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Oklahoma Panhandle State University (2009)

Brief Description:

OPSU was created by an act of the Oklahoma State Legislature in 1909 as Pan-Handle Agricultural Institute. Today Oklahoma Panhandle State University is the only baccalaureate degree granting institution within a 100 mile radius. Situated in the center of the Oklahoma Panhandle, it serves students from its home state as well as those in the four states surrounding the rural university. OPSU boasts nationally-recognized programs while maintaining one of the lowest tuition rates in the state and small student-to-teacher ratios.
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Mission Statement:

The mission of Oklahoma Panhandle State University is to provide higher education primarily for people of the Oklahoma Panhandle and surrounding areas through academic programs, cultural enrichment, lifelong learning experiences, and public service activities. The educational experiences are designed to prepare students for roles in agriculture, business, education, government, and industry and to enrich their personal lives.
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President's Quote:

"In the next 100 years, OPSU will undoubtedly undergo many changes and face new challenges. Because it is built on a foundation as solid and independent as the population that settled the region, we promise to continue providing an affordable, high-quality, student-centered educational and cultural resource for students, their families, and area citizens. We look forward to extending our tradition as the university of choice for the High Plains." -- President David A. Bryant
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Major Accomplishments:

 

    Oklahoma Panhandle State University opened a new campus academic building in August of 2008 that will include an accredited water quality testing laboratory that will open this summer. The need for this lab in the Oklahoma Panhandle cannot be overstated.

    Currently, all municipalities, schools, and industries in the area that must have their water tested send their samples to Oklahoma City, over 250 miles away. No more than 30 hours may elapse from the time the sample is drawn to the time it is set up for testing, and that time frame proves impractical for entities in rural locales.

    The accredited lab means the communities surrounding OPSU will save time and money and eliminate the need for resampling if the sample is delayed arriving at the lab. In addition to testing drinking water, the lab will eventually be set up to test general ground and surface waters, wastewater for municipalities and industry such as the oil and gas sector as well as from agricultural use, and soils for general environmental purposes. Part of this type of collection also includes testing mosquitoes for West Nile Virus and reporting the information to aid state and federal agencies in monitoring disease progression.


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Fun Facts:

  • OPSU educates world-class rodeo athletes. The men's and women's teams qualify contestants for the College National Finals Rodeo every year and usually bring home at least one national title.
  • OPSU’s job placement rate for graduates in their chosen field of study is nearly 100%.

  • OPSU Online and OPSU’s Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program attract students from all over the world.

  • OPSU claims the highest Hispanic population of any college or university in Oklahoma. Since 1998, OPSU's Programming Team has won 58 regional and national top 10 awards at Association of Information Technology Professionals competitions.

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Notable Alumni:

  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University graduates Carl Huddleston and David Montoya were recognized as United Space Alliance (USA) Employees of the Month for May 2005. The pair was honored for outstanding and quick resolution of a software problem that directly impacted emergency procedures on the International Space Station (ISS).

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Testimonials:

  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University graduate Travis Bailey (2003) was recently hired at the Santa Anna office of CH2M Hill as a Lead Graphics Designer. The global corporation provides engineering, construction, and operation services to clients on six continents. “My time at OPSU was beneficial in my career, not only from the degree I received, but also becoming friends with my graphics teachers. They’ve helped me and given me advice whenever possible long after I graduated, an overlooked benefit of going to a smaller college where you can personally get to know your instructors.”
  • Dr. Shiloah Stover and his wife, Holly Hooper-Stover (2001) met at OPSU, and both attribute their education here with the success they now enjoy. Holly served as a member of the student senate and played softball three years for the Lady Aggies. She stated, “Softball taught me to persevere in difficult situations. Student Senate taught me how to compromise and work well with others to accomplish something big.” Although Shiloah did not graduate from OPSU, he says his coursework here led him to meet the admissions requirements for chiropractic school. During his time at OPSU, he played baseball and basketball and says that, coupled with his resident assistant experience, he overcame his shyness and gained the interpersonal skills necessary to succeed in his profession.

  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University alumni Alex and Mandy (Kidwell) Gregory are two of many art department graduates who are completing or have completed graduate degrees. Both graduated from OPSU in May of 2003 with Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in studio art, then attended West Texas A&M University in Canyon where both finished Master of Arts degrees. Mandy said, “OPSU’s art degree allowed Alex and me to pursue our love of art and expand our knowledge. We hope to see many of our OPSU friends at our exhibitions to show what OPSU graduates can accomplish!”

  • Oklahoma Panhandle State University is proud to announce that Brigadier General Terry R. Council of the Oklahoma Army National Guard will serve as speaker for the 2007 Commencement Ceremony in May. Brigadier General Terry R. Council of the Oklahoma Army National Guard Council graduated cum laude from OPSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1975. In addition, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant upon graduation and also earned the honor of Distinguished Military Graduate. He holds a Master of Arts in Procurement and Acquisition Management from Webster University located in St. Louis, Missouri. Since he graduated high school in a small town, General Council knew he would thrive on a small campus. “All of my teachers knew me by my first name. That wasn’t unusual — every student who wanted help could get it easily.” He credits OPSU with providing him an excellent education.