Panola GEAR UP students tour Bacone College in Muskogee


WILBURTON, OK (Nov. 18, 2016) – Panola GEAR UP students recently traveled to Muskogee and toured Bacone College. Bacone College, an independent institution related to the American Baptist Churches, USA, maintains its commitment to serving American Indians within a culturally diverse community. The college, through its baccalaureate and associate degree programs, challenges students to develop intellectual and social skills, spiritual values and healthy lifestyles by providing quality education in a nurturing Christian environment. With one of the most diverse student populations in the United States, Bacone provides a learning/living community dedicated to celebrating and serving its cultural diversity and preparing students to successfully live and work in an ever-increasing global community and market place.

Multiple tour guides spoke with the students in front of Wacoche Hall. The guides discussed various campus organizations and academic programs, as well as student-to-teacher ratio, scholarships, financial aid, and the ACT. The importance of volunteer work and campus involvement was also stated.

As the students were led throughout campus, the guides informed them of where specific classes are held including the Samuel Richards Building, McCoy Hall, McCombs Hall, and Wacoche Hall buildings. They also directed the students to the Memorial Chapel where they have Bacone Hour every Tuesday at 11 am. The Bacone student, faculty or staff can deepen his/her spiritual life by attending Bacone Hour. All students are required to take at least one religion course.

The guides directed the students to the Palmer Center and the gym where the students would find resources and activities going on during the semester. Students were directed to the Atoloa Lodge Museum and discussed a little history behind some of the buildings and statues on campus. The tour ended in front of the Wacoche Hall. Tour guides answered questions and discussed the different degrees offered—Division of American Indian Studies, Division of Applied and Health Science, Division of Business, Division of Liberal Arts & Humanities, Division of Education and the Rennard Strickland School of Tribal Law & Criminal Justice.

“College tours are an important part of Eastern’s GEAR UP program,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Tara Stevens. “They give the students a first-hand look at life on a college campus.”

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and one that is cultural/educational in nature.

Panola GEAR UP students pose for a photo in front of the Chickasaw Warrior. Pictured are: Front Row: Madison Rutledge, Alexis Hill, Alyssa Calvin and Jonathan Luna. 2nd Row: Arianna Garcia, Dora Cox, Rosetta Coley, Jayda Crockett, Chloe Ellis, Austin Bloxham, Jesse Cantrell, Oscar Vance, Chazz Brewer, Cody Johnson and Andria Crouch. 3rd Row: Christian Coley, Alison Corcoran, Sandra Karstens, Rhett Minshall, David Williams, Nick Walls, Deyton Ashby, Billy Morrow and Bryce Wilcox.

Panola students listen intently to the tour guide talk about the history of Bacone’s Memorial Chapel.

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