Last updated: June 29. 2014 8:04AM - 2108 Views

Dr. C. Henry Gold gives the invocation at a Southeastern presidential investiture.
Dr. C. Henry Gold gives the invocation at a Southeastern presidential investiture.
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See Henry Gold.

That was the answer to all kinds of questions throughout the 1970s and ’80s at Southeastern State College.

That’s the answer to all kinds of questions now at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The answer was never “see Henry Gold,” of course. It was C. Henry Gold. Actually, it was Dr. C. Henry Gold. The nameplate on his desk contains no reference to Dr. There is no self-aggrandizement in the man. He is first class in everything.

He was – and is – the man with the answers. It’s highly unlikely he has ever forgotten anything worth remembering. Mention a name in casual conversation and he will be the one with total recall.

“Let me think,” he will say. “I believe I knew her brother’s daughter’s nephew, maybe in 1992. I know I had her phone number somewhere. Give me a minute … I believe she lived on North 16th Street. I think the phone number was …”

And then he retrieves the number from the Rolodex in his head, just spits it out from memory. A check of the phone book shows the lady still living on North 16th and the phone number is correct.

Gold does this magic trick in 2006. He didn’t need computers then, doesn’t really need computers now.

He does things like this when he isn’t serving on a board or chairing a committee or helping with the Southeastern Foundation scholarships or dispensing advice to someone wanting to start a small business or serving on a hospital or bank board or …

He is the absolute master of deep philosophical discourse, which is largely a lost art in today’s electronic jungle. Bear in mind that he will be deeper and more philosophical than you on any subject you choose.

He is also a champion of the almost-lost art of the English language, both speaking and writing. He doesn’t correct people during conversations and is totally an old-school gentleman in everything he does.

Some conversations with him will include moments of what could be called pregnant pauses. He genuinely believes that if you can’t say something good, don’t say anything.

He is truly one of the great educators and just watching his day-to-day life and listening to him will leave most folks covered in great gobs of inadequacy. This is not intentional on his part.

Dr. Gold retired from Southeastern in 1995 and that did little to alter his hectic schedule since he never left the University. If staying active and involved in the school and community equal longevity, he will likely be with us until 3017.

He came to Southeastern in 1967, and that left Oklahoma City University the unenviable task of finding his replacement. After spending 1967 as Director of Course Work at the Extension Center in Ardmore, he and wife Jackye arrived on the Southeastern campus in 1968 and it has been full speed ahead for both of them since that time.

He started his Southeastern career in Durant as Director (1968-1976) of the NASA-sponsored Technology Use Studies Center. His career has included service as Dean, Graduate Dean, Senior Faculty Liaison, Professor Emeritus, Interim Director, Adjunct Faculty, Development Officer, Interim Director of the McCurtain County Higher Education Program, and Interim Director of University Advancement. He has served as Development Officer since 2008.

He is on the Board of Directors of First United Bank, the Board of Trustees of the Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma and has served on the Board of Trustees for Oklahoma Baptist University. He served part-time as Executive Secretary of the Oklahoma Commission on Education at the State Capitol and was briefly Director of Marketing for the Harlow Publishing Company in Norman.

Gold graduated from Lawton (Oklahoma) High School in 1951 after serving as manager of the football and basketball teams. He also had the added duties of reporting scores and producing a 5-minute radio sports show. Five minutes on a live microphone can be a humbling experience for anyone, especially a high-school student.

He survived the radio show and went on to the University of Oklahoma to claim a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (1955), Master’s of Education (1956) and a Doctorate in Education (1967).

His doctoral dissertation was in the area of small businesses. He developed the curriculum for management of small businesses, did case studies in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, learned about the problems and learned to solve them for others.

He has been involved with small business development for years and that’s why it has become large business.

Dr. Gold has touched all of the bases in education. He has influenced thousands of students along the way. He was named a Distinguished Former Professor of Business in 2002.

He has long been active in the Kiwanis Club and was named Kiwanis Citizen of the Year in 1973. He was also named a Hixon Fellow in Kiwanis and in 2010 was inducted into the Durant Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.

He can also trade stories with you concerning legendary figures in Oklahoma sports such as coaches Bud Wilkinson of OU football and Abe Lemons of Oklahoma City University basketball. Names of many players also reside in his mental Rolodex.

Dr. Gold can and will tell stories of the Sons of Rest, a group of Southeastern men who often went to the Kiamichi Mountains to visit the McCurtain County White House. The White House was built in 1927 as a home for the manager of the McCurtain County Game Preserve and was in dire need of repair.

With the help of Lake Rangers, the Sons of Rest completely rebuilt the house, rewired it and made it into a glorious retreat.

Twice a year, the group would visit the White House to fish and play 42. There would be beans and cornbread one night, stew one night … occasionally there might even be fish.

The Sons of Rest provided many great stories and one not so great. Pudge Bowers, Calera High School All-State basketball player and player/coach with the legendary Bloomer Sullivan at Southeastern, was a member of the Sons of Rest.

He was scheduled to attend the White House Retreat when the Reverend Weldon Lassiter called him and said he needed a fishing buddy. Pudge didn’t want him to go alone, so he skipped the White House trip.

Pudge and Lassiter were murdered on that fishing trip.

Dr. Gold, after meaning so much to so many for so long, will retire from Southeastern on the last day of June, 2014.

He is a lover of football, especially high school football, and a dedicated catcher of crappie. He is a watcher of John Wayne movies and a role model for all of us. He is a great husband, father and friend, and a lover of deep philosophical discourse, matched only by his deep spirituality.

Dr. C. Henry Gold made Southeastern a better place and he cannot be replaced.

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