ag Instructor Alisen Anderson, First Lady Donna Hale, Bookstore Director Kathryn Vanover, Foundation Board Chair David Thomas, Director of Library Services Sloane Arana, Maintenance Director Steve Grimes, Designer Kyle Grimes, SBG President Robbie Phillips)


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