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Dr. John Hays was formally inaugurated as the 16th president of the university on December 5, 2001. In July 2001, Hays replaced Dr. Joe Anna Hibler, who retired after 10 years as president. State legislators, the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education, Faculty, Staff and representatives from the Weatherford community were present at the occasion. Others included were students and family. Fifteen student ambassadors were chosen along with ushers from the Student Government Association. The Weatherford String Quartet provided the reception music. In accepting the symbolic mace of office, Hays stressed the importance of producing graduates who think critically and analyze issues.

"We must take the initiative to address problems that do exist," he said. "We must keep an open mind to new ideas." The new president emphasized the importance of knowledge and its role in protecting the nation's liberty. He also stated that university must be active in spreading knowledge now and in the future. All the stake holders, students, faculty; support personnel, community and alumni, must work together for success, he said.

Publication Date



Southwestern Oklahoma State University


Weatherford, Oklahoma


Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Graduate Record, 2002

Graduate Record 2002:  Voices of the 21st Century
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