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East Central University (2009)

East Central University - Anniversary banner

Brief Description:

East Central University is a public university offering Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts and Master's Degrees. ECU is located in Ada, Oklahoma a city of 16,000, approximately 90 miles from Oklahoma City, 115 miles from Tulsa and 150 miles from Dallas. Students can enroll in and attend ECU classes on campus in Ada, in Ardmore at the Ardmore Higher Education Center, in McAlester at the Eastern Oklahoma State College campus and in Shawnee at the Gordon Cooper Technology Center. Some ECU classes are also available on OneNet and online. The ECU nursing program is available in Durant at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Mission Statement:

East Central University's mission is to foster a learning environment in which students, faculty, staff, and community interact to educate students for life in a rapidly changing and culturally diverse society. Within its service area, East Central University provides leadership for economic development and cultural enhancement.

President's Quote:

"During East Central University’s Centennial Celebration the university community paused to reflect on our past. Our students’ goals have not changed significantly from the goals of those who came here 100 years ago. They still want to receive a quality education, be heard and have a good time doing it. And today's faculty have the same philosophy as those from our past. They are focused on student success to prepare them to be productive citizens in Oklahoma and the Nation. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of us on campus to be a part of ECU's Centennial Celebration" -- Duane C. Anderson

Fun Facts:

  • ECU's Collegiate Officer Program (COP) was the first one implemented in the state. It is a collaborative arrangement between the State of Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) and ECU that allows students to fulfill State of Oklahoma police officer certification requirements while completing their bachelor's degree.
  • East Central University is the only public institution in Oklahoma that offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in LEGAL STUDIES.

  • The ECU Nursing Department graduates have the highest pass rate in Oklahoma for students passing the NCLEX exam to become Registered Nurses – more than 90 percent for the past five years.

  • ECU has one of the few Cartography Departments in the nation. Cartography is the art of map making and in recent years all graduates have secured employment in cartography fields or gone to graduate school.

  • East Central University is the only institution in Oklahoma (and is only one of 30 nationally) that offers an accredited Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health Science.

  • The East Central University McNair Scholars Program, a U.S. Department of Education-funded grant program, honors the memory of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, an astronaut who lost his life in the Challenger Shuttle accident on January 28, 1986. The McNair program prepares low-income, first generation and minority undergraduate students for doctoral study.

  • The ECU Foundation Inc. has raised more money toward academic scholarships than any other regional university in Oklahoma.

  • ECU is 1 of only 3 universities in the United States with a BS degree in Medical Physics.

  • ECU is one of the nation's leaders in grant receipts when compared to similar institutions. The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System's (IPEDS) current rankings list ECU second in the country in the amount of government grants received by public institutions with an average of 3,000 to 4,000 undergraduates and 100 to 1,000 graduate students. In fact, that $20 million in external funding is more than ECU receives annually from state funds ($18.8 million in fiscal year 2009)


Notable Alumni:

Four of ECU's alumni were elected to the position of governor. They are:

  1. Former Oklahoma Governor Robert S. Kerr (1915 Alum)
  2. Former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh (1950 Alum)
  3. Former Arizona Governor Ernest McFarland (1915 Alum)
  4. Governor of The Chickasaw Nation Bill Anoatubby (1972 Alum)

What ECU graduate served as the deputy chief of staff of the U.S. Army? 

  • Lt. Gen. James D. Thurman (1975 Alum)

What ECU alum won 39 professional golf events? 

  • Dr. Gil Morgan (1968 Alum)

What ECU All-American Linebacker was a part of the 1986 Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears with NFL Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton 

  •  Clifford Thrift

What ECU Alum was the youngest, at age 32, to become a vice president for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 1995, then CFO of Sam's Club, and in 2005 became Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Corporation? 

  • Kevin Turner (1987 Alum)

What ECU alum was named “Queen Mother of Country Music”, and co-writer of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel? 

  • Mae Boren Axton (1936 Alum)

What ECU alum is the founder of Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc.?  

  • Harland Stonecipher (1960 Alum)


  • Kellee Edmonds
    Vice President of Communications and Public Relations
    (202) 478-4662