Dr. Ken Rose Retiring After 42 Years at SWOSU

Dr. Ken RoseDr. Ken Rose has been working at Southwestern Oklahoma State University for 42 years, but his SWOSU career will soon be coming to an end.

The well-known Rose will be honored at a retirement reception on Tuesday, April 26, from 3-4 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center Ballroom on the Weatherford campus. The public is invited.

“Dr. Rose has been an instrumental part of SWOSU, and we appreciate his many years of service to the university,” SWOSU President Randy Beutler said. “We wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Rose, born and raised in Clinton, has actually been at SWOSU longer than 42 years. He was also a student at the university, graduating in 1968. After working at Washita Heights Public Schools in Corn/Colony until 1974, he returned to SWOSU where he began his SWOSU working career as a faculty member in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Department. He became chair of the HPER department in 1990. 

In 2001, Rose was named Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and in 2003, he was named Dean of the College of Professional and Graduate Studies, a position that he still holds today.

As many people know, Rose has been very involved with the SCUBA program at SWOSU, having certified over 2,000 SCUBA divers and instructors. Rose was named Mid-America Region YMCA SCUBA Leadership Program Commissioner in 1976.  His responsibilities included the development and oversight of all of the YMCA SCUBA leadership programs in the Mid-America region of the United States, ranging from North Dakota in the north to Mexico in the south. He held that position until 1995. 

Another area that Rose has been involved with until recently was SWOSU’s dealings with the Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) and five adjudicated youth adventure programs. He served as project investigator of the program at its inception. 

Rose played a key role in the acquisition of property for the Crowder Lake State Park in 1980 and the later movement of the park to SWOSU’s ownership in 1995.  Its development as an outdoor education lab site and University Park has provided an outdoor experience for thousands of individuals over the last several years.

His honors and awards are many. Some include the Weatherford Rotary Club’s Service Above Self Award, OAHPERD Honor Award, Oklahoma Parks and Recreation Society’s Honor Award, Certificate of Appreciation Award for Underwater Intervention, International Rotary Paul Harris Award, National YMCA Certificate of Appreciation Award, City of Weatherford’s Distinguished Service Award, and National YMCA’s Leadership Director’s Citation Award for Outstanding Service.

He is married to Susan Rose and has four children. They are David, D’Ann, Wesly and Tiler. Susan, David and D’Ann are all graduates of SWOSU, and Wesly and Tiler are current SWOSU students. His mother and 15 aunts, uncles and cousins are also graduates of SWOSU. His retirement plans include additional time spent with his family, working with a family cattle operation, riding family horses, fixing fences and water gaps, seeing SWOSU athletic games and events, and travelling with Susan.