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Bacone Warrior 1936

Read Dennis Groundhog Ogan’s biography: “It Can Be Done.”

Dennis Groundhog Ogan graduated from Bacone College in 1936, going on to have a distinguished career. His son, Dennis R. Ogan says “I am trying to find any information on the anonymous donor who paid for my father’s entire college education.  It would mean so much to his family to discover who this might be so we could express our gratitude for this amazing gift.  I’m certain there were very few Native Americans who gained a college degree and went on to become as successful as my father.  I am so proud of him and all of his achievements.” After graduating from Bacone, Dennis Groundhog went on to complete his four-year degree at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1940.

Bacone Warrior 1996

I (George Jesse) entered Bacone College in the fall of 1995.  I spent my first two semesters at East Central University (ECU) in Ada, OK, and this was not my finest hour.  I wasn’t ready for college. I struggled to understand the lifestyle and how the academic world worked.  I failed classes and didn’t belong or fit in.  I was at a point in my academic career where I was forced to make some hard decisions, quit school, and enter the work field or buckle down and make college work for me.  I was put on academic probation by ECU and this was when I made my decision to enroll or attempt to enroll at Bacone College. 

In the fall of 1995 I made an application to Bacone College. I wanted to get a degree and accomplish one of my most treasured goals of my young life – I wanted to play college baseball and I put all of my dreams into one basket and took them to Muskogee, OK.  I was accepted into Bacone and I began my education with a different mindset of urgency.  I didn’t want to let myself or my family down, I wanted to make my education a success and make my people proud.  I walked on to the baseball team with the guidance of head baseball coach Andy Summers. He pushed me to limits I could have never reached.  I was more focused on school and working as a team for Bacone College. 

About 3 weeks into college my advisor called me into his office and asked me if I was put on academic probation at ECU, I advised I was and was this going to present a problem?  He stated it was a mistake on their side but said since I was there for almost a month and showed signs of progress in the classroom and on the field I needed to take an entry level course so I could get tested.  I completed this course and was allowed to stay and continue my education.  Long story short, I earned a baseball scholarship that year and I completed my Associates Degree that following year (1996).  I transferred back to ECU in Ada, OK and completed my bachelor’s and master’s degree in Criminal Justice/Human Resources.  If I had not gone to Bacone College, I feel I would have not continued my education.  I owe some success in my life to the administration, faculty, and coaches at Bacone College.  I will always be a Warrior!

Kaila Harjo, M.S., is a 2004 graduate of Bacone College, wife to Dustin, and mother to Kaylee, Yonsi, Prince Elias, and Osanv. “I am a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and of the Raccoon Clan.  I have over 13 years of experience in education and I am a huge supporter of American Indian education. I have also served as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Bacone College and have carried the titles of American Indian Recruiter and Director of Admission/Recruitment while at Bacone College. It was an honor to come back and work for the institution that opened the door and paved the way for me in higher education. I have had the opportunity to promote and bring awareness to many students throughout Oklahoma, as well as working with numerous respective tribes throughout our great state of Oklahoma.”

Education: Associates of Liberal Arts, Bacone College; Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education, Northeastern State University, Master of Science, Higher Education Leadership, Northeastern State University

William D. Lowe, MBA  attended the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Boarding School and graduated high school in Eufaula, Oklahoma. Afterward, he served in the United States Marine Corps from September 1993 to May 2002. He has more than 20 years of experience in governance, management, tribal business development, and negotiating government and tribal contracts. He’s had the opportunity to work and partner with several tribal governments across the state. “The experiences I endured while working with tribal entities have taught me the importance of being a sovereign nation and advocating for all our citizens,” Lowe says. “I currently serve as the Human Resources Director of Bacone College and serve on the boards of the National Center for the American Indian Enterprise Development, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Oklahoma, Five Civilized Tribes Museum, Okmulgee Lions Club Second Vice President, and the Okmulgee County YMCA.”

Education: Associates in Business Administration, Bacone College; Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Bacone College; Master’s in Business Administration, Grand Canyon University; Certified Travel Industry Specialist; Certified Fundraising Manager and Certified Life Coach.

Johnnie Lee Diacon: “I am an enrolled member of the Mvskoke (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma, the Raprakko Etvlwa (Thlopthlocco Tribal Town), and I am Ecovlke (Deer Clan). I was born in Okemah, Oklahoma to Margaret Harjochee (Creek) and Cecil Iron (Osage) on January 8, 1963. I now reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma and I am married to Nikki Stephens Diacon. I am the father of five children; Mika, Chrissa (deceased), Melissa, Annabelle (deceased), and Emerson. I have two grandchildren; Mai-Lin and Makoto.

I received my post-high school education in art at Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma, where I studied the Traditional, Flat, or Bacone School style of Indian painting under master artist Ruthe Blalock Jones (Delaware/Shawnee/Peoria). Usually my traditional works are spiritual and ceremonial depictions which are done in the Bacone School, or Flat style of Indian Art. These works are most often done in tempera and gouache on illustration board or watercolor paper, but in recent years some of this style of work has been rendered in acrylic on stretched canvas. I also studied mural painting at Bacone College where I have a mural hanging in Samuel Richards Hall.”