East Central University has been a common thread for the successful academic endeavors of the Floyd/Allen Family.
Billie Floyd, an ECU alum who served ECU for 31 years as an educator, and her two siblings – brother Dock Wade Fathree and sister Mary Lou Fathree – all graduated from the university as did her late husband Ben Floyd. All three siblings served as instructors, but Billie remained there the longest. Ben eventually taught biology at Ada High School.
Billie’s youngest daughter Amy married Russ Allen, who along with many of his family members attended ECU.
As a result, the Floyd/Allen family will be presented with the Distinguished Family Award at ECU’s 2018 Evening of Honors and Recognition on Friday, May 11, at 6:30 p.m. in ECU Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.
“The Floyd-Allen family has meant so much to the university,” said ECU President Katricia G. Pierson. “From Billie’s long investment in the university as a student and instructor to the Allens who have made it a family tradition in attending and graduating from ECU, this is what ‘Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger’ is all about.”
Billie attended Horace Mann School on the ECU campus and graduated from the university in 1951. Her parents moved to Ada in 1918 when ECU was named East Central Normal School.
After serving a year as an instructor in Duncan, Billie moved back to Ada in 1952 and began her long, but successful stint teaching at both Horace Mann and ECU.
“We never knew we couldn’t go on to get a high school and college education,” said Billie Floyd, whose parents strongly encouraged learning. “Education has always been an important part of our family. It’s unbelievable how East Central has influenced us.”
Billie believes there are at least 13 immediate relatives who have gone through ECU, most of which whom earned their degrees, and the number swells to be between 25-30 when you consider cousins and second cousins.
Russ Allen graduated from ECU in 1982 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. He later completed a master of business administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2000.
Russ’ career includes work in accounting, banking and public school administration. He is currently the financial advisor/branch manager for Vision Investment Services (Raymond James Financial Services) at Vision Bank in Ada, where he also serves as senior vice president.
He is a former member of the ECU Alumni Board and former trustee for the East Central University Foundation, Inc. He is also a former adjunct instructor in the ECU School of Business.
“East Central University has been an integral part of our lives since the late 1970s,” said Russ Allen. “Since that time, the four of us - Amy, Jesse, Joel and myself - have received a combined five degrees which have allowed us to be successful in all that we have attempted. Without ECU, it would be difficult to imagine being where we are as a family. Thank you ECU. We are proud to be Tigers!”
Amy Allen graduated from ECU in 1985 with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education. She earned a master’s degree in reading from ECU in 1991.
Amy’s career has been spent in elementary and junior high education at Ada City Schools and Durant Public Schools. She currently is the physical education teacher for the Ada Early Childhood Center.
Jesse Allen, oldest son of Russ and Amy, graduated from ECU in 2009 with a bachelor of science in business administration with a minor in cartography. He went on to complete his juris doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2013.
Jesse was involved in many activities at ECU, including Tiger Ambassadors, Student Senate, Honor Court and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is currently assistant secretary of interior affairs for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and is vice president of the ECU Alumni Association.
Joel Allen, younger son of Russ and Amy, graduated from ECU in 2013 with a bachelor of arts in mass communication and a minor in business administration. He completed his master of divinity from the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in 2017.
Joel is the contemporary worship pastor at First Baptist Church in Grandview, Texas.
Dr. Carey Lou Floyd began her undergraduate work at ECU and completed her bachelor of science degree and doctorate of veterinary medicine at Oklahoma State University.
Carey has received numerous awards, including the 2015 Oklahoma Veterinarian of the Year Award.
Besides working in a private practice, she has worked for the State Department of Agriculture and has served as the director of the Veterinary Technology Program at Murray State College and is now teaching science at Byng High School.
NOTE: Tickets and sponsorships are still available for ECU’s Evening of Honors and Recognition. For more information or to register, contact Kacy Clark at email@example.com or at 580-559-5587 or go online at alumni.ecok.edu/event/EOH2018.