Southeastern Oklahoma State University recently recognized the 2018-19 Top Ten Freshmen during a ceremony in the Glen D. Johnson Student Union Auditorium.


The honorees were recognized for academic achievement and campus/community involvement.


Offering remarks and congratulations at the event were Southeastern interim President Bryon Clark, executive director of the Center for Student Success Marlin Blankenship, and Student Government Association President Sarah Winnett.


Below are the recipients of the Top 10 Freshman award, followed by their academic major and hometown:


• Anna Alessia Antuono, Special Education, Ardmore


• Reagan Benson, Aviation (Professional Pilot), Paris, Texas


• Madelyn Bradberry, English Education, Healdton


• Emily Dahl, Communication (Journalism), Antlers,


• James Quarles, Pre-Med, Achille


• Selby Stanton, Political Science and Public Relations, Colbert


• Katie Thomas, Vocal Performance, Broken Bow


• Tammy Vo, Political Science, Calera


• Carli Wharton, Elementary Education, Wilson


• Maegan Young, Nursing, Ardmore


Clark, who was serving as vice president for academic affairs at Southeastern, assumed his interim duties on Oct. 12 after being appointed by the Regional University System of Oklahoma following the resignation of President Sean Burrage the month prior. The University of Oklahoma then announced the hiring of Burrage as its vice president for executive affairs.


Under Burrage’s leadership, Southeastern achieved record enrollment — 4,824 students this fall — and financial stability.


“This was a very difficult decision, as the past five years at Southeastern have been the most professionally gratifying years of my life,” Burrage said in a prepared statement emailed to the Bryan County News. “At the same time, I felt like this (OU position) was a professional career opportunity that I could not afford to pass up. I will be returning to OU where I have roots — I not only graduated there, but worked previously in the President’s Office.”


Records indicate this fall’s numbers are the highest enrollment since the school opened its doors in 1909. It also represents a 7.6% increase over last fall’s enrollment.


This fall’s record enrollment continues a recent upward trend: in Fall 2018, enrollment reached a 40-year high, while the Spring 2019 numbers were the highest for a spring semester since 1983.


The university recently announced that for the second year in a row, students will not see an increase in tuition rates. In addition, thanks to a new pilot program initiated by the state, high school juniors in Oklahoma can receive tuition-free enrollment in concurrent courses at Southeastern. High school seniors were already eligible to earn up to 18 hours of credit tuition-free.


And Southeastern has also increased its scholarship funds available to students this year.