2019-2020 Tulsa Alumnae Executive Board...
President: Patty Mandrell
Born in Kansas farm country, I married a terrific Tulsa boy, graduated from TU and taught Spanish. Then and now I continue to garden, love pets, jog, and play in community bands and orchestra. Since retiring I have added other interests: animal rescue and welfare and SAI. I volunteer with a local pet rescue and am working with the City to resolve Tulsa’s pet overpopulation crisis. In 2012 I was initiated as an SAI Patroness With Training by Tulsa Alumnae, and have served with a tremendous Board as chapter President, and convention delegate, since 2015. I very much enjoy our chapter sisterhood, activities and anniversary celebrations.
Vice President Hostess: Jeanne Stover
I was born in southeast Kansas and lived on a working farm. I moved with my mother to Neosho, MO in 1961 as she took an English teaching position. I am a stringed instrument lover. When I was in 4th grade I heard a violin being played as we were all being introduced to orchestral instruments. I turned and exclaimed “I want to learn to play that!” I was a music education major at Missouri Southern University in Joplin, MO. I majored in violin with a minor in piano. I had the honor of taking violin lessons from age 16 through Senior year of college from Mrs Mary Porter who was a Juilliard graduate. Fast forward to recent years will find me playing violin, viola, guitar, mandolin and djembe. I enjoy playing and writing folk music with a group of friends since 1985. Initiated to Tulsa Alumnae by invitation of Sue Amstutz. I have grown to love this fraternity and all my sisters.
Vice President Program: Beth Keener
Beth Keener, a Texas native who grew up in Tulsa, is a graduate of the University of Tulsa and an initiate of the Sigma Gamma chapter of SAI. She and her husband have three grown children, and she introduces kindergartners through fifth graders to the love and study of music.
Vice President Ritual: Sue Amstutz
I attended TU where I received a BA in journalism and BA and MA degrees in music education. I was initiated into Sigma Gamma in January of 1959, affiliated with Tulsa Alumnae in 1961, and have been actively involved in the chapter ever since. My professional career was as a music educator for 29 years, 28 of which were spent at Jane Addams Elementary School in Tulsa. I retired in 1989, freeing up much more time to pursue other interests. I also taught private flute for many years, beginning while I was still in high school. I have played flute since the summer of 1950, just after I completed sixth grade. I am a “charter member” of our Pan’s Flute Choir and principal flute of First Baptist Church’s Celebration Orchestra. In addition to SAI, I am involved in P.E.O. and Oklahoma Native Plant Society. Native plants of Oklahoma, as well as Colorado mountain flowers, have been an avocation of mine since 1973, and though I am a professionally a musician, I’m something of an amateur botanist as well. SAI is a family thing with me, since my sister Sherye is the treasurer for our chapter, and our mother, Mary Ellen Esser, was a Patroness. I am grateful that SAI and Tulsa Alumnae chapter have given me so many opportunities over my nearly 60 years of SAI membership.
Secretary: Jessica Helt
I was born in Tulsa but grew up in McKinney, TX just north of Dallas. I went to Oklahoma State University and was initiated into Sigma Alpha Iota in the Spring of 2009. While in college I held many roles including Editor, Recording Secretary, Sergeant at Arms, and Vice President of Ritual. I graduated in 2012 with a B.A in Psychology and went on to get my M.S. in Counseling. I am now a Licensed Professional Counselor and work at a non-profit mental health agency in Tulsa. I was active in choir throughout my secondary education as well as all through college, and now get to keep music alive by being a member of the Tulsa Alumnae Chapter. My Corgi, Abby, and I love to go on walks down River Trails and she likes to bark at the squirrels, people, other dogs, birds and and anything else that moves.
Treasurer: Sherye Halliburton
Born in St. Louis, I arrived in Tulsa via train at six weeks old. I have been a Tulsan ever since except for the 2 ½ years spent in Izmir, Turkey while my husband, Richard, was stationed at NATO Headquarters during the Vietnam War. A quartet of loves has shaped my life: young children, music, church work, and volunteering. My career path took me through one the great loves of my life—working with young children as an educator and worker in the field for agencies supporting the education of young children. A second love, music, prompted my initiation in SAI as a Sigma Gamma member. Flute was my instrument which I still play in Pan’s Flute Choir. The love of music and children blended together as I served as choir director for the kindergarten-first grade choir at my church for 35 years before retiring. I still am musically involved at church where I have played in the handbell choir for 40 years. Church work continues to be a major focus as I am responsible for seasonal decorations in the sanctuary at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, along with arranging weekly bouquets of flowers that the Deacons take to hospitalized or home bound members. The final love is being a volunteer at Saint Francis Hospital for fifty plus years where I've served in a variety of capacities, always with the spirit of giving and helping others. This quartet of loves, young children, music, church work and volunteering has been, and continues to be, a blessing to me in my life.
Editor: Megan Whitley
I grew up in Alabama, and have also lived in Louisiana—where I minored in music at Northwestern State and initiated with Beta Iota—and England before coming to Tulsa for grad school. I have been involved in orchestra (violin), choir, and light opera in years past. Having just finished my PhD in English Literature, I am currently teaching English and writing classes at TU as a Postdoc. I have loved serving as the Editor for Tulsa Alumnae chapter and look forward to another year of letting you know what all of our brilliant Tulsa SAI’s are up to!