English Department Receives Gift of $25,000

Eugene Patterson
Staff Writer

The Cameron University Foundation will be adding a new scholarship next year for students who are studying and have declared English as their undergraduate major.

The new Loren and Rebecca McKeown Endowed Scholarship in English was made possible by a $25,000 gift from Loren and Rebecca McKeown. Dr. Loren McKeown, a retired Cameron faculty member, and his wife are using the foundation to benefit full-time Cameron students.

Albert Johnson Jr., Vice President for University Advancement, acknowledged the gracious gift.

“Dr. and Mrs. McKeown dedicated their careers to the service and promotion of education,” he said. “They have long supported the Cameron University Foundation. Now, with this scholarship, they have established a legacy that will benefit Cameron students in perpetuity.

McKeown joined the Cameron University faculty in 1969 and served for 28 years until 1997. He served as chair of the Department of Language Arts for the last 13 of those 28 years until his retirement and was also inducted into the Cameron University Alumni Association’s Faculty Hall of Fame in 2002.

Mrs. McKeown was a career educator with Lawton Public Schools for 27 years, serving as an elementary school principal for the 20 years prior to her retirement.

Dr. McKeown said their motivation in establishing the endowment is rooted in their mutual love of education.

“If an aspiring Cameron student loves the English language as much as I do – with its soaring literature; its screwball spelling; fractured personal pronoun system; its mishmash vocabulary from Latin, French, the Germanic languages of northern Europe and words borrowed, stolen and otherwise expropriated from anywhere and everywhere its speakers have traveled.

“If that student is willing to spend a lifetime of reading, writing, learning and perhaps teaching this wonderful subject, with slim chance of fame or fortune as a result, then we hope this scholarship will help send that person happily on his or her way.”

The McKeowns have been members of CU’s President’s Partners program since 1998 and have supported numerous Cameron University initiatives, including existing endowed scholarships, the Cameron University Foundation’s General Fund, construction of the Academic Commons, KCCU and travel-abroad fundraising trips benefitting the Study Abroad program for students.

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