Alumni and friends of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College are invited to return to their “golden roots” and participate in homecoming activities on Saturday, including a recognition ceremony to honor the college's outstanding alumni.
The NEO Development Foundation has extended an invitation to all Norsemen and supporters of the college to “Stay Gold” by attending the alumni and friends reception at 11 a.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. NEO alumnus Phyllis Worley, president of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, will be among those honored.
Worley will be honored with the Outstanding Alumnus Award. Jackie Kreeger of Miami and Bobby Hayes of Miami will be recognized with the Award of Merit.
Worley is the president of Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, one of the three natural gas utilities that make up the distribution division of ONEOK, Inc. She has enjoyed a career with ONEOK, Inc. that spans 36 years and has served in her current position since 2005.
Worley is an NEO graduate from the class of 1970. She is also a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program. A Tulsa native, she joined Oklahoma Natural Gas in 1970 and rose through several administrative positions before assuming management responsibilities in human resources and gas transportation services. She was promoted to area manager in Ponca City in 1994. In 1997, Worley joined Kansas Gas Service, which is also a part of ONEOK, Inc. She served as president of Kansas Gas Service prior to returning to Oklahoma in her current role.
Worley is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and has served on the board of directors of civic and nonprofit organizations throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, The Oklahoma National Memorial & Museum Foundation, The First Tee of Metropolitan Oklahoma City, YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, The Oklahoma Academy, the Oklahoma Blood Institute, Allied Arts, Leadership Oklahoma and the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Development Foundation. Her professional affiliations include service with Energy Network and membership in the Southern Gas Association.
Jackie Kreeger, Award of Merit recipient, is an NEO graduate from the class of 1966. She is a 40-year owner of local Pizza Hut restaurants and a Charlie's Chicken franchisee. Kreeger is a member of the NEO Development Foundation Board, former president and current board member of the Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, member of the governing board for the Grand Lake Sail Club and former president of the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce. Kreeger is also president of Theta Eta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi and treasurer of the local PEO chapter, an organization that promotes education for women.
Bobby Hayes, recipient of the Award of Merit, graduated from NEO in 1954. From 1962 until 1966, he taught the Reserve Officer Training Corp program at NEO. A former member of the United States Air Force, he served in Japan, Alabama, Hawaii and South Carolina before retiring in 1975 and returning to Miami.
Hayes served as the manager of the Miami Chamber of Commerce until 1976. He was employed as the director of housing at NEO until 1992.
Hayes is a former president of the Miami Jaycees, former president for the basketball and football booster clubs at NEO and a former member of the NEO Development Foundation Board of Directors. Hayes has been the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for the Miami community and has been honored as an Outstanding Oklahoman and as an Outstanding Local President by the Oklahoma Jaycees.
There is no cost to attend the Alumni and Friends Reception, during which the three award winners will be honored. Reservations are being accepted. Contact Edie Ingram, executive director, at (918) 540-6250.
NEO's Homecoming celebration will continue with the parade in downtown Miami at 1 p.m. Saturday.
NEO will host a Tailgate Party at 2 p.m. Gold Norsemen fans are invited to participate in an armchair quarterback competition, games and get a picture taken with NEO's own Odin! Lunch will be $6.
The pre-game show will begin at 2:30 p.m., followed by a presentation of awards to Worley, Kreeger and Hayes.
NEO will kick-off against Blinn, Texas at 3 p.m. Students will be admitted at no cost to the game with a high school or NEO identification card. The college will crown its 2007 Homecoming Queen at half-time of the game.
The community is also invited to watch NEO's 32 Homecoming Queen Candidates compete in the annual Queen Pageant on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. Judges for this year's Queen competition are Tisha Abell, executive director of the Ottawa Count United Way, Jennifer Hessee, director of marketing for Integris Regional Health Center of Miami, and Suzanne Hubbard, executive director of the Miami Area Chamber of Commerce.