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NSU'S Dr. Elwin Fite Given Prestigious Honor

Retired NSU professor, dean, and vice-president Elwin Fite, has been selected for induction into the 2001 Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Dr. Fite is one of ten Oklahoma educators honored October 16 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Dr. Elwin Fite began his college career as a student studying violin at Southwest Missouri State College. In 1941, he received his masters degree from Northwestern university and went on to pursue his

doctorate in Nashville, Tennessee. During his stay in Nashville, Fite was concertmaster of the Peabody College Sinfonietta and a member of the Nashville Symphony orchestra. Before joining the faculty at NSU, Dr. Fite had held principal chairs in three symphony orchestras.

Dr. Fite long and prestigious career as an educator and administrator began in 1934 when he accepted his first teaching position as a Teacher and Supervisor in the public schools of Missouri and Tennessee. He quickly became the Assistant Professor of Education at Austin Peay State College at Clarksville, Missouri; Supervisor of Student Teaching at George Peabody College for Teachers at Nashville, Tennessee, and Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts at Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas, before he arrived at NSU as an Associate Professor of Music in 1953. He transferred to the Division of Education and Psychology in 1958 as coordinator of secondary education and became chairman of the division from 1962 until 1963 when he was name Dean of College.

On April 18, 1974, Fite's title was changed from Dean of College to Vice President of the College and Academic Dean. Past NSU President, Robert Collier said, "Fite has been serving in the capacity of a vice-president since 1963 when he was name Dean of the College. But with the title change it will more accurately define Dr. Fite's position.

Fite was then named as Interim President in July of 1977 with the departure of Collier and served until April 1978, when his title was changed again to Vice President of the University. Dr. Fite retired from NSU on June 30, 1979, but was retained as a consultant for the University.

Fite was also an active member of the community and served on the Board of Directors for the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce and was the President for the Tahlequah Kiwanis Club. He is listed in Who's Who in American Education, the National Registry for Prominent Americans, Who's Who in America in 1971 and Outstanding Educators of America in 1971.

In 1979, almost one month before Dr. Fite retired from NSU, the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges resolved to bestow Dr. Fite with the honorary title of "Professor of Education and Vice President of the University Emeritus" citing him for life long works which brought distinguished recognition to himself, Northeastern State University, and the state of Oklahoma.  

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