East Central University will officially turn 100 years old on March 25. It is such a momentous occasion that ECU plans to celebrate all week, March 23 -- 27, as part of an on-going year-long centennial celebration. Everyone is invited to help ECU make history by not only celebrating the past, but looking toward the future as part of ECU's centennial commitment to encompass the past and enrich the future.
On March 25, 1909, Oklahoma Gov. Charles N. Haskell, signed the Ada Normal Bill. The bill only provided for the creation of a normal school at Ada and $100,000 for construction of a building. It also said the school had to be located within one mile of the city, but did not otherwise specify a site.
Numerous performances and activities are planned to commemorate ECU's 100th anniversary.
Beginning Monday, March 23 at noon in the University Center ECU's vocal ensemble Chorale will performed followed by PAST, Ada's community performance group.
The ECU Music Department will showcase their talents on Tuesday, March 24 at 11 a.m. -- 2 p.m. in the University Center.
Several activities are planned for Wednesday, March 25, they will begin in Oklahoma City with a proclamation at the state capitol. Festivities will return to campus at 12:30 p.m. in the University Center. ECU's award winning dance ensemble -- Collage' will perform.
That afternoon ECU will recreate an event that occurred in 1909 - when word reached Ada about Gov. Haskell signing the Ada Normal Bill, every mill and factory steam whistle in the town tooted out the good news.
"We would like to invite the community to a whistle blowing re-creation," states Duane C. Anderson, interim president. "Our goal is to encourage the entire ECU community to participate. Whether you are half way across the country or live right here in Ada we have created an option for all."
For those who are attending the "Celebrating Our Beginning" event plan to arrive at 3:45 p.m. on the front steps of Science Hall, at which time kazoos and air horns will be handed out. The festive occasion will supply plenty of cake and entertainment for all. There will be greetings and proclamations from elected officials topped off by a Centennial Address by Interim President Dr. Duane C. Anderson.
For those driving -- honk your horn and for those who cannot leave their offices log on to www.ecok.edu and click on the "Celebrating our Beginning Countdown" which will end with a great surprise.
Local employers and churches are also encouraged to make announcements. St. Joseph's Catholic Church and First Presbyterian will join the ECU Chimes in celebration at 4 p.m.
ECU will begin the largest birthday party on campus on Thursday, March 26 at 12:30 p.m. in the University Center. Following the party at 1 p.m. on mall ECU will open the time capsule which was buried by Student Senate in 1984 during ECU's 75th Anniversary.
That same evening beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Summers Theatre will be a performance for ECU's Instrumental Ensembles.
A performance of "What We Did Way Back When" is scheduled on Friday, March 27, at 6 p.m. in the Stanley Wagner Ballroom. This vaudeville performance of will be a nostalgic ECU event which will take you back in time to experience what an East Central State Normal School evening would have been like in 1909. Advance passes are strongly encouraged for those wishing to attend.
All events are free and open to the public. Passes for "What We Did Way Back When" may be picked up beginning Monday, March 23 in the University Center. For additional information visit www.ecok.edu/centennial or call Catie Caton at 580-559-5611.
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