Formal announcement of the $100,000 gift was made by Charles R. Belknap, Grand Master of Masons in Oklahoma, at a ceremony Thursday in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union on the Southeastern campus.
This Institute and Lectureship Series is to be funded from the endowment and facilitated by the faculty and staff of the Southeastern Department of Education.
“We appreciate this tremendous show of support from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma,” said Southeastern president Larry Minks. “It is an investment that will benefit our professors, school administrators and teachers, and most importantly, the students in this area.”
Among the purposes of the Institute are:
— To provide professional development programs for school teachers, school administrators and college and university faculty in Southern Oklahoma and North Texas.
— To provide educational professors opportunities to improve their teaching instruction, management and leadership skills.
—To assist the Department of Educational Instruction and Leadership and the Texoma Association for Public School Improvement in the promotion of related events such as the Educational Technology Fair, educational lectures, workshops, and related educational innovative programs.
— To defray the costs of professional speakers’ honorariums and other activities/events associated with the Lectureship Series.
— To assist the Department of Educational Instruction and Leadership (EIL) in its research efforts including publishing activities and other initiatives designed to further the dissemination of knowledge in the educational field.
Also attending the ceremony were Robert G. Davis, secretary and Past President of the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma (MCFO) Board, Ronald Coppedge, MCFO board member, Tommy Johnston, MCFO staff member, local Masonic Lodge representatives, local school administrators, Dr. William Mawer, Dean of the School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, and Southeastern EIL professors Dr. Muhammad Betz, Dr. Gerrie Johnson and Dr. Melanie Price.