Rose Hill Historic Cemetery Tour Celebrates USAO Centennial

Rose Hill Historic Cemetery Tour Celebrates USAO Centennial


Chickasha’s unique walk-through-history event returns for fall 2008 with a centennial tribute to eight historic figures who helped to define the local university in its first 100 years.

The Chickasha Area Arts Council has announced the theme of its 2008 Rose Hill Historic Cemetery Tour will celebrate the first century of educational service to the state of Oklahoma by the University of Science and Arts.

“This year’s tour will focus on individuals who were part of the campus community as students, faculty and administrators during the college’s history,” said Jeff Periman, co-chair. “The arts council is excited to celebrate USAO’s rich history by selecting individuals who made the college a great place.”

The tour is scheduled at Rose Hill Cemetery on three nights -- Sept. 18-20 -- at 7 p.m. The gates will open at 6:30 p.m to prepare groups to tour.

While the cast of characters is working hard on its part, tour guides are needed, Periman said. People who might be interested in serving as a tour guide should contact the arts council at or by calling (405) 574-1320.

This year’s tour features seven individuals who were a part of the college when it was known as the Oklahoma College for Women (OCW) and the Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts (OCLA).

George W. Austin became the fourth president of OCW in 1914 and for a dozen years brought national attention to the college by building high academic standards and programs until his untimely death whilst in office.

The fine arts faculty of the college will be represented in the 2008 tour by OCW vocal music instructor Elise MacClanahan and by artist Derald Swineford, who served three decades as art department chair from 1946-76.

Mathematics instructor Joseph Miller and long-time college physician Dr. Rebecca Mason also will present their stories about their lives at OCW/OCLA during the tour.

An actress playing Meta Chestnut Sager will tell her unique story. Sager served as OCW assistant librarian and was founder of the El Meta Bond College in Minco.

A student perspective of the college and life in the roaring twenties will be given by sisters and fellow teachers, Alice and Lottie Baker.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and will be available to the general public beginning Sept. 5 at the following locations: Chickasha Chamber of Commerce, Red Feather Gallery and the USAO Business Office. Photos of previous tours are accessible at the CAAC website at . Additional information is available by email at or by phone at (405) 574-1320 or (405) 222-1895.