RSU Celebrates 100 Years

Rogers State University in Claremore is celebrating its centennial this year!

By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Other | Issue: March 2009

Rogers State University is celebrating its centennial this year by hosting a variety of special birthday events in March.

Rogers State University in Claremore is celebrating its centennial this year! RSU was founded in 1909, just two years after Oklahoma became a state. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the university is having a birthday party in March with a number of great events.

The celebration kicks off on Wednesday, March 25 at 11 a.m. with the dedication and naming ceremony of the new Student Center. The two-level, 50,000-square-foot facility will combine student development programs under one roof, serve as a central location for students to study and socialize, and provide a focal point for the RSU campus in Claremore. At noon the birthday party begins and will include guided tours of the Student Center and an RSU birthday cake. The Centennial Parade starts at 2 p.m. at the Claremore Expo Center and will travel to the gazebo east of downtown.

Concluding the day of celebration on March 25 will be a political update with Jeff Greenfield at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. Jeff Greenfield is the senior political correspondent for CBS and one of America’s most respected commentators and journalists. Known for his quick wit and savvy insight into politics, history, the media and current events, he is a former speechwriter for Robert Kennedy and the author or co-author of 11 books, including “Oh, Waiter! One Order of Crow,” an insider account of the contested 2000 presidential election.

The Centennial events continue on Sunday, March 29. From noon to 5 p.m., free guided tours of the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum will take place. The museum tells the story of the more than 10,000 cadets who attended the institution, the predecessor of RSU, from 1919 to 1971.

From noon to 2 p.m., the Student Center will open for lunch. At 2 p.m., the RSU film premiere will commence in Will Rogers Auditorium. The film is a new documentary about RSU history produced by RSU Public Television.   

Rogers State University has long symbolized quality education and service to area residents. The university was officially established in 1909 as Eastern University Preparatory School by the Oklahoma Legislature in its second session. The mission of the school was to prepare the sons and daughters of Native Americans, farmers, and ranchers for entry into the colleges and universities of Oklahoma.

In 1919, the school became the Oklahoma Military Academy (OMA) in response to the needs of area residents and the United States Armed Forces. The OMA quickly gained recognition as one of the top military schools in the United States; among the graduates is retired Lt. Gen. William E. Potts – the most decorated living soldier in the U.S. Army.

Due to the growing educational needs of a rapidly developing technological and industrial economy in the Claremore area, the Oklahoma Legislature replaced the OMA in 1971 with the Claremore Junior College, providing a variety of high-quality two-year associate’s degree programs for area residents.

Claremore Junior College grew from 477 students in 1971 to more than 3,000 in 1982, when the institution was renamed Rogers State College to better represent the areas it served – Rogers County and the surrounding communities. The school became Rogers State University in 1998 and was accredited as a four-year university in 2000. Since then, enrollment has increased by more than 70 percent, earning RSU the title of Oklahoma’s fastest-growing university.

Today RSU is a dynamic, progressive university with more than 3,800 students, widely recognized for its high-quality academic programs, distance learning options and high-technology learning environment. The university serves the northeast quadrant of Oklahoma and enjoys status as the only public four-year, residential university in the Tulsa metropolitan area. RSU is one of only two universities in Oklahoma with the dual mission of offering both four and two-year degrees. Innovative new bachelor’s degrees include applied technology, environmental conservation, and the state’s only four-year degree in game development.

For more information about the history of Rogers State University, call the RSU Office of Public Relations at (918) 343-7771, or go online to

For more information, contact

Rogers State University

1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd.
Claremore, OK 74017
(918) 343-7771

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About Author Sheryl Sowell

Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.

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