SWOSU Panorama Series Celebrating 30 Years
Almost 200 programs during the past 30 academic years and the Panorama Series continues to flourish at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford.
Thousands of people have attended the events over the years, featuring such shows as The Avett Brothers, George Carlin, Carrot Top, Jeff Dunham, Lewis Black, Jack Hanna, Bill Cosby, STOMP, Daymond John, Pauly Shore, Peking Acrobats, The Second City, Gabriel Iglesias, Ken Jeong, Nicholas Sparks, Parker McCollum, Colin Jost, Ben Rector and many more.
Another event is planned March 25 when the Panorama Series teams up with the SWOSU Student Government Association to present SWOSUpalooza, a concert featuring the Randy Rogers Band, Triston Marez and Cam Allen. Advance tickets are $15 and available at stubwire.com. All tickets at the door, if any remain, will be $25.
Brian Adler, long-time chair of the Panorama Committee who is retiring this summer, said the Panorama Series started when Dr. Joe Anna Hibler was president of the university. The first year featured a performance by a New York company production of King Lear and talks by Linda Ellerbee and George Plimpton.
The successful series continued under SWOSU presidents Dr. John Hays, Dr. Randy Beutler and current President Dr. Diana Lovell.
“The Panorama Series has brought many people to SWOSU and Weatherford, and a lot of those people maybe would have never come to western Oklahoma if it wasn’t for the Panorama events that took place,” Adler said.
One of Adler’s favorite stories was when a large group of Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University students from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area came to SWOSU for The Avett Brothers concert. Adler asked them after the concert what they thought about SWOSU and the Pioneer Cellular Event Center where the concert was held.
“They said we had no idea what to expect coming to a small city in western Oklahoma,” Adler said. “They thought SWOSU had an incredible concert venue and was so impressed with the area. The concert brought them to SWOSU when, most likely, they would have never visited the area.”
Of course, the university has only had the Pioneer Cellular Event Center since 2014 so Panorama programs were previously held in the Fine Arts Center, which sometimes would completely sell out for events such as The Peking Acrobats, Bill Engvall, and Colin Mocherie and Brad Sherwood from Who’s Line is it Anyway? The event center now allows for bigger crowds.
Adler said the Panorama Series is a great marketing tool for the university and Weatherford. He said it is amazing to see people come from many states for events.
“If people like a certain person or group, they will travel,” Adler said. “That’s good for the economy of western Oklahoma.”
Many members of the current Panorama Committee have served many years on the committee. The 2021-22 committee is comprised of: Adler as chair, Dr. Allen Boyd, Dr. Brian Campbell, Dr. Jonna Myers, Dr. Scott Long, Dr. Patsy Parker, Steve Strickler, Jason Barr, Jamie Collins, Nate Downs, Bryce Wood, Kaylee Wendt, community representative Phillip Reid, and students Natalee Karcher, Riley Smith, Ryan Agyemang, Kaitlyn Clark and Conner Belknap.