April 2009
News & Announcements

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Jill Frye
East Central University
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ECU EDUCATORS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED 

Six former educators with ties to East Central University will be inducted into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer Educators Hall of Fame at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday [APRIL 15] in ECU's Danley Hall atrium.

The inductees are Kenneth Murphy, Billie Floyd, Leon and Mary Pauline Lanoy, the late Ray Stout and the late John Zimmerman.

Their photographs will be displayed in the Hall of Fame in the Education Building along with those of past inductees Dr. Bill Cole, Clarence Oliver, Marvin Stokes, Pat Kellogg Roller, George Abshire and Stephanie Canada.

The Hall of Fame is sponsored by Janice Diamond and Paul Keefer, the children of Gene and Evelyn Keefer, to recognize ECU-prepared educators at any level who have made a significant contribution to the field of education.

The 2008 inductees into the Gene and Evelyn Keefer ECU Educators Hall of Fame are:

Kenneth Murphy of Ada is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. He served for 35 years in public education with a combined total of 60 years in public and higher education. Murphy has been a teacher, principal, coach, lobbyist and church deacon.

He became a charter member of the Oklahoma High School Girls Basketball Association in 1963 and was inducted into the Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1976. He is also a supervisor for student teachers and resident teachers for ECU.

Billie Floyd of Ada has been an educator, Oklahoma state senator and civic leader. During her 30 years at ECU she organized the first Special Olympics games in Oklahoma, developed Red Cross swimming programs and was a founding member of both the Pontotoc Animal Welfare Society and PAST (Preserving Area Stories in Time).

Floyd continues to be active in the Ada community and at ECU. She wrote the grant that established the Tri-County Indian Nations Community Development Corp., an Enterprise Community serving Coal, Johnston and Pontotoc counties, and serves on the New Horizons Sheltered Workshop Board of Directors. She was chairman for Ada's Centennial Celebration in 2001 and supervises ECU's resident-year teachers.

Leon Lanoy of Coalgate is a Word War II veteran who served in the 8th U.S. Army Air Force, 289th Bomb Group. He majored in math at ECU and worked as an educator for 37 years in Wyoming, serving as a bus driver, classroom teacher, volunteer coach, principal and superintendent. "It is better to build boys and girls," Lanoy believes, "than to mend men and women."

In 2008, he and his wife received the ECU Hallie Brown Ford Award for Philanthropy.

Mary Pauline Lanoy of Coalgate enjoyed a 40-year career as a K-8 elementary classroom teacher in Wyoming. She was responsible for teaching all subjects throughout the day for most of her career, but in later years also taught home economics and library skills classes. Lanoy believes that "once a person's attitude is right, and a step-by-step process can be mapped out to attain a goal, success can be obtained, no matter what the obstacles."

In 2000, she was awarded the Wyoming Alpha Xi State Achievement Award and in 2008, she, along with her husband, received the ECU Hallie Brown Ford Award for Philanthropy.

The late Ray Stout was a secondary school teacher and principal in Nevada, California and Oklahoma before becoming a professor in the Department of Education at ECU (1967-1979). He was the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at ECU from 1980 to 1990.

Stout was a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was a member of the Ada City Council for 20 years, including five as mayor. Stout has been referred to as "Mr. Ada" for his many years of dedication and public service.

The late John Zimmerman joined the East Central State Teachers College faculty in 1922 as the director of the extension division. He went on to develop the Horace Mann Training School at ECSTC. Zimmerman was named the principal in 1923 and the director of the school in 1925. He was a professor and chair of the Education Department from 1941 to 1963.

Zimmerman also was a leader in the field of audio-visual education and provided leadership in the curriculum development of the Master of Teaching degree that was first conferred by ECU in 1955.

Family members of both Stout and Zimmerman will attend the induction ceremony.

Inductees in the Keefer Educators Hall of Fame can be a support staff member, teacher educator or administrator. They must have completed a program of preparation at the bachelor's or master's degree level or have taken significant course work toward completion of an education degree or certification program at ECU.

The hall of fame is dedicated to the Keefers and other parents like them who could not afford to go to college but who made it a priority that their children have that opportunity.

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