Dr. Donnie Nero, retired president of Connors State College, will present the program on the History of Black Education in Oklahoma at the March 23 meeting of the Muskogee County Genealogical Society. He will also present a display portraying that history beginning with the freedmen schools of Indian Territory prepared by the Oklahoma Historical Society. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Grant Foreman Room of Muskogee Public Library.
The lifelong educator is a Spencer native and graduated from Dundee High School in 1967 before continuing his education at East Central State College, now ECU. He began his teaching career at Sapulpa as a classroom teacher, rising through the school system to become a counselor and then junior high school principal in 1973 and then high school assistant principal. He joined the Tulsa Community College staff in 1985 and served as instructor and Dean of Student Services before becoming the Provost. He left TCC to become the 15th president of Connors State College.
In 2002, Dr. Nero was named ECU’s Distinguished Alumnus and addressed the 2002 graduating class. In 2010, ECU inducted Nero into the ECU Educators Hall of Fame along with Jimmy Scales, making them the first African Americans inducted into the ECU Hall of Fame. In 2011, the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame inducted Dr. Nero into their Hall of Fame.
Dr. Nero is married to Shirley Ballard Nero. They have made their home in Clearview, Shirley’s hometown.