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Centurion honors to be conferred on 10

Office of Communications & Marketing | Northeastern State University
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. -- As part of Founders Day 2013 at Northeastern State University, 10 names will be added to the roll of NSU Centurions. Founders Day commemorates the day the Oklahoma legislature purchased the Cherokee National Female Seminary and created the Northeastern State Normal School on March 6, 1909.
An annual honor established during the 2009 Centennial Founders Day Celebration, Centurions are people associated with NSU—alumni, faculty, staff and students, whether past or present—who impacted the life of the nominator, the Northeastern community or the public at large.
The 2013 Centurions will be honored during a special luncheon on Wednesday, March 6 in the University Center Sen. Herb Rozell Ballroom in Tahlequah at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 12-under.
The Centurions for 2013 are:
• Dr. Dan Glasgow was a professor for curriculum and instruction at NSU and sponsored the Student Council for Exceptional Children—a student organization which helps children with disabilities in the community. At NSU he established productive professional relationships with area public schools and organized dances for special needs people in coordination with the Tahlequah Elks Lodge. He earned his bachelor of psychology, master of special education and his Ed.D. in special education from East Texas State in 1970, 1983 and 1995. He retired in 2012 after 16 years with the NSU faculty and was named an emeritus professor. He died on Oct. 11, 2012, at age 65.
• Dr. John Hackler was among the original faculty of Northeastern State Normal School in 1909, serving Northeastern until his retirement in 1948. During this span he served as director of Bagley Training School, led the Department of Education, organized and directed the Teacher Placement Bureau for 35 years and was acting president of the college for six months. During the late 1910s, he was instrumental in Northeastern's transition from a normal school to a teachers college. The Lee's Summit, Mo., native earned his bachelor's degree from Warrensburg (Mo.) Teachers College, his master's from the University of Chicago and was awarded his Ed.D. from Stanford University in 1930. During the construction of Bagley Hall, education faculty wanted to name the building for Hackler but he declined the honor. He died on Jan. 5, 1951, at age 73.
• Jay Hannah graduated from Northeastern in 1977 with a bachelor of speech-language pathology education and is the executive vice president of financial services for BancFirst. He has served in a number of roles with the Cherokee Nation, including as chair of the Nation's Constitution Convention Commission, and in 2008 received the Principal Chief's Leadership Award. He has participated in the regional summits at NSU and is a life member of the NSU Alumni Association. In 1994 Northeastern named him an Outstanding Alumnus, and in 2008-09 he served as chair of the NSU Centennial Campaign.
• Dr. Diana Mashburn is a 1990 NSU nursing alumna who in 2012 became the 18th American Indian RN known to earn a nursing Ph.D. For 17 years she has taught NSU's first RN-BSN program course, introducing RNs to the professional nursing role. Within the subsequent capstone course she showcases students' development off professionalism, leadership and evidence-based practice. Mashburn successfully partnered with the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa in 2010 to deliver the Evidence-Based Practice Nursing Symposium. The annual event draws more than 350 attendees.
• Caitlyn Mathis was a President's Honor Roll student at NSU who aspired to be an elementary school teacher. Active in the community, she was a mentor and coached basketball for the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah and volunteered as a reading tutor at Peggs School. The Kiefer High School graduate also was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. She died in an automobile accident on Feb. 27, 2012, at age 19.
• Patricia Presley graduated from Northeastern in 1969 with a bachelor of language arts and continued her affiliation with the institution as a clerk in the Office of the Dean of the College—later Academic Affairs. She continued her work with Academic Affairs, becoming office manager in 2000. She was named NSU Secretary of the Year in 1987 and retired in 2003, concluding 34 years at the university as an esteemed colleague and mentor.
• Ken Rivas holds bachelor's and master's degrees in education from NSU, earned in 1984 and 1987. He works for the university police as a parking and traffic specialist, overseeing campus parking services and mentoring all students hired to enforce parking policies. A Northeastern employee since 1989, he has served on the powwow committee of NSU's annual Symposium on the American Indian and is a sponsor of the Native American Student Association. He serves on the advisory council of the Indigenous Scholar Development Center and the commencement committee.
• Dr. Ron Schaefer is a professor of speech-language pathology at NSU. He earned his bachelor's of speech pathology from Oklahoma State University in 1972, and his master's and Ph.D. in speech pathology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1974 and 1985. He assumed the chair of NSU's SLP program in 1987 when it was near shutdown and built one of the state's most respected programs. He has served as sponsor of the Student Speech and Hearing Organization and on the Oklahoma Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology. He has also served as president of the Oklahoma Speech-Language-Hearing Association. He will retire in June 2013.
• Dr. J. Ross Underwood earned his bachelor's degree in education in 1958 and master's in teaching in 1961 from NSU. He went on to serve as a professor of education at NSU for 32 years, retiring as graduate dean of the College of Education. Civically active, he belonged to Cherokee Masonic Lodge No. 10, Tulsa Scottish Rite, Bedouin Shrine Temple, Elks Club, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club, the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, Tahlequah City Planning and Zoning Commission, Kappa Delta Phi, Phi Delta Kappa, the U.S. Army Reserves and the Oklahoma National Guard. He was also an avid fan and supporter of NSU athletics. He died on June 26, 2003, at age 65.
• NSU alumna Dr. Diane Janice Willis, who graduated in 1960 with a bachelor's in organismic biology, is a professor emeritus for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and renowned for her advocacy of children and families. She is founding editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and a recipient of the award for Distinguished Professional Contribution to Clinical Psychology. She helped a number of American Indian tribes start their first Early Head Start programs and, in 2013, the American Psychological Foundation named its Dr. Diane J. Willis Early Career Award for her. 
For more information or to purchase tickets to the Centurion luncheon visit or call Julienne Mann at 918-444-2018. To see a complete list of the past Centurions, visit

Published: 3/26/2013 2:17:18 PM

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