Rogers State University welcomed advocates of higher education to its Claremore campus Tuesday, April 18, with the hosting of the Tulsa Higher Education Consortium’s Spring 2023 Convening event.
The Tulsa Higher Education Consortium (THE) is a collaborative effort developed to meaningfully improve Tulsa-area students’ journeys towards degree completion, professional independence and economic mobility. The Consortium is comprised of eight higher education institutions including Langston University, Northeastern State University, OSU – Tulsa, OU – Tulsa, Rogers State University, Tulsa Community College, University of Tulsa and Southern Nazarene University – Tulsa, along with seven affiliate organizations.
Titled “Convening, Collaboration, Connection and Community,” the Spring 2023 Convening was a day-long series of networking, specialized panels, discussions and guest speakers in support of student success and degree completion.
Following opening remarks from THE Consortium Executive Director Dr. Laura Latta, RSU President Dr. Larry Rice welcomed event attendees to Rogers State University.
“What a pleasure to welcome you all to Rogers State University. Some of you, we welcome back, and some of you, we welcome for the first time. We appreciate the Consortium getting us together on this beautiful day to learn more about the Consortium’s work,” Rice began. “We value our partnership with all of you as we work together to advance higher education in the region and the state.”
After recognizing Dr. Latta and several colleagues and guests in attendance, Dr. Rice recounted the story of RSU.
“I know you’re not here to hear me talk, but anytime I have the opportunity to talk about the history of Rogers State – we’ve just had a lot of name changes,” he said. “In 1907, which was before statehood, there weren’t a lot of public institutions in the area, so we were established as a preparatory school, opening the doors of our first iconic building – the one with the gold dome now called Preparatory Hall – in 1909, and that was known as the Eastern University Preparatory School.”
Although the institution closed in 1917, it reopened in 1919 as the Oklahoma Military Academy on the heels of the ending of World War I, Rice said.
“We were the OMA until 1971, when the academy closed and we again reopened, this time as Claremore Junior College,” he said. “From 1971 to 1996, we were some reiterations of a community college – Claremore Junior College, Claremore Community College, Rogers State College, Rogers University, and when we got accreditation as a four-year school, we opened our doors in the fall of 2000 as Rogers State University.”
Rice then touched on the growth of the university over the past 23 years, noting the addition and variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including the launch of the university’s first engineering degree.
“Let me tell you a few things you might not know about Rogers State University. For one thing, we have a full-power television station, thanks to (former) community college president (Richard Mosier) who decided we needed to be in the distance education business – and this was in the 70s and 80s,” he said. “Through a partnership with the Cherokee Nation, that (television station) has truly paid dividends, particularly during COVID, and brought us back to why the station was originally established – to deliver distance education, distance learning classes that allow us to record high quality lessons that can be aired and viewed across the region.
“Something else, this month, we were selected to have a partnership with Saint Francis Hospital,” he said. “We’ve had a nursing school here since the mid-80s and a few years ago, transitioned into offering a bachelor’s degree in that program. Our partnership with Saint Francis will allow us to add two more cohorts – we’re very honored to be a part of that partnership.”
“We have a long history and proud heritage here at RSU, but we still believe that our best days are ahead of us,” he said.
For more information about THE Consortium, visit www.tulsahighered.com.
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