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SEMINOLE STATE COLLEGE

Seminole State College, a two-year, state-funded college, was established in Seminole during the junior college movement. With an enrollment of fifty-seven, the first classes started on September 7, 1931, in the Seminole High School. All but six or eight of those students, who took advantage of earning one year of college credits, lived in Seminole, which had a population of 11,459 in 1930. Six faculty members taught eight subjects. English, French, physics, science, mathematics, and history were among the courses offered.

In 1969 the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recommended that state-supported junior colleges separate from the local high schools. Thus, 359 students attended classes at the First Presbyterian Church until the administration and classroom building (later named Tanner Hall) was completed in summer 1971. Elmer Tanner served as the first president of Seminole Junior College. Additional buildings such as the David L. Boren Library, the Roesler Residential Learning Center, and the S. J. Sarkeys Dormitory have been constructed on the forty-acre campus.

On May 14, 1996, Gov. Frank Keating signed Senate Bill Number 836, authorizing the name change from Seminole Junior College to Seminole State College. At the turn of the twenty-first century approximately two thousand students enrolled at the institution, which offered associate degrees in arts and science and associate degrees in applied science. The institution provided postsecondary education for residents in Hughes, Lincoln, Okfuskee, Seminole, and Pottawatomie counties. The college also supported outreach classes in Wewoka and Shawnee.

SEE ALSO: COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES–STATE, JUNIOR COLLEGE MOVEMENT.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 19 May 1996. "Education, Higher–Oklahoma–Seminole," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City. Seminole (Oklahoma) Morning News, 22 August and 5 September 1931.

Linda D. Wilson

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