(Tahlequah, Okla.)--An acknowledgment of their exemplary achievement and service to the community, three Northeastern State University graduates have been named outstanding alumni.
Chosen by the NSU Alumni Association, the three will be recognized at homecoming during halftime of the Oct. 6 football game against Western Missouri State at Doc Wadley Stadium.
This year's Distinguished Alumni are Joe Gilbert of Barnsdall and Willard Jones of Tulsa. Outstanding Young Alumnus is Dr. Michael Kayser of Broken Arrow.
Gilbert, who earned a bachelor's degree in 1954 and a master's of education in 1970 from NSU, just completed his 58th year of teaching at Barnsdall High School. He coached the BHS baseball team to the state title in 1980. In 24 seasons as a basketball coach he received only one technical foul when he rushed onto the court to help an injured player. Some of his current students are grandchildren of his former students, and a feature on his life and career appeared in USA Today and ESPN.com.
Jones, a 1973 graduate, is pastor of Greater Cornerstone Church and executive director of the Greater Cornerstone Community Development Project. As executive director, he spearheaded efforts to raise funds and build a $7.2 million, 21,700-square-foot community center in the South Haven district of west Tulsa. He is president of the Southwest Tulsa Minister’s Alliance, a member of Tulsa Together and a past executive board Member of Habitat for Humanity. In 2011 he was named one of "25 People Making a Difference" by Tulsa People magazine.
Kayser, a soccer academic all-American while attending NSU, is a medical geneticist at the Medical Director Center for Genetics at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa. His specialty is inherited conditions which require genetic testing for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Oklahoma Magazine recently named him one of its "Top 40 Under 40" and he was among the genetic experts who worked to identify victims after Hurricane Katrina.
In addition to being recognized at the homecoming game, the outstanding alumni will be formally honored during the 15th annual Emerald Ball on Dec. 8. For more information about homecoming and the Emerald Ball call the NSU Alumni Association at 918-458-2143.
Published: 7/2/2012 10:07:25 AM