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Buckles endow STEM initiative for Northwestern computer science department

(ALVA, Okla. March 29, 2017) – The Northwestern Oklahoma State University computer science department soon will see an addition of robotics design and build labs thanks to an endowment established by Bill and Billie Buckles, longtime Alva residents.Bill and Billie Buckles

 “Bill and Billie have shown a passion for investing in STEM programs and see the potential of expanding our computer science program through robotics,” said Dr. Janet Cunningham, university president. “We are thankful and honored they have invested in our students and their futures.”

Bill grew up in northwest Oklahoma near Dacoma, raising cattle and working on the family farm. Bill graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1964 with a degree in math and taught math for two years in Great Bend, Kan. Afterwards, he returned home to northwest Oklahoma and began a 39-year career in the banking business with Central National Bank. He went on to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking in 1986. In 2007, he retired as president and CEO of Central National Bank (now BancCentral National Association).

Growing up in Folsom, Okla., Billie learned the value of hard work and education. After the passing of her father when she was seven, she and her siblings took on responsibilities around the house including livestock and chicken care and meal preparation. Beginning as a secretary for a bank president, Billie eventually graduated from the University of Colorado Graduate School of Banking in 1975 and built a successful 24-year career in banking and finance. She became an officer in the National Association of Bank Women, earned insurance and securities licenses and became an investment adviser.

The William R. and Billie Dean Buckles Endowed STEM Initiative for Computer Science will increase and enhance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational opportunities available to Northwestern students and faculty, as well as the public of northwest Oklahoma.

For more information about the William R. and Billie Dean Buckles Endowed STEM Initiative for Computer Science, or about investing in students at Northwestern, contact Skeeter Bird, CEO, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association, at aebird@nwosu.edu or 580-327-8599.

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