Eastern’s annual Homecoming Awards Dinner set for Nov. 13


WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 2, 2015) – Eastern Oklahoma State College’s Homecoming Awards Dinner is set for Friday, Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. The annual event honors alumni, a former faculty member and those that have impacted the college’s history.

Bill White of Oklahoma City will be inducted as the 32nd member of the EOSC Alumni Association Hall of Fame. This award is presented annually to an Eastern alumnus who through extraordinary achievement and service at the local, state, or national levels has brought honor and distinction to both themselves and the institution.

White has spent the majority of his career in emergency management. He served in a variety of capacities for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as a public utility complaint investigator, manager of technical services and agency liaison to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, reporting major utility outages due to natural or man-made disasters in Oklahoma. He retired in 2011 after 31 years with the Commission. Later, he worked for 17 months as the deputy public assistance coordinator following the May 2013 tornadoes that affected six Oklahoma counties. Following the tornado disaster, he became the state coordinator for Safe Schools 101 and implemented a safety program for existing school buildings to protect students and staff from future tornadoes and other types of severe weather. He also served in the personnel, training and retention areas for the Oklahoma National Guard from 1980-2005. He received two national military awards for his service as part of the disaster team for the Murrah Building bombing in 1995 and security detail in the disaster area during the May 1999 tornado in Moore.

A 1966 Eastern graduate, White earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Northeastern State University and a master’s degree in natural and applied sciences from Oklahoma State University. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

The Outstanding Young Alumnus Award will be presented to Wilburton Mayor Stephen Brinlee. A lifelong resident of Wilburton, Brinlee earned two associate degrees from Eastern, including a degree in music education in 2005 and criminal justice in 2010. He was elected mayor of Wilburton in 2007 at the age 22, making him the youngest mayor in the state of Oklahoma at that time. He is active in the community, serving as a board member for Kiamichi Economic Development District of Oklahoma (KEDDO), Oklahoma Conference of Mayors, Kiamichi RC&D, Wilburton Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Alumni Association, Wilburton High School Alumni Association and as a past chairman of the Latimer County Democratic Party.

Byron Bohanon of Tuskahoma will receive the Distinguished Former Faculty Award, which honors those who exhibited exemplary service in teaching at Eastern. A 1959 Eastern graduate, Bohanon earned a bachelor’s’ degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in education in from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Early in his career, Bohanon taught high school mathematics at Marietta, Tuskahoma and Clayton, where he also served as high school principal for three years. He began teaching mathematics at Eastern in 1969. During his 21 years at Eastern, he also taught computer science programming and served four years as both the chair of the Mathematics Department and chair of the Faculty Council. Upon his retirement in 1990, Bohanon became a full-time rancher. He remains active in his community, serving on a number of boards including the Latimer County Excise Board and the County Equalization Board. He is also active in the Latimer County Cattleman’s Association, the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association and the National Cattleman’s Association.

The Heritage Award will be presented to the family of the late E.T. Dunlap. The Heritage Award recognizes an individual, group or organization that played a significant role in shaping and molding the history of Eastern. Dunlap’s impact on education spanned local, state and federal levels throughout his life. A native of Red Oak, Dunlap attended what was then Eastern Oklahoma Agriculture and Mechanical College and began teaching in 1936. After serving as superintendent of Latimer County Schools and Red Oak, Dunlap was elected and served three terms in the Oklahoma State House of Representatives. Following the death of his cousin, Claud C. Dunlap, E.T. was named president of Eastern in December of 1951 at the age of 36. During his 10-year tenure at Eastern, the institution experienced prosperity as enrollment tripled and the campus grew and was modernized. He left Eastern in 1961 when the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education appointed him chancellor of higher education, where he remained until his retirement in 1981. Prior to his death in 1997, Dunlap was inducted in the Eastern Alumni Association Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Tickets for the event are $30 each and can be purchased by calling the Office of Institutional Advancement at 918-465-1759.

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