Looking Back on the First Twenty Years as Roger State University

Hillcat running with arms in airThe Hillcat was unveiled in 2005 as RSU’s blue and crimson mascot. The Hillcat is a fictitious cousin of the bobcat, which is indigenous to northeast Oklahoma. The Hillcat draws its name from “College Hill,” a traditional nickname for RSU. The Hillcat was the university’s first mascot since the 1970s. In the past, the predecessor institutions of RSU have adopted various mascots and team monikers, including the Oklahoma Military Academy Cadets, Claremore Junior College Spartans and Rogers State College Thunderbirds. In 2009 through an online voting contest, the Hillcat was given the name of Hunter. Hunter the Hillcat embodies the enthusiastic, determined and bold spirit of the university’s athletic programs and the pride our students and alumni feel for the institution! Go Hillcats!


people in caps and gownsIn 2002 the first 17 graduates walked across the stage to receive their bachelor’s degree from RSU. It was the first time a baccalaureate education from a public university was available in the Tulsa area.

A student from Nepal who traveled to America to pursue the dream of an education, a young man who returned to Claremore to raise his family and attend college close to home, and a U.S. Navy recruiter from Arkansas who earned his degree online were among the first recipients of RSU’s bachelor degrees. RSU continues to offer new and exciting degree programs!


soldiersRSU’s Guard Officer Leadership Development program made its inaugural debut in 2014, bringing boots back on the hill after more than 40 years. The program prepares Soldiers for Officer Candidate School between their junior and senior year of college. Upon completion of the GOLD program, students earn the rank of Second Lieutenant and become a commissioned officer in the Army National Guard.

As we reflect on September 11, we remember that freedom isn’t free, and we are grateful for all those who answer the call to serve.


man in front of booksRogers State University was the first university in Oklahoma – and one of the first in the nation – to offer bachelor’s and associate degrees entirely via the Internet. Prior to that, RSU has been recognized as a national leader in distance education through RSU public TV. RSUTV produces educational telecourses and live interactive college and high school concurrent courses.

Today, RSU offers 14 degrees and options fully online. Whether we see you online or in person in Claremore, Bartlesville or Pryor, RSU continues to serve students through innovative platforms for success!


man holding plaquePsi Chi was the first student organization affiliated with the American Psychological Association. The RSU chapter was the first baccalaureate honor society established at the university in 2003.

Today, there are more than 40 student organizations to participate in.

Being active in a student organization allows students to share ideas and interests, both academically and personally. Get involved in RSU student life today!


newspaper article about RSU becoming four year universityTwenty years ago this month, RSU made headlines announcing accreditation approval as a four-year university. RSU’s pillars of tradition, innovation and excellence are evident as we look back through the archives.

Throughout this academic year, we will mark the moment with fun facts, throwback photos and stories of our successful programs and graduates.

What an exciting time is to be a part of #HillcatNation!