Cutline: NOC President Emeritus Dr. Cheryl Evans spoke at Women’s History Month last Thursday at NOC Enid. The program is sponsored by the NOC Diversity Committee. Pictured (L-R): Dr. Mary Ann McCoy, Diversity Chairperson, Dr. Evans, NOC Vice President for Enid Jeremy Hise.
Former NOC presidents speaks for Women’s History Month
Former NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans told her impressive story Thursday as part of Women’s History Month at NOC Enid.
Dr. Evans spoke at the Gantz Student Center to faculty, staff, students, and Enid community members.
Evans shared her story of a non-traditional student, earning her Bachelor’s Degree at 30-years old and later became a university instructor, university division chair, college president, and now a grandparent loving life.
“Women in today’s world wear many hats,” she said. “It’s a struggle to find the balance in life between career, marriage, children, and everything else that life can give. The key for me was always understanding the priority at the time and working toward the immediate goal. Trust me, it isn’t easy but you can do it. You may not be able to do it all but you can always find time for what is most important.”
“Women have come a long way in my lifetime,” she said. “But there is much more to do.”
“I’ve had a great life,” she said. “There have been many ups and downs but each has taught me valuable lessons that I could use in the future. I have always tried to be a life-long learner and I encourage all of you to continue to learn no matter what your age.”
She attributed her success to many things including her family and faith.
“I was fortunate to have been raised by parents in the Quaker tradition,” she said. “The Quaker’s have a long tradition of respecting and honoring women. I believe it was that upbringing that set the foundation for my life with parents who supported me in all that I did.”
She added that her faith has been an important part of her life.
“There are so many ups and downs in life,” she said. “But I have always relied on God and I hope each of you find something you can rely. I have relied on my faith especially during the transitions in my life. God has opened doors and closed doors for me and I always think about what God is trying to tell me in all situations. Reading God’s word has inspired me in so many ways and helped me keep my priorities in order.”
Evans also talked about the importance of relationships in life.
“I encourage each of you to build strong relationships at work and at home,” she said. “You will often time spend more time with the people you work with than your family and it’s so important to build those work relationships on trust. Build a circle of friends both in and out of work that you can rely on when challenging decisions have to be made. I am so grateful for my NOC family who I love so dearly.
Life is different now for Evans after she retired from NOC.
“I’m still busy but there is some white space on my calendar,” she joked.
She works with a number of non-profits and serves on a number of state wide boards. Most importantly, she spends time with her family including her grandchildren.
“We have always had a strong family bond,” she said. “I am so thankful that I can spend time with the people that I care about the most.”
Evans was the 13th president at NOC serving from 20011-2021. She was the first female president at NOC.
She grew up in Cherokee, Oklahoma, where she met her future husband, Tom. While in college at Northwestern, they purchased a local furniture store in Cherokee. She then stopped attending college to run the business while Tom continued his studies. They would have two children and it was when their children reached school age, she returned to continue her education at NWOSU.
She then earned her Master’s Degree at Wichita State University and started teaching at NWOSU later becoming Division Chair for Mass Communications. She then earned a doctorate at Oklahoma State University. She would later become the Dean at the NWOSU Campus before starting as the NOC President in 2001.
Women’s History Month at NOC is sponsored by the NOC Diversity Committee, Dr. Mary Ann McCoy, Chairperson.
Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.
NOC serves nearly 4,000 students through the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, and NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater. Of these students about 80% receive financial aid and/or scholarships. 75% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.
The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing.
For more information about Northern Oklahoma College please call (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at www.noc.edu.