Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Billye Givens, Ed.D.

Dr. Billye K. Givens has a rich history at Eastern Oklahoma State College and within the community of Wilburton, Oklahoma. Like her parents before her, she is an Eastern graduate. Her love of literature, English and philosophy guided her to a storied 44-year career at her alma mater where she spent her entire professional career.

After graduating from Eastern, Givens attended Oklahoma State University where she earned a bachelor's and master's degree in English and a doctoral degree in Education. She returned to Eastern in the fall of 1973 to teach English and physical education. She also served as the men's and women's tennis coach and let both teams to a conference title during her early years at Eastern. In addition to teaching, she served as the dean of the Division of Language, Humanities and Education for 11 years.

Throughout her career, Givens has been recognized for teaching by both students and her peers. She has received numerous Faculty of the Year honors, including the peer-selected President's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013. In addition, she also served as a member of Eastern's Faculty Council and Academic Assessment Committee, as well as a member of the SW Regional Conference on English for two-year colleges and the Higher Education Alumni Council. Dr. Givens delivered the keynote address at Eastern's Commencement Ceremony in 2015.

Displaying a strong sense of service to the community, Dr. Givens is the president of the local Partners for Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a member of the American Cancer Society, and a member of the Latimer County Historical and Genealogy Society. She also volunteers her time to pastor the First Presbyterian Church of Wilburton.

Dr. Givens officially retired in 2017 after 44 years of service to Eastern, giving her the distinct recognition as the longest-serving, full-time, tenured faculty member in the college's 109-year history. She was granted the title of Professor Emeritus and continues to teach at Eastern as an adjunct instructor. Per a resolution passed by the Eastern Board of Regents in April 2018, Dr. Givens's classroom in Pratt Hall was dedicated and named her honor.