Diane Holland had a five-year plan.

After working as a speech pathologist for the Norman Public School system, she was intrigued by the possibility of teaching when a position at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma opened up but didn’t want to become too far removed from working with clients.

Twenty-two years later, Diane Holland is retiring from a career of educating speech pathologists who have gone on to treat thousands and from running the John Morris Speech and Language Clinic that has helped hundreds in Chickasha and the surrounding communities.

The electrifying Golden Dragon Acrobats make a triumphal return to Chickasha this fall as part of the thirteenth season of the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

Coming off of a stellar season that featured a sitarist, a tap-dance troupe, a world-renowned boys choir and a ground-breaking string quartet, Dr. Ken Bohannon, coordinator for the Davis-Waldorf Performing Arts Series (DWPAS), knew he had his work cut out for him.

James Harper has thoughtfully listened through this class lecture but now, it’s time for the class to share their homework and he is eager to go first.

He walks to the front of the room, making certain his guitar doesn’t bang against a desk along the way, and takes his spot at the front of the class.

Without another word, Harper, a music senior from Comanche, leans over his guitar and begins presenting his assignment. It’s a jaunty blues riff accompanied by lyrics tinged with surrealism.

Three minutes and some change later, the song is over and Harper’s smile beams out at the class as he is quizzed about the inspiration for his lyrics and some of the specifics of his chord choices.

No one complains about homework in songwriting class.

A pillar of the Chickasaw business community, Bill G. Lance, Jr., will bring his expertise to the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Board of the Regents.

CHICKASHA -- In alternating strokes of the pen, Woody Guthrie is Oklahoma’s favorite son or one of her most dogged critics. To some, he was the voice of the oppressed — an eyewitness to Oklahoma’s darkest days and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

Others argue he drew unneeded attention to the poor treatment of the common laborer at the expense of American unity during the Great Depression.

Guthrie is the focus of an upcoming event at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma that will examine his legacy and his music through presentations and performance. 

USAO News Writer Rob Vollmar was awarded the Regents Staff Achievement Award for the fourth quarter of 2012-13.