The Great Field Technology Center celebrates 50 years

The Great Campus of the Great Plains Technology Center celebrated its 50th anniversary on Friday, the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the then US Congressman Tom Stead.

Clarence Fortney, Superintendent of the Great Plains – on campus 42 at the age of 50 and his staff marked the first dedication ceremony on Friday, September 18, 1971 (Friday, September 17).

“One day will be 50 years,” said Fortney, explaining why Tom Cole, a fourth-district congressman in the United States, should be a guest speaker at the re-enactment. When Cole came to Loton in 1971, he came to Loton to donate his first building on 60 acres of land, relying on the first grazing land and open space.

Today, the campus fills most of its tracts with 10 buildings and has a satellite campus in Frederick for the Tilman and Kyo counties. According to Dr. George Bridges, a senior member of the Great Plains Board of Education who has been there for 47 years, it trains more than 10,000 students each year.

Cole sees why Fortini wants bridges, “He’s taller here than you are.”

Cole said he knew him and that Oklahoma’s longest-serving politician had followed in his footsteps in 32 years. He called Cole Stade a “non-singular hero” by referring to the modern “Every Bill of Civil Rights” vote – which did not always go well with the electorate – and by serving on unpopular, but important committees. . One was a committee that encouraged people to think about how to invest in the development of their children and grandchildren.

“This institute also has a vision,” said Cole.

He noted his 40-year relationship with Goodieer, his interest in training, and his future thinking about the future of his supervisors. Healthcare professionals (critical demand today, he said).

Cole cites one fact about bridges: When big fields go to voters to raise money to promote or create new programs, they never lose choice.

“This is a statement,” he said, noting that the Great Plains’ action and commitment to support local residents has helped successful efforts to attract people to southwestern Oklahoma. I hope the next 50 years will be better.

Fortney – a student in the mid-1970s, before he became a welding director in the mid-1970s, and then head of the department in 2016 – joked about the man who replaced him on campus and attended Friday’s ceremony.

Pointing to the sea of ​​blue grain t-shirts worn by the Great Field workers, he said, “We are wearing a pair of colors for you. “He’s an equal-color sorcerer.”

In his first year at the Great Plains Food Services, John Wallace, Milton Worley (First Supervisor of the Great Plains), made a number of historical footnotes in his call for the campus to be flexible. And they are successful in serving the community, and the great fields are still serving that mission.

“In September 1971, the vision came true,” Bridges said.


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