For The American

CHICKASHA -- Plans are underway for more than 300 guests at this year's Alumni Homecoming at the University and Science of Arts. Beginning Nov. 3, USAO alums from 10 states and even foreign nations will gather on the university campus for a weekend of traditions and memory making.

Alumni President Angie Burruss said that USAO grads are in for an exciting weekend.

"We are excited about everyone being on campus for homecoming," said Burruss. "The campus is undergoing some wonderful changes, preserving buildings and heritage, and we have an exciting new program that we hope the Alumni Association will embrace. We will be announcing plans for the new Alumni House, which we believe will be a gem both on campus and in the greater Chickasha community."

Events for the weekend include an awards luncheon for new USAO Alumni Hall of Fame inductees, a Drover king and queen coronation, a pep rally, Drover basketball games and art exhibit receptions.

The annual alumni reunion is open to all USAO alumni, with special recognition given to alumni who graduated in years ending in 6. Julie Bohannon, director of Alumni Affairs, said the reunion is a good opportunity for past graduates to get reacquainted with friends and the USAO community.

"Many of the alums have mentioned how special the campus was to them while they were here, and we encourage them to come home for homecoming," said Bohannon. "We hope that the alums will participate in class reunions, Student Government Association (SGA) activities and visit with classmates and faculty."

Registrations still are being accepted at the USAO Alumni Development office, 574-1290. Registration is $10 per person, plus meal fees.

Friday evening kicks off with a meal at 6 p.m., followed by an SGA sponsored sports pep rally with the Drover cheerleaders. The evening will conclude with the annual singing on the steps of Troutt Hall at 8:30.

After a continental breakfast Saturday morning, alums will gather for a luncheon to honor two new USAO Hall of Fame inductees and longtime alumni director Myrtle Stevens. Pianist and musical scholar Betty Remy Burns joins fellow 1956 graduate Ann Marie Hooper Harrison as this year's Hall of Famers.

Saturday's plans also include a reception for the annual alumni art show in the USAO Art Gallery at 2 p.m. The exhibit features 1976 alumna Mary Ellen Thomas, whose award-winning stoneware pottery has gained local and international acclaim. Brandon Wood, 2003 alumnus, will display oil paintings as well. Wood, who teaches at USAO as an adjunct art professor, also has a large public art painting currently being finished on the outside of the Davis Hall amphitheatre.

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