A military pilot who died when his helicopter went down in Iraq was honored posthumously during the Southeastern Center for Rhetoric and Professional Development Recitations banquet held Thursday at the campus ballroom.
A 20-year veteran of the Army National Guard, Chief Warrant Officer Brady Rudolf, 37, was killed Sept. 18, 2008, when his Chinook helicopter crashed in Iraq. Rudolf, who lived in Oklahoma City, was a 1989 graduate of Durant High School, where he played football three years and was all-district his senior year. He also served on student council. Rudolf also graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma School of Pharmacy. He left behind a wife and three children.
Rudolf was honored during the Parade of Colors part of the ceremony performed by local members of the Army National Guard. Members of Rudolf’s family attending were his widow Jennifer Rudolf and their three sons Braden, Ty and Nate, his mother Nathalia Rudolf Flowers, brother Dustin Rudolf and wife Tammy, aunt and uncle Brad and Joyce Northcutt and family friend Virginia Adair.
Jonathan Daniels, a former Marine and current Southeastern student, spoke of Rudolf before the colors were presented.
“I am proud to have the family here for those, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘have laid down so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom,” Daniels said.
The honoring of Rudolf was one of several activities during the banquet. The theme was “Readings from the Renaissance.” Students spoke about the history of the Renaissance , plus the poetry and writing styles of that era.
The Southeastern Center for Rhetoric and Professional Development helps students develop improved skills in writing and speaking by providing guidance and encouragement to pre-professional students as they prepare for entrance examinations into graduate/professional schools, or as they enter the workforce.
It is designed to complement the curriculum already in place at SE. It was a vision of John Massey, a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
Skip Robinson is the director of the center. Robinson recently published a textbook, “Proper Form, Pure & Simple,” a guide for English grammar that reads as easily as a story. It’s a fresh, simple approach to the basic fundamentals of proper English form, designed to communicate in understandable terms with the learner who is unsure of his/her language skills.
“Southeastern Oklahoma State University is determined to give its students the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage as they enter the real world,” Robinson said. “Courses offered through the center provide extra tutelage, additional rehearsal, and broadening subject matter that will allow our students to compete in any venue.”