Dr. Joe Anna Hibler: One of the Fellows
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Dr. Joe Anna Hibler: One of the Fellows

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Author: Dr. Jill Jones Tourian

Joe Anna Hibler is the quintessential Oklahoman. One set of grandparents came into the Panhandle as children in covered wagons and lived in a house with a dirt floor.  The other grandparents were wheat farmers in the 1940s who, as many did, gave up the farm and moved into town to run a business.  From humble beginnings in a small town, the daughter of teachers, she would take advantage of educational opportunities that led to her becoming a major educator and leader in the state.

Starting with a job as a student secretary in the Art Department she rose to become the first woman president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma, and only the second woman university president in the state of Oklahoma. The building in which she had her first college class is now named after her, the Dr. Joe Anna Hibler Education Center.

While serving as the fifteenth president of Southwestern Oklahoma State University and occupying positions on many boards, she made significant contributions to her community and her state. During her eleven years as the chief administrator at SWOSU, she was instrumental in many historic changes.

Her influence went beyond her own campus.  She served as womenChair of the Regional University System of Oklahoma (RUSO) and has served on numerous boards and foundations in the state.  She was the first former president to serve as a Regent for RUSO.  She has been active in reforms benefiting women, specifically through the Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma.

This detailed account of her experiences over the years provides valuable historical information about the State of Oklahoma and the rising role of women in our society.



INTRODUCTION: Overview of her contributions and achievements.

CHAPTER 1: Early Years -- Background on her parents’ roots in the Oklahoma Panhandle and western Oklahoma; childhood memories and high school adventures.

CHAPTER 2: College Life and High School Teaching -- Life at Southwestern Oklahoma State College as a business major; her student jobs and social life. Her student teaching in Cordell, masters work at Oklahoma State University, and four years teaching in Altus, including classes on Altus Air Force Base.

CHAPTER 3: SWOSU and OU -- Rise from Instructor in the Business Education Department to Chair, to Dean, to Academic Vice President; anecdotes on changes over the years; sabbatical years at the University of Oklahoma.


CHAPTER 4: Ms. President -- Experiences as the first woman president of SWOSU; projects, accomplishments, anecdotes.

CHAPTER 5: Retirement -- Work with RUSO, state and local boards; speaking engagements; travels with friends; causes such as The Women’s Foundation; reflections on her career and influence.

"Dr. Jill Jones Tourian expertly makes the case:  Dr. Joe Anna Hibler's strong, wise leadership leaves a lasting legacy wherever she directs her energy and attention.  I finished the book with a deeper respect and admiration for both women."  -- Judge Jackie Duncan
Cathy McCraw, a speech pathologist in public schools said on Facebook:  "Jill Tourian has written a book about Dr. Joe Anna Hibler which tells the story of her girlhood in Leedey and her academic career as she rose through the ranks to become the first female president at SWOSU.  She shares some interesting stories of the challenges of being a college president.  Definitely can recommend this book."
About the Author:

Jill Jones Tourian is Professor Emeritus of English at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, OK. She taught at SWOSU for twenty-one years, including the eleven years Dr. Joe Anna Hibler served as President. During her career there she was awarded the Bernhardt Academic Excellence Award, served as Faculty Senate President, and was chair of the Language and Literature Department for nine years. After retiring she was awarded the Distinguished Emeritus Award by the SWOSU Alumni Association. She has served as president of the South Central Modern Language Association and the Oklahoma AAUP. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi, her MA from Auburn University, and her BA from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. Her poetry has been published in Westview, and her journal publications include articles about the British novelist Netta Syrett and about the connections between poetry and country music lyrics. She is married to Moushegh Tourian and has one son, Mark Owens of Greensboro, NC.

Details: 2022 [ISBN: 1-58107-370-6; 74 pages, soft cover; 7 by 10 inch]