NOC hosts retirement reception for Dr. Cheryl Evans
Northern Oklahoma College President Dr. Cheryl Evans Retirement Celebration was held last Wednesday at the Renfro Center at NOC Tonkawa.
The reception paid tribute to Dr. Evans for her 10 years of service to NOC and her 27 years of service to higher education in Oklahoma.
“I want to thank everyone for being here to celebrate this milestone,” Dr. Evans said. “I want to thank you for your support. I have been so blessed to have so many people invest in me and each of you have touched my life in some way.”
“I want to thank my NOC team for this special night,” she added. “I have been so fortunate to have worked with the best people in higher ed with the goal to do the best for our students.”
“NOC has a special place in my heart,” she said. “The friendships will last forever.”
“This has been the hardest decision I have ever made but you will still see me, but it’ll be for the fun stuff,” she joked.
“I know one thing,” she concluded. “NOC has changed my life for the better.”
The NOC Executive Council presented Dr. Evans with a Yatika Starr Fields original, “Beauty on the Plains.”
Video presentations from Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, Jr., Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Dr. Janet Cunningham, President Northwestern Oklahoma State University; Linda Brown, former Regent of the NOC Board of Regents and Current Trustee to the NOC Foundation; Carl and Brenda Renfro, former Regent Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and founder of the Renfro Endowed Lectureship Program; Bert Mackie, former Regent of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Trustee to the NOC Foundation; and Willie Spears, Professional Speaker – The Willie Spears Experience and former student of Dr. Evans.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Pam Stinson spoke for the NOC Executive Council.
“Through the videos, you have heard tonight from a highly respected but small sampling of the many people who wanted to honor what Chancellor Johnson rightly called the “lasting legacy” created by President Cheryl Evans.
It is no easy task, even for people like us who do a lot of talking, to follow these other speakers, nor to put into words how much she’s meant to each of us.
Dr. Cunningham, we agree, Dr. Evans was exactly the right person at the right time to lead NOC.
Over the last decade, the Executive Council has spent thousands of hours together, many of them clocked this past year in Zoom meetings during the pandemic. It’s given us plenty of opportunities to see who Cheryl Evans is as a leader and as a person.
We have seen a leader who recognizes that a team can accomplish much more when blending strengths and who generously gives credits to others while humbly claiming none for herself–despite, as Linda Brown put it, the “way too many hours” she has spent each day on the job.
We have seen a leader who follows through with her commitments, from the community partnerships that Mr. Renfro and Mr. Mackie noted to that extra nudge students may need to expand their educational goals. Thank you to Willie Spears for sharing one such example.
And we have seen a leader with the integrity to make hard, unpopular decisions, always focused on what was best for students and NOC.
On a more personal note, all of us have also seen the wisdom and grace of a leader who knew when to say, “No, you can’t please everyone (and sometimes you’ll please no one) but we can be proud of what we accomplished.”
Former Regent Chad Dillingham also read a proclamation from the current NOC Board of Regents.
“WHEREAS, Dr. Cheryl Evans has served Northern Oklahoma College admirably as the 13th President during the years 2011 to 2021 becoming the first female president in the College’s history; and
WHEREAS, President Evans has gained the admiration and respect for her outstanding collaborative leadership, her willingness to carry through with tasks, and her approach while dealing with complex issues; and
WHEREAS, she is respected and trusted by the members of the Northern Oklahoma College Board of Regents and the NOC Executive Council with whom she has served; and
WHEREAS, Northern Oklahoma College has benefited greatly from her caring support, good judgment, and thoughtful insight; and
WHEREAS, during her 10 years of service to the College, she has shown herself to be committed to the ultimate goals of higher education, to the students, the faculty and the staff of the institution, and
WHEREAS, through her tenure, she leaves the College a tremendous legacy of academic success, innovation, and improved facilities; and
WHEREAS, President Evans’ dedication to Northern’s mission and advocacy for higher education helped promote student success and create life-changing experiences.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, on behalf of the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Northern Oklahoma College, I do hereby express the College’s deep and abiding appreciation to Dr. Cheryl Evans for her selfless and dedicated service to this institution, and wish her well as she retires her role as President.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, she will be sorely missed. It is our wish that Cheryl and Tom continue to lead a happy and prosperous life and that they continue in good health as friends of Northern. Issued this 16th day of June 2021.
Entertainment was provided by Dr. Edward Dixon, Brandon Haynes, and Connie Van Ausdall of the NOC Fine Arts Division.