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NOC hosts 20 year celebration in Enid

Cutline: Four men instrumental in Northern Oklahoma College’s acquisition of the Phillips University campus in Enid participated in a panel discussion at the 20 year anniversary celebration Thursday, June 14. Pictured (L-R): NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans, Harold Hamm, Dan Dillingham, Dr. Joe Kinzer, Bert Mackie (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College)

NOC hosts 20 year celebration in Enid

 Northern Oklahoma College celebrated 20 years at the Enid campus June 14 with a celebration at Montgomery Hall in the Gantz Student Center.

A large group of NOC administrators, faculty, and staff along with former NOC regents, Northwestern Oklahoma State University officials, Enid area educators and community leaders attended the afternoon event.

Thursday’s celebration focused on a panel discussion with four men who were instrumental in making NOC Enid a reality. The panel included Dan Dillingham (Chairman of the Board, Dillingham Insurance), Harold Hamm (CEO of Continental Resources), Dr. Joe Kinzer (NOC President Emeritus), and Bert Mackie (Former Oklahoma State Regent and retired Security National Bank executive).

“We are honored to have a representation of the distinguished leaders whose vision and hard work helped establish NOC Enid and have continued through the years providing support through advocacy, service, and helping raise much needed resources for scholarships and program support,” said NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans. “Each was a key leader in the acquisition of the joint purchase of the former Phillips University.”

All four answered questions from NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans in the panel discussion.

What was each of these men’s roles in the acquiring of the Phillips campus?

Dan Dillingham – I was approached by the president of Phillips University to try and save the school and understanding the issues they were facing, that was going to be a challenge. NOC and Northwestern already had a presence here in Enid and it wound up being a natural progression for NOC to bring a larger presence. We wanted to make sure that Northwestern Oklahoma students continued to have an affordable two year education opportunity.

Harold Hamm – I had connections to Phillips having gone to school here but with the issues of the day, we could all see the handwriting on the wall. Fortunately, we were able to work with the folks here in Enid and NOC to make sure this beautiful campus was going to be used. It was an adventure but everyone worked together to make it happen.

Dr. Joe Kinzer – It was quite an experience. We were already serving the Enid community just not many people knew about it. The closing of Phillips gave us more to consider with the possibility of NOC increasing its reach. When we toured the campus, I was amazed at its beauty and it became even more important for us to do what we could to make this happen. Once we acquired the property, we had about 30 days to prepare for fall classes. That was a huge challenge but our faculty and staff worked tirelessly to get everything ready. Honestly, I don’t know how they did it.

Bert Mackie – I had attended the Phillips bankruptcy meetings and everyone was trying to decide what to do. Fortunately, NOC along with the state regent’s office and Enid community all stepped up to continue providing opportunity for students. This campus today looks as nice as it did 55 years ago when I was a student here. I am so glad this facility could remain a college campus.

What were some of the memories from the acquisition?

Harold Hamm – The determination of those involved stands out to me. So many people were involved but all had the same goal in mind.

Dr. Joe Kinzer - I just remember being on campus and seeing the facilities. When you went through the Marshall Building and the Gantz Center and really all the campus, it was easy to see that the assets were in place.

Bert Mackie – What I remember was the ambition of all the leaders to make this a reality.

Dan Dillingham – When we explored the options, we knew the voters were going to have to approve a sales tax and that was so important. There were over 400 presentations made in the area explaining the plan for the sales tax money.

What was the vision that made NOC and the Enid community successful?

Dr. Joe Kinzer – It wasn’t so much my vision but that of our faculty and staff. It was everyone doing what they could do make this work. It wouldn’t work without our faculty and staff.

Bert Mackie – The vision started with Dr. Vineyard in Tonkawa. He always wanted to have a footprint in Enid. He knew the numbers that less than 40 percent of Enid graduates were attending college and he believed that NOC could help provide that opportunity as a public college.

Dan Dillingham – Everyone was positive about the process, it was going to be a challenge but everyone worked well together for this common goal.

Harold Hamm – The vision worked at the local level in this area but also at the state level as well. The regents and legislature were willing to do what they could to help make this a reality.

What is their advice for NOC Enid to grow?

Bert Mackie – NOC had done a great job with limited resources. State funding has gone from 70 percent to 28 percent and keeping that in mind, NOC has done wonders with athletics and cultural activities with limited resources. Hopefully, more funding would mean more programs.

Dan Dillingham – Don’t worry about what others are doing, do your own thing. Providing an affordable educational opportunity is what NOC does best.

Harold Hamm – NOC is the cultural center for Enid. Continue to do what you are doing. Build on that and help others realize their dreams of an education.

Dr. Joe Kinzer – Keep on keeping on. Keep developing the partnerships in place in Enid. NOC should mirror the changes we are seeing in the workplace.

Also making remarks were Dr. Ed Vineyard, Vice President for NOC Enid who is retiring June 30, current board of regent chairman Chad Dillingham, and Foster Shamburg NOC Enid President’s Leadership Council President.

Regent Dillingham said, “Since the purchase of this campus, Northern has worked hard to enhance the educational offerings in Northwest Oklahoma as well as providing the best facilities as possible. I doing so, we strive to preserve the rich history and beauty of the former Phillips University. NOC even retained the names of the buildings to honor the individuals who valued the higher education experience in Enid.”

“It is amazing to see how the campus has evolved and become established over the last couple of decades,” he added. Every single structure has seen improvements and investment. NOC has invested over $19 million in capital updates to the Enid campus over the years. I would like to thank President Evans and our team of NOC employees for their leadership as well as their passion and commitment to Northern Oklahoma College. I would also like to thank the Enid community in believing in our mission and for those community leaders who helped make NOC Enid a reality.”

Dr. Vineyard praised the Enid community for their work in making NOC in Enid a reality.

“As you have heard from our distinguished panel and other speakers, none of our accomplishments happened by chance,” Vineyard said. “It took collaboration with community partners such as the City of Enid, NWOSU, Autry Tech, the Greater Enid Chamber of Commerce, the Enid Higher Education Council, Vance AFB, and Enid Public Schools to make this campus a reality. We are proud of the number of students who have earned their associates degree and how they have enhanced the local economy through their employment in NW Oklahoma. We are especially grateful for our partnerships with Autry Tech and NWOSU to provide seamless transfer, technical educational cooperative degree programs, and scholarships through the Bridge Program for those students working on four-year degrees.”

Foster Shamburg, a sophomore from Pond Creek, said he cherishes the relationships he has built as a current student at NOC.

“The support from the faculty, staff, administration, and donors who help build a college experience here that is not like anywhere else and help fill the need for higher education I just want to say thank you,” Shamburg said. “Thank you for hours upon hours of helping young adults like me build lifelong memories. The relationships built right here in Enid, Oklahoma are not like anywhere else. So, if you are ever driving down the road and the NOC ad comes on the radio I want you to listen closely to the jingle at the end where it says “Life Changing, Northern Oklahoma College” and think of me and remember that Northern Oklahoma College really is life changing.”

Vice President for Development & Community Relations Sheri Snyder was emcee for the event

The event culminated a full year of activities celebrating the institution’s 20 years in Enid.