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SWOSU Bestows Annual Emeriti Honors

Emeriti HonoreesSWOSU Alumni Association President Melanie Mouse (far left) and SWOSU President Randy Beutler (far right) congratulate the 2019 SWOSU Emeriti Honorees (from left) Vicki Gilliland, Charles “Skip” Klingman, Radwan Al-Jarrah and Terry Segress.

Four former Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) employees were honored recently by the SWOSU Alumni Association during a reception held in the Pioneer Cellular Events Center on the Weatherford campus.

The SWOSU Alumni Association Board of Directors voted in 2015 to begin recognizing former SWOSU employees annually and celebrating their contributions to the university.

The 2019 SWOSU Alumni Association Emeritus Award honorees include:

Radwan Al-Jarrah- Al-Jarrah was introduced at the reception by current Oklahoma State House District 57 Representative and SWOSU alumnus Harold Wright. Al-Jarrah joined the SWOSU faculty as a professor of mathematics in 1991.  He was selected as chair of the Department of Mathematics in 1995 and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2004.  Prior to his position at SWOSU, he served on the mathematics faculties of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia and Yarmouk University in Jordan and as a visiting professor at Ohio State University. 

During his career, he remained active in mathematics research that included approximation theory, orthogonal polynomials and numerical analysis. Al-Jarrah retired from SWOSU in March 2012.

Vicki Gilliland- Gilliland was introduced at the reception by SWOSU Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Ruth Boyd. Gilliland joined SWOSU as an instructor in the Department of Education in 1986. During her tenure, Vicky mentored teacher candidates through every step of their professional journey—teaching their introductory course, Foundations of Education, and coordinating every clinical field experience along the way, culminating in their student teaching semester. She continued in her role as mentor, serving as a student teaching supervisor and a resident year supervisor. Gilliland orchestrated most of the high impact practices that positively influenced the preparatory program for all SWOSU student teachers, regardless of specific education major.

Gilliland communicated directly with the supervising classroom teachers and administrators in K-12 systems across the state and beyond. In any given semester, Gilliland coordinated with well over 200 K-12 partners. Her collaborative skill, gracious disposition, respect and support for all educators made her an ideal liaison for SWOSU.

Charles “Skip” Klingman- Klingman was introduced at the reception by SWOSU Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. James South. Klingman was assistant professor of music and voice division coordinator at SWOSU.  During his tenure at SWOSU, he conducted Show Choir, Men’s Chorus, Chamber Choir and Southwestern Singers. He taught music education courses as well.  He organized and hosted show choir contests and both solo/ensemble and choral ensemble contests for OSSAA.  Klingman is a past president of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association and spent a total of 13 years on the OkMEA governing board.

Klingman’s degrees include undergraduate and graduate degrees from SWOSU, and he completed coursework for the Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Oklahoma. Klingman’s teaching experience included three years as a vocal music director in the Clinton Public Schools, 12 years in the Muskogee Public Schools and 27 years in the SWOSU Music Department. 

Klingman is married to fellow SWOSU alumnus Eleanor Jo Ross Klingman, who is a former SWOSU drum major and charter member of Tau Beta Sigma; “Jo” is retired from the math faculty of Weatherford High School. 

Terry Segress- Segress was also introduced at the reception by South. Segress taught over 40 years at SWOSU and served many years as Music Department chair. Segress founded the SWOSU Jazz Festival in 1971 and is an inductee of the Oklahoma Band Association Hall of Fame.

Segress is currently keyboardist with the Modern Oklahoma Jazz Orchestra, the Sounds of Music Jazz Orchestra and the Generations Quartet in Tulsa. Segress teaches private lessons at Palen Music, Collinsville High School and Verdigris High School. In 2020 alone, Segress will be directing the Green Country High School Honor Jazz Band, the 50th Annual SWOSU Alumni Jazz Band and the Small High School Honor Jazz Band. 

Segress is also “part time chauffeur” for his wife, Teresa, who calls on schools in Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas for Palen Music. The Segresses live in Broken Arrow with their four dogs.

Previous SWOSU Alumni Association Emeritus Award honorees include:

2018: Stuart Burchett, Les Crall, John Hays and Blake Sonobe

2017: Jill Jones, Henry Kirkland, Jr. (posthumous), John Loftin and Randall Russell.

2016: Dan Dill, Joe Anna Hibler, Mark Mouse (posthumous) and Bill Seibert.

2015: Lamar Crall, Roger Egerton and Mona Jean Suter.

The SWOSU Alumni Association, a subsidiary of the SWOSU Foundation, Inc., is a dynamic group of volunteers from all walks of life who are passionate about giving back to SWOSU. The association offers members a variety of benefits and event opportunities. For more information, contact SWOSU’s Office of Institutional Advancement at 580-774-3289 or visit