DURANT, OK -- Michael and Lisa Turner are all smiles, looking forward to living in Durant. The community welcomed the new Southeastern president and his wife to the area Wednesday afternoon.
Glen Johnson left his post as president in January, and nearly a year later, Turner is set to take the reins as president. His excitement about the job is not hard to notice.
"This has got to be just one of the most incredible communities that we've ever been blessed to be a part of," Dr. Turner says.
City leaders introduced themselves to the Turners, who say they haven't met a stranger since they've been in town. They aren't a stranger to higher education.
"We always knew we would be at home on a college campus," he adds.
The native Oklahoman previously served as a vice president at Rogers State University in Claremont, Oklahoma. He served as a captain in the Marine Corps, before meeting his future wife Lisa at his alma mater Northeastern State in Talequah.
She worked for the alumni association, and was the one who knew Durant would be their new home.
"It seems like a lot of alumni choose to stay in the community and that says a lot about the community and all the offerings that is has so we feel like it's going to be a great community," Lisa says.
Dr. Turner says add in a great university, and it's a winning equation to continue academic excellence at Southeastern.
"I want to continue that momentum and just push forward and keep raising the bar," he says.
That positive attitude is what college regents say they knew was just what the university needs.
"His energy level, his leadership skills, all of that become very evident in the interview process," says Ann Holloway, regent with the board of regents for Oklahoma colleges.
It's evident from the look on their faces, the Turners are just as happy to be here.
Dr. Turner's first day on the job is set for January first. He, Lisa, and their two daughters are planning to move to Durant in the next few weeks.