DURANT – Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Alumni Association will present the Benefactor and Heritage Awards as part of Homecoming 2012.
Both awards will be presented at the Distinguished Awards banquet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, September 28, in the Visual and Performing Arts Center.
The Benefactor Award will be presented posthumously to Albert H. Brigance. This award is presented to individuals, businesses or foundations that support the University through financial means. Albert’s wife, Pat, will accept the award.
In addition, the grand opening of the Albert H. Brigance Curriculum and Assessment Center is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Thursday, September 27, in Southeastern Oklahoma State University’s Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library.
The Curriculum and Assessment Center was made possible by a generous gift from the Brigance family. The substantial donation included a contribution to the already established Albert H. Brigance scholarship and should allow awards to two individuals during their junior years and follow them through graduation.
The gift creates the Curriculum and Assessment Center and supplies the Center with faculty-selected educational materials.
The donation also includes funding for the Albert H. Brigance Endowed Lectureship and the Brigance Endowment Fund to supply and maintain current materials, children’s books and videos for future use.
Brigance, who was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1999 at Southeastern, was born near Keota, Oklahoma. He earned his Bachelor’s degree as an honor student at Southeastern in 1955 while serving in the United States Air Force.
He met Pat Hicks at Southeastern and they were married in Durant in 1956. Their daughters, Rebecca and Royce, were born in Fresno, California.
Brigance was nationally recognized as an early childhood education resource specialist. He created the first comprehensive criterion-referenced Inventory of Basic Skills, which became the most widely used instrument for assessment evaluation, student academic placement, individual education plans (IEPs) and instructional planning.
He authored more than 40 books, which have been used nationwide as well as some of them being used internationally. As an author, he was associated with Curriculum Associates in Massachusetts and Phoenix Learning Systems in Pennsylvania.
He also developed early childhood screening instruments, other inventories for individuals from birth through secondary levels of education and a reading program for older at-risk students and adults with low reading skills.
The Heritage Award, which honors individuals who have impacted the history of Southeastern in some unique way, will be presented posthumously to Dr. Bernice Crockett. Daughter Chloe Crockett Baulch will accept the award.
Dr. Bernice Crockett was born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, in 1908. She graduated from Baylor University with her Registered Nurse credentials in 1928 and did her assigned practical nursing in Durant, where she met and married James Henry Crockett Jr. in 1929.
She worked for the Public Health Department while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Art and English from Southeastern in 1934. She completed her Master’s in Education at the University of Oklahoma in 1949, a Master’s in Health Education at OU in 1951, and received her Doctorate in Education from OU in 1953. Crockett also did graduate work at Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee.
During the time she was earning her advanced degrees, she was listed in the Southeastern State College yearbook as RN and School Nurse. Later, Crockett was promoted to Professor of Health Education and then Director of Health Education.
In the early 1950s, she organized the first pre-school clinics for the Durant Public Schools. Beginning in the early ’60s, she served as Curriculum Coordinator of the Dental Health Workshops for Teachers of Oklahoma.
In 1968, she started the first Day Care Center for SSC students’ children. She was a long-time sponsor of the Little D Rodeo Club, an activity she dearly loved.
Crockett retired from Southeastern in 1971, moved to Oklahoma City and accepted a position with the Kerr Foundation and Oklahoma Water, Inc.
Governor David Walters appointed Crockett to The Oklahoma Historical Society Board in the 1980s and she served until her death in 1995.
Crockett authored numerous articles, including “The Origin and Development of Public Health in Oklahoma; 1830-1930,” used for her Ed.D thesis; and “Health Conditions in Indian Territory 1830 to the Civil War.” A frequent contributor to “The Chronicles of Oklahoma,” her articles may be found today at the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Crockett and her husband, Henry, who served as principal of Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Durant, had two daughters, Lynn Crockett Clarke and Chloe Crockett Baulch. Lynn graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1957 and Chloe graduated from SSC in 1969. Chloe married Trent Baulch, also a 1969 Southeastern graduate.
Lynn and Chloe agree that they were blessed with two extraordinary parents. Chloe said, “Heartfelt thanks to president Larry Minks and the Alumni Association for honoring our mother with the 2012 Heritage Award. Also, a special thank you to retired professor Arnold Walker for his time and research on mom’s behalf.
“We would also like to remember former Southeastern State College presidents Dr. T.T. Montgomery, Dr. A.E. Shearer, and Dr. Leon Hibbs.”