DURANT –The 20th president of Southeastern Oklahoma State University began his first day of official duties today.
Sean Burrage was named SE president in May by the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents.
An attorney by profession, the legal field, public service, and higher education have all played important roles in Burrage’s life. He earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1993. In addition, he holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from OU. He is a product of the Antlers Public Schools. Burrage and his family will live in the president’s house on the SE campus.
“It’s like coming home for me,’’ Burrage said recently. “I lived the first three years of my life in Durant while my parents (former U.S. District Judge Michael Burrage and school principal Aletha Burrage) were going to school at Southeastern. There is no other place I’d rather be – I see so much opportunity for growth at Southeastern and I’m excited to be a part of it.’’
Burrage was elected to the Oklahoma State Senate in 2006, representing District 2 (Mayes and Rogers Counties). In November 2011, he was elected Democratic Floor Leader after serving as Assistant Democratic Leader for the 52nd Oklahoma Legislature.
Burrage served as Legislative Director to United States Senator David Boren in Washington, D.C., and later as Special Assistant and Director of State and Federal Relations to President Boren at the University of Oklahoma.
He has served as a board member of the University Hospitals Authority and Trust at the OU Medical Center. Active in his community, Burrage served on the Board of Directors for Tri-County CASA and as President of “Share the Spirit,’’ a local charity that has assisted numerous families. He was named Tri-County CASA Attorney of the Year in 2001 in recognition of his pro bono representation of minor children in the juvenile court system.
In 2011, Burrage was a member of the Joint Committee on Indian Tribal-State Relations. He has also served as a Delegate to the American Council of Young Political Leaders and also designated as a member of the 2008 Class of Aspen-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership.
In addition to his standing committee assignments, Burrage was appointed as Minority Co-Vice Chairman of the Senate Redistricting Committee. He was also chosen to be a member of the Select Committee on Pensions.
He and his wife Carole have two sons, Truman, 17, and Carter, 9.
Burrage replaced Dr. Larry Minks, who announced on April 1 that he would be stepping down as President of Southeastern effective July 1. Minks will remain at Southeastern as President Emeritus and Distinguished University Professor of Leadership. He has also been appointed to serve as the Director of the new Center for Transformational Leadership at Southeastern.