Carl Albert State College 2015-2016 Distinguished Alumni Association Award
At the Carl Albert State College Homecoming on Thursday evening, the CASC 2015-2016 Distinguished Alumni Association Award was presented to the first graduating Scholars Program Class. The College is celebrating the 30th year of the CASC Scholars Program. Three individuals from the first year accepted the award on behalf of their class from CASC President Garry M. Ivey. Dr. Richard Reif currently serves as the Chief Information Officer and the Director of IT at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. Tracy (Davis) Cline lives in Van Buren and works for the Van Buren School District. Michael Reif is from Poteau and works for the Air National Guard. Any current or former Scholars Program members in attendance at the award presentation were asked to stand for recognition as well.
In December of 1979, the Carl Albert State College Development Foundation was established to secure private funding to build a dormitory for Scholars, build an endowment fund for scholarships, and an enrichment program for students and faculty.
The Foundation designed the Scholars Program to provide prestigious scholarship packages to highly motivated students based on their academic achievements and leadership abilities while providing an opportunity for them to experience the unique academic and social environment of on-campus living through a Scholars Center.
In the spring of 1984, the Foundation had raised almost $200,000 for the dormitory building fund. In the fall of 1985, Carl Albert welcomed the first Scholars Program class of 40 students to their new home in the Bill J. Barber Scholars Center. The first Scholars consisted of both freshman and sophomore students from across the State of Oklahoma.
The Scholars Program has grown in numbers since its inception with an additional 40 Scholars in the W.D. Hoffman Scholars Center after completion in August of 1987. In August of 2009 the number of Scholars was increased to 100 and the Dr. E. A. “Jack” Gedosh Center was also designated as housing for Scholars.
Funding has been, and continues to be, provided through private contributions from individuals, former Scholars, businesses, civic clubs and organizations. The College’s faculty and staff also provide substantial contributions to the Scholars Program. Each Scholars Program student is “adopted” by an individual(s) who contribute toward the student’s scholarship. The Adopt-A-Scholar sponsors are actively involved in the program and many cultivate personal relationships with the students.
The educational and leadership learning opportunities provided by the Scholars Program helps them to become valuable contributors to the CASC community and make a positive impact in their communities and their professions.