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Several dignitaries will attend the "Celebrating our Beginning" festivities Wednesday afternoon as ECU marks its 100th birthday.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby, Regional University System of Oklahoma Chair Joe Anna Hibler and Ada Mayor Barbara Young will bring greetings to ECU following the 4 p.m. Whistle Blowing event.

On March 25, 1909, steam whistles around Ada were blown when word came that then-Gov. Haskell had signed the Ada Normal Bill establishing what is now East Central University.

The festivities are open to the public. Attendees should begin to gather at the front steps of Science Hall, ECU's 99-year-old original building, about 3:45 p.m. to pick up kazoos to participate in the ceremony. ECU, the First Presbyterian Church and St. Joseph's Catholic Church also will sound their chimes or bells at 4 p.m.

Dr. Delma Hall, assistant vice president for academic affairs, will welcome everyone to the ceremony, and the ECU Pep Band will play "Tiger Rag" and ECU's fight song. The University Chorale will perform the alma mater.

Dr. John Ulrich, professor of political science, will read the legislative bill that established East Central Normal School. Lauren Hensley, president of ECU's Student Senate, will present the "Meaning of ECU...Past, Present and Future."

ECU Interim President Duane C. Anderson will give a brief centennial address.

Dr. Diane Berty, vice president for student development, will direct the whistle blowing part of the ceremony and direct participants to cake and punch following the program. An "Explore Ada" film about the history of ECU will also be shown in the Dorothy Summers Theatre in Science Hall. The program was produced by Mark Bratcher of the City of Ada and Will Boggs of Dustbowl Films.

People who are driving at 4 p.m. can honk their horns. Those who cannot leave work can log on to and click on the "Celebrating our Beginning Countdown" which will end with a great surprise.

Early Wednesday, proclamations recognizing ECU's centennial will be read in the Oklahoma Senate by Sen. Susan Paddack and in the Oklahoma House of Representatives by Rep. Todd Thomsen.

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