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NSU names 2015 Legacy scholarship recipient

Following the recent extension of the Legacy scholarship from a one-time award to a four-year, renewable scholarship, the Northeastern State University Alumni Association selected Taryn Gray as the 2015 recipient.

Higher education for the Gray family began in the hallways of NSU, as Taryn’s father, Dennis Gray, along with his two sisters attended the university as first-generation college students.

Dennis graduated from NSU in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in education. 

“Following my father’s and other family members’ footsteps is very important to me because I know how much they loved their time at Northeastern,” Taryn remarked. She is very excited to come to NSU to continue her family’s tradition.

Growing up in Wyandotte, Oklahoma, Taryn was an active member of Student Council, the National Honors Society, the Gifted and Talented Program, and played basketball, and fast-pitch and slow-pitch softball. 

Her attraction to NSU was two-fold—the range of majors that NSU offers and the possibility of competing at the collegiate level in softball. 

When the recent high school graduate saw that NSU not only met her requirements, but also had added bonuses, she was sold.

“When I walked on the Northeastern campus, like my father before me, it felt like home,” she fondly recalled.

“I remember stepping on campus for the first time during my unofficial softball visit and looking at my parents, smiling and stating, ‘This is my home.’ 

“The students’ smiling faces, the kind advisors and faculty and the beautiful campus made me fall in love. The following day, as a junior in high school, I verbally committed.”

The incoming freshman hopes to pursue a career in speech language pathology. The fact that NSU offers both a bachelor and a master’s degree in the field served as the icing on the cake, said Taryn. 

The NSU community feels very familiar to the small town resident. Tayrn finds comfort in knowing she can relate to her new environment while discovering invaluable opportunities. 

The Legacy scholarship process requires applicants to interview family members who previously attended NSU about their experiences and write a paper detailing how that has shaped the student’s expectations.

Naturally, Taryn reached out to her father. During the interview Dennis explained that he, to this day, believes the years he spent at Northeastern State were the most important ones of his life. 

In addition to feeling at home, he was also able to connect with students from all over the U.S. and other countries—in small class settings where he felt the professors took interest in each student personally. He has no doubt that the same will be true for his daughter. 

“I am most looking forward to getting connected with the students, being involved throughout the school and being able to not only represent NSU in the classroom, but on the softball field as well,” Taryn affirmed.

Since committing to NSU, Taryn has made several trips to campus to prepare herself for the fall. She has already found several organizations and service projects that she wants to be involved in and is eager to apply to as many organizations and activities at NSU as possible. 

“NSU is the perfect fit for me. I’m very excited to continue my educational and athletic careers at the collegiate level and am even more excited knowing that I will be doing so at Northeastern State University. My father is proud to be a Redman and I am now proud to say that I am a RiverHawk,” she said happily.

In order to qualify for the Legacy scholarship students must also be first-time, full-time freshmen coming in with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

For more information about the Alumni Association Legacy scholarship, please contact the Office of Alumni Services at 918-458-2143 or

Published: 7/7/2015 12:06:47 PM

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