Ada native Dr. John Clinton and Ada sisters Grace George and Mattie Warren, all graduates of East Central University, will be inducted into ECU’s Gene and Evelyn Keefer Educators Hall of Fame on June 19 [TUESDAY].
The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in ECU’s Danley Hall atrium.
The Educators 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 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.
The inductees are:
Dr. John Clinton
Dr. John Clinton is dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design and the founder of the Oklahoma Center for Arts Education at the University of Central Oklahoma. He also is the conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra. For 33 years he was a teacher and director of fine arts for Norman Public Schools.
After graduating from ECU in 1969, Clinton earned a master of music education degree from the University of Oklahoma and completed a Ph.D. in music education at the University of North Texas with emphases in orchestral conducting, string pedagogy and sociology.
He has conducted All-State orchestras in 13 states, led the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra on five international tours and presented papers and seminars at regional, national and international conferences.
Clinton has been named a University of Oklahoma School of Music Distinguished Alumni Fellow, Oklahoma Music Educators Administrator of the Year, Oklahoma String Teacher of the Year and the National Interscholastic Music Association Outstanding Music Educator. He is a member of the Oklahoma Music Educators Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame and received a Governor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Music Education.
Grace George taught at Ada High School from 1947 to 1955 and at ECU from 1955 to 1986. She was chair of ECU’s Home Economics Department and sponsored the ECU Home Economics Club.
George and her two sisters, Mattie and Mardell, who all lived in Knight Hall at the same time, established an ECU tradition that continually encourages their family members to attend ECU. Over the years, 29 members of their extended family have either attended or graduated from ECU.
She and legendary ECU football coach Elvan George were married in 1945 in a ceremony in ECU’s Knight Hall living room.
George graduated from Mill Creek High School and completed a bachelor’s degree in 1947 and a master’s degree in 1955, both at ECU. She did post-graduate work at the University of Oklahoma, Texas Women’s University and The University of Pennsylvania.
She enjoys fishing and gardening and is an active member of the Central Church of Christ.
Mattie Warren taught business, shorthand and accounting at Ada High School from 1944 to 1984. She was honored as a Teacher of the Year for the Ada Public School System and inducted into the Ada Public Schools Teacher Hall of Fame.
Warren also graduated from Mill Creek High School and earned her bachelor’s degree at ECU in 1946. She received a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma.
She married Hugh Warren, an ECU graduate, tennis coach and part-time physical education teacher. Their son, Bronson Warren, is ECU’s dean of students.
Warren is a member of the First Baptist Church of Ada.
Photographs of the 2012 inductees 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, Stephanie Canada, Kenneth Murphy, Billie Floyd, Leon and Mary Pauline Lanoy, Ray Stout, John Zimmerman, Dr. Donnie Nero, Dr. Joe Parsons, Dr. Jimmy Scales, Dr. Jack Paschall, Elizabeth Smith and Stella Brumley Robinson.
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.