Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Distinguished Alumni

Lorena Males

Lorena G. Males - 1996

Lorena G. Males has spent her entire life helping other people and being an advocate for education.  Males has strongly supported that children be exposed to the arts.  Music has been an important part of Males’ life.  She started piano lessons at the ago of six and began taking piano lessons at SWOSU in 1927.  Males went on to earn her elementary education in music degree from SWOSU in 1935. 

The learning did not stop in 1935 for Males, and she probably claims to hold the record for the student with the longest attendance at Southwestern.  Except for brief pauses to have her two sons and briefly attending Kidd Key College in Sherman, TX, she has studied almost continuously at SWOSU.  She still travels weekly to Weatherford and studies piano with Dr. James Breckenridge. 

Males’ love of music came at the behest of her parents, Bernard and Mary Virginia (Mabry) Savage.  Males imparts her love for music by continuing to teach several dozen students and entertaining civic organizations, study clubs, church groups, and at schools.  She is a regular entertainer for tourists and parties at Coyote Hills guest ranch at Cheyenne.  She not only plays the piano but masterfully recites poetry and does impersonations, making the past come alive for her audiences. 

When Southwestern opened in 1901, Males’ mother was the first female to enroll.  Later, all four of Mary Virginia’s daughters would graduate from SWOSU.  After Lorena earned her degree, she began teaching at Strong City where she met banker L. L. “Red” Males.  They married and, in 1935, moved to Cheyenne where she began teaching music and English.  She taught in pubic schools for 20 years and continues to give private piano lessons.  She was inducted into the Western Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1985. 

Males, a native of old Hammon, and her late husband have two sons, William L. Males of Sweden and Dr. James Males.  Males has always been very loyal to Southwestern.  She always to tell people what her father always said, “Southwestern is the closest, the cheapest, and the best.  Nobody but a d*** fool would go elsewhere!”

Mrs. Lorena G. Males passed away in 2006.