Reflecting On 2020- A Golden Anniversary In The Middle Of A Pandemic Published January 6, 2021

50thOne of the greatest lessons to be learned in the classroom – and in life – is how to overcome adversity. Like many, Rose State College had big plans for 2020 at the start of the year. It is our 50th anniversary, after all. 

In 1970, Rose State opened its doors as Oscar Rose Junior College. This year was meant to be full of events celebrating our past and looking ahead to the future. Many of those plans have changed, but in the end, the success of Rose State’s golden anniversary was never going to be defined by celebrations. Heading into our 50th year, Rose State continues to carry out the mission for which this college was created: to provide quality, accessible education to the Oklahoma community and beyond. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our college, our state and our nation. Knowing that Rose State’s next 50 years depend on our college’s response to this pandemic, Rose State leaders have taken innovative steps to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff. 

From instituting stringent masking, social distancing and sanitary policies to implementing FLEX courses that empower our students to choose between online, in-person and Zoom instruction for each class, Rose State has developed solutions to protect the wellbeing of everyone on campus as much as possible. 

Even as we work to overcome this pandemic together, our college is still honoring significant milestones throughout the year. We welcomed our 50th class in August. In September, Rose State unveiled our new student union, featuring 48,000 sq. ft. of space that will serve our campus for decades to come. 

Every crisis presents opportunity in some form. For Rose State, our student union’s grand opening presented a groundbreaking opportunity to display some the practical applications of our drone training program. In collaboration with TDRS, Rose State employed a pioneering application of drone technology to spray disinfectant throughout the student union before the building was opened to the public. The building was sterilized using a specially-equipped drone capable of disinfecting 3,500 sq. ft. in as little as three or four minutes, providing another layer of safety to students, faculty, staff and the community. 

The Rose State College Foundation added nine new scholarships for students totaling more than $60,000 dollars. These scholarships would not be possible without the generosity and unwavering support of our donors. 

Rose State will continue to celebrate our 50th anniversary milestones throughout the rest of the 2020-2021 academic year, even if it’s not quite the year for which we had planned. We will continue to provide accessible, quality education, and we will persist in our fight against COVID-19. We hope you join us as we carry on our founders’ mission to provide opportunities for our Oklahoma community and beyond! 

Dr. Jeanie Webb, President Rose State College