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Zeman Brothers' Legacies Honored Through New Scholarship

ALVA, Okla. (Aug. 31, 2018) – The Dale and Duane Zeman Scholarship was established in 2018 to honor the legacy of the Zeman brothers and provide financial assistance to Northwestern Oklahoma State University students actively involved in band, theatre or vocal. The brothers were passionate and committed to education. There were at least 50 teachers in several generations of their family. 

Dale Zeman’s passion for higher education earned him degrees from Northern Oklahoma College, University of Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University. After completing school, Dale became a secondary school teacher and later served as a librarian in the Wichita Public Schools (Kan.)

Duane Zeman entered Northwestern to pursue a degree in English. While attending, he wrote for Northwestern News, served on Student Senate and was initiated into Blue Key Honor Society. Blue Key had its beginning at the University of Florida in 1924. It is a premiere honor society that recognizes college students at senior institutions of higher education for balanced and all-around excellence in scholarship, leadership and service. During his time at Northwestern, Duane became involved in theatre after a lead actor became ill. Duane was called out of the chorus to play Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! This led to more plays, involvement in the Castle Players, Little Theater and receiving the Best Actor of the Year award in 1965.

After Duane graduated from Northwestern in 1966, he taught English at the secondary level and then at the collegiate level with the majority of his career spent at Western Oklahoma State College (Altus, Okla.).

Both brothers are remembered by their family and friends for their cheerful manner and easy smiles. Many of their relatives recall the two always showing sincere interest in their younger cousins’ courses and school activities. Both Dale and Duane sought to live with honor and their impact on their family, friends and students continues to be an inspiration today.

“Dale and Duane Zeman were exceptionally dedicated to the education of young people,” said Skeeter Bird, CEO, Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association. “It is a privilege to honor their passion and support for the fine arts through this scholarship. Their combined legacy will continue at Northwestern through this generous scholarship.”

Applicants for the Dale and Duane Zeman Scholarship must be continuing students and actively involved in band, theatre or vocal with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average. Applicants demonstrating greatest need will be given preference. To be considered, students must complete the scholarship application form through the Financial Aid Office on any Northwestern campus. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

For more information on the Dale and Duane Zeman Scholarship, or about investing in the Northwestern students, call Bird at 580-327-8593 or email him at


Phone: (580) 327-8593
Fax: (580) 327-8499

Northwestern Foundation & Alumni Association
709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717

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