McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

March 10, 2013

EOSC raises approx. $9,000 for student scholarships at Sapphire Ball

WILBURTON — An evening of dinner and dancing resulted in approximately $9,000 for student scholarships at Eastern Oklahoma State College’s fourth annual Sapphire Ball on March 2.

The college also honored employees, alumni and community supporters at the event.

 “Diamonds Are Forever” was the theme for the event which included dinner, the awards presentation, entertainment by students and local community members, a silent and live auction, and dancing.

Proceeds from the event fund Eastern’s Sapphire Scholarship for deserving students.

“We are grateful for the generous support of so many people, including Eastern alumni and employees, as well as local business and community members,” said Treva Kennedy, director of Institutional Advancement. “Thanks to their support of the Sapphire Scholarship Fund, more deserving students will have the opportunity to attend Eastern and earn a degree.”

 The Sapphire Ball is Eastern’s largest annual scholarship fundraising event and this year’s event was the most successful yet with a capacity crowd of 200 guests, Kennedy said.

Four individuals and one organization were honored by Eastern President Dr. Stephen Smith at the event.

Smith said that each honoree has been instrumental to the success of the college.

“The Sapphire Ball has become an extremely special event for Eastern,” Smith said. “This event allows us to honor some very special individuals that include our employees, community supporters, and alumni. We appreciate them all very much for how they support and represent our institution.”

The Puterbaugh Foundation of McAlester received the President’s Community Spirit Award.

The Foundation is a long-time supporter of student scholarships for Eastern’s nursing program. Created by McAlester Fuel Co. founcder J.G. Puterbaugh (1876-1965), the Foundation supports a variety of social and education needs, youth projects, medical research, the arts and other worthwhile causes. Justice Steven Taylor, Cara Bland and Lucy Smith serve as trustees.

Rhonda Fields of Sulphur (Class of 1978) was named a Distinguished Alumnus. Fields is considered a pioneer in women’s athletics in Oklahoma.

A native of Panama, she played basketball at Eastern and Oklahoma State University. She was the first full-scholarship female athlete in OSU history thanks to the landmark Title IX legislation.

She was also a successful educator and girls’ basketball coach in Stillwater and Jenks.

Also named a Distinguished Alumnus was Linus Williams of Stigler (Class of 1962).

Williams played both football and basketball at Eastern. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma and serving in the Air National Guard, Williams began a successful advertising career with Young and Rubican Advertising in New York. In 1980, he returned to his hometown of Stigler to take over the Stigler News-Sentinel from his parents upon their retirement.

Dr. Billye Givens of Wilburton received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Givens is a graduate of Eastern and has spent her entire professional career at the college. She began teaching physical education and English at Eastern in 1973 and now serves as the Dean of the Division of Language, Humanities and Education. Givens is active with the local Partners for Animal Welfare Society, also known as PAWS, the First Presbyterian Church, the First Methodist Church and other organizations.

An Eastern employee for 34 years, Gaylon Brannon of Bug Tussel received the J.C. Hunt Award for staff excellence. Brannon manages the college’s meat processing and food safety lab. He has also served as an instructor during his time at Eastern and was voted the 2012 Teacher of the Year by students. Brannon is also a graduate of Eastern.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Luncheon speaker Hundreds attend ladies luncheon

    The 42 Annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon took place Thursday at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Copper wire $5,000 reward offered after theft of copper wire

    A $5,000 reward is being offered in connection with a theft of copper wire causing some $400,000 in damage and causing a Savanna asphalt company to shut down operations, police say.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crash south of Kiowa McAlester trooper saluted

    Trooper Sean Mass of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop D, McAlester, has been recognized as a Trooper of the Year by AAA Oklahoma.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Men's Holy Week Breakfast Washington: Jesus forgives is message at Holy Week Breakfast

    All of us can find salvation and forgiveness of our sins, just like one of the thieves who had been crucified next to Jesus on the cross.
    That’s the message the Rev. Anthony Washington, pastor of the Mount Triumph Baptist Church in McAlester, delivered as featured speaker for the third gathering of this year’s Men’s Holy Week breakfast.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mills: 'Nothing personal' in contesting Layden's candidacy

    Pittsburg County Special District Judge Tim Mills says there’s nothing personal in his contesting the candidacy of Bill Layden, who is also a former special district judge in the county.

    April 16, 2014

  • MCALESTER GENERIC 1 McAlester student accepted to Arts Institute

    Brandi Hongell, of McAlester, has been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy held in June in southwestern Oklahoma.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cuttin' it close: Karr files for Ward 4 seat, barely beating deadline

    Three minutes.
    Former Ward 4 City Councilor Robert Karr filed his declaration of candidacy for the vacant Ward 4 seat, filled out the papers, got them notarized and back into the  Pittsburg County Election Board office just three minutes before the deadline to do so elapsed at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Honored McAlester grad - Commander Pete Nilsen to speak at Armed Forces Day luncheon

    McAlester High School alumnus Commander Peter K. Nilsen assistant chief of staff, Navy Missile and Defense Command will be the keynote speaker May 2 at the Armed Forces Day Luncheon at the McAlester Army Ammunitions Plant.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg April and May named Cleanup McAlester Months

    McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison signed a proclamation Tuesday designating the months of April and May as “Cleanup McAlester Month.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • HolyWeek4Wed 1.jpg Gospel: 'The Good News' heard at Holy Week Breakfast

    Steve Glazier presented a pair testimonies of individuals who went on to have a significant impact on others  — a bank robber and a hony-tonk songwriter — when he spoke at the second gathering of this year’s Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

Seasonal Content
AP Video
NDN Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.