At the Poteau Chamber of Commerce Recognition Banquet held on Thursday, February 27, the Stivers Center at Carl Albert State College received the Chamber’s Civic Improvement Award.  According to Chamber CEO Karen Wages, “Civic Improvements are awarded each year for any remodeled buildings or new construction.” Accepting the award at the banquet on behalf of Carl Albert was CASC Regent Lavon Williams.

In December 2017, the Oklahoma National Guard, in coordination with local and legislative leaders, donated the Poteau National Guard Armory building to CASC as a result of new location assignments. While the local Oklahoma National Guard unit is no longer assigned to the Poteau Armory, the National Guard will maintain a presence in the Poteau community by maintaining an office in the original building, now the CASC Stivers Center.  The late Ross and Artie Stivers were passionate advocates of education, and strong supporters of Carl Albert State College.  Ross Stivers served as a CASC Foundation Trustee for many years until his passing in 2005. Artie continued his legacy and began her Trusteeship with the Foundation upon his passing. Throughout her service tenure, she established the Ross and Artie Stivers Scholarship in 2008, and was an avid Adopt-A-Scholar Program donor. The couple’s commitment to students was evident in their professional and personal lives as they dedicated themselves and their resources to education, as well as their community; Artie gifted a generous contribution from her estate to the CASC Development Foundation. The funds were utilized for the student activity center named in the couple’s memory. 

The Ross and Artie Stivers Center serves the CASC community as a health, wellness, and recreational center for students, faculty, and staff members. The 12,400 square-foot center is equipped with a student lounge, weight and cardio rooms, a multipurpose studio, gymnasium, restrooms, batting cages, basketball court, locker/shower facilities, and office space. Additionally, a large enclosed outdoor recreation area attached to the building features a basketball court, volleyball pit, picnic area, hammock park, and a large mural showcasing the institution’s namesake, Speaker Carl Albert.  All current CASC students enrolled in at least one credit hour are eligible to utilize the Stivers Center. 

As a result of the generous donation from the Stivers Family and the Oklahoma National Guard, CASC remodeled the Poteau Armory building to serve as the new Ross and Artie Stivers Center. 

“We are honored to accept the Civic Improvement Award, and thank the Poteau Chamber of Commerce for considering the Stivers Center for the award.  We are thankful to the college’s many supporters- including the Stivers Family, the Oklahoma National Guard, and the Chamber of Commerce,” said CASC President Dr. Jay Falkner, “The Stivers Center will have a lasting impact not only on our campus, but in our community for years to come.”

Pictured above:  CASC Regent Lavon Williams