Cutline #1 — Dr. Tara Vaughn and Joe Kreger were inducted into the NOC Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame last Saturday night at NOC’s Renfro Center in Tonkawa (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College).
Cutline #2 – Jordan Nelson received the NOC Alumni Legacy Scholarship at Saturday’s NOC Alumni & Friends Reunion. Nelson is pictured with Dr. Jill Green, NOC Director of Development and Donor Relations. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College).
Joe Kreger and Dr. Tara Tucker Vaughn were inducted into the Northern Oklahoma College Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame Saturday at the Renfro Center at NOC Tonkawa.
The inductions were made by NOC President Dr. Clark Harris.
“I am so honored to be included in the alumni hall of fame,” Kreger said in his acceptance speech. “When I got the call, I was surprised. It was unexpected for sure but definitely appreciated.”
“NOC has played such a role in my entire family all the way back to the days when NOC was known as the UPS (University Preparatory School),” he said. “As great as NOC has always been, it will continue to prosper in the future.”
In her induction speech, Dr. Vaughn said, “I so appreciate this honor,” she said. “It makes me realize that I could never have done this alone. The support NOC gave me in those days was invaluable. I learned how to study, I learned how to be better organized, and so many other things.” “NOC has been my foundation,” she added.
Dr. Harris commented on the two inductees.
“Mr. Kreger, we are honored to recognize you this evening. Your accomplishments in agriculture and in the cattle industry are impressive. It is great that NOC can claim the Poet Laureate of Oklahoma,” he said.
“Dr. Vaughn, Northern is honored to recognize you for your service as a registered nurse, as well as your service in the Army Reserve,” Harris added.
“I love to see that NOC grads, as both as you have done by giving back as college educators. That is truly paying it forward. We are honored that you chose Northern and we are proud of the excellence you bring to your professions. You are bringing our mission to be Life Changing to the world.”
The NOC Legacy Scholarship was also awarded to incoming freshman Jordan Nelson.
The NOC Alumni Legacy Scholarship has been established through the Northern Oklahoma College Foundation. Through the generous support of alumni and donors, such as each of you here this evening, the endowed scholarship will provide students an opportunity to pursue their educational goals at Northern Oklahoma College on the Tonkawa, Enid or Stillwater campus.
This scholarship will benefit a current student who has a parent or grandparent that is a Northern graduate. We are thrilled to be able to award this year’s scholarship to Jordan Nelson. Nelson is an incoming freshman on the Tonkawa campus. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in physical therapy. She is the granddaughter of Lee Tayrien, a1976 graduate of Northern earning an associate degree of Applied Science.
Kreger (Class of 1959), a native of Tonkawa, received his Associate of Science degree from Northern Oklahoma College in 1959 and his Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University in 1961.
From 1965 to 1968, Kreger taught Agriculture courses at NOC and served as department chair. During this time, he pursued graduate work at OSU in Agricultural Education.
He worked for Continental Oil and Kreger Equipment before devoting his efforts to cattle ranching.
At age 56, he began writing poetry born of life experiences. Often referred to as “Cowboy Poetry,” his works were distributed across the area.
In 1988 Joe was appointed “Poet Laureate of Oklahoma” by Governor Frank Keating. Then, in 2021, Governor Kevin Stitt appointed Joe to the Laureate position once more, making him the first poet to have received this appointment twice.
Kreger was introduced by NOC Biological Science Instructor Dr. Kurt Campbell.
Dr. Vaughn (Class of 1989), a graduate of Tonkawa High School, Tara earned her Associate Degree in Business Administration from Northern Oklahoma College in 1989.
She earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at the University of Central Oklahoma and earned a Master of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Dr. Vaughn has practiced as a registered nurse for over 20 years and has served in the U.S. Army Reserve for over 28 years. Shortly after joining the Army Reserve in 1993, she attended nursing school, eventually earning her PhD in Nursing from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2019. Dr. Vaughn currently serves as a registered nurse at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System working in the area of Community Care. She is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.
Vaughn’s mother, Marion Tucker, served as a Vice President for Information Technology at Northern Oklahoma College from 1980-2008.
Vaughn was introduced by Sheri Snyder, Vice President for Community Relations & Development. A video message from Nominee Faculty Emeritus Pat Hullet was also presented.
Alums from 1970-1972 were honored. They included Mark Humphries (1970), David Kahl (1970), Neil McConaghy (1970), Terry Pedigo (1970), Dennis Williams (1971), Melanie Williams (1972), and Peggy Thomas (1972).
Miss NOC Tonkawa, Emma Valgora, sang the National Anthem while Mia Claire Jones, Miss NOC Enid, provided the invocation. Servers included President’s Leadership Council students and NOC Lady Mavs basketball players.
The event was coordinated by Kayla Wooderson, Director of Alumni and Community Relations.
Catering was provided by Aladdin Food Services.