USAO's hometown of 15,000+, offers world-class barbeque, antiques galore, the famed Muscle Car Ranch and some of the best attended auto swap meets in America. Ranked by a national magazine as one of America's best Christmas destinations, the Festival of Light, features more than a three million lights, an expansive display in Shannon Springs park, just blocks from campus.
Buffalo herds can be seen from the road in several directions leading from town. Powwows, pageants and Native American festivals occur almost every weekend in southwestern Oklahoma. Some of the most important events include the Kiowa Black Legging Society in Anadarko, Red Earth in Oklahoma City, the Comanche Fair in Lawton, the Apache Blackfoot Warrior Society and the six-day Anadarko Indian Expo every August-- all within an hour's driving time from downtown Chickasha.
Anadarko, twenty minutes west, calls itself "America's Indian capital." Important sites include: The Southern Plains Indian Museum, Indian City USA, art galleries and the tribal complexes of the Apache, Wichita and Delware nations. Museums and historic cemetaries are open to the public at Ft. Sill in Lawton. The nearby Arbuckle and Wichita mountains offer opportunites for hiking, camping, rock climbing, fishing and lots of breathtaking scenery.
Chickasha is also centrally located within a 45 minute drive of three of the state's four largest urban areas: Oklahoma City, Norman and Lawton.
"USAO was not my first choice of schools to be perfectly honest. My senior year, I was completely set on going to the biggest school I could get into, as far away from home as I could possibly go. A small school in a small town like Chickasha didn't have a lot of pull on me. Even when they offered me a scholarship, I was still a little apprehensive about the whole thing. They invited me to a Scholar's Retreat on campus, and I did decide to go, just to give it a chance. By the time that weekend, I couldn't imagine wanting to go anywhere else but USAO. What really attracted me here was the importance of the liberal arts to a true college education. No other school had ever mentioned interdisciplinarity or team-teaching as a way to really learn more about the world. Plus, I'm in smaller classes with a professor at the top of his or her field so I can learn more than I could from a teaching assistant in a classroom with 500 other students. USAO might not be your first choice but sometimes greatness isn't obvious."
- Chris Kiefer, President of USAO Ambassadors (2009-2010), History 2012.
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