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Communication lectureship established to honor John and Margaret Barton

(ALVA, Okla. Nov. 30, 2016) – The Barton name is a familiar one around Alva and Northwestern Oklahoma State University. From 1966-1995, John Barton shaped the minds of young men and women in the university’s speech department. In honor of the impact he and his wife, Margaret, made at Northwestern, their daughter Cheryl (Barton) Listen, with her husband Herb Listen, established the John and Margaret Barton Communication Lectureship for Academic Enrichment to provide additional funds for Communication faculty and staff development.John and Margaret Barton

Both John and Margaret graduated from Northwestern; John in 1964 with a degree in speech and Margaret in 1963 with a degree in office administration. John taught at Northwestern for almost 30 years and held the positions of instructor of speech, chair of the speech department, dean of men and director of educational outreach. He served as associate professor of speech and dean of the School of Humanities, Fine Arts and Language upon his retirement in October 1995. He was honored as an Outstanding Graduate in 2003 and remains a dedicated supporter of Northwestern. John and Margaret have three children, Cheryl, Paul Barton and Tamara (Barton) Brown, who currently is an assistant professor of speech and the interim chair of the Communication Department at Northwestern.

 “The Barton family has been associated with Northwestern for over 50 years,” said Cheryl, who graduated from Northwestern in 1989 with a degree in psychology. “My family members have been students, faculty and staff at various times. We expect that relationship to continue with the next generation.”

Cheryl said her parents placed a strong emphasis on education in her and her siblings’ lives while growing up in Alva.

“Through the example our parents have set, we learned the importance of investing in others and the importance of supporting higher education,” said Cheryl. “My husband and I would like to honor them for their longtime dedication to both encouraging and supporting higher education.”

Cheryl said she recognizes the communication field can be complex because it is constantly changing. She hopes this lectureship will help the communication program at Northwestern stay up to date with technology and industry trends to maintain a quality education for its students.

“It is great to see John and Margaret honored by their children with this personal investment in the department that the Barton family has influenced with two generations of teaching at Northwestern – first with John and now with Tamara,” said Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association CEO. “This permanent endowment sustains the family’s positive impact on the department indefinitely and will be a lasting legacy to their commitment to language arts.”

For more information on the John and Margaret Barton Communication Lectureship for Academic Enrichment, or about investing in Northwestern students, call Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at 580-327-8599 or email him at aebird@nwosu.edu.

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