JULY 22, 2005

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'Carrie'd away - another NSU success story


Carrie Underwood poses for the camera in the Northeastern State University Performing Arts Center before the 2003 Miss NSU Pageant. (Photo credit, Northeastern State University/Sean Kennedy)

For 14 weeks America tuned in each Tuesday and Wednesday evening as Northeastern State University senior Carrie Underwood sought to make her dreams come true. One of more than 100,000 contestants on the popular Fox Network program "American Idol," Carrie began her whirlwind trip in St. Louis tackling the first of many auditions that would lead her to the bright lights of Los Angeles and a coveted recording contract with Arista Records. Her journey is storybook and her adventure just beginning as audiences around the globe continue to celebrate this newest Idol and her northeastern Oklahoma roots.

Northeastern Proud

Perhaps the most significant part of the Carrie Underwood story (as it pertains to her alma mater) comes not from the millions of impressions made from mass media moguls including the New York Post, People Magazine, "The Tonight Show" and countless others, but on the impact this one student has made upon her fellow alumni as she serves as an ambassador for Oklahoma’s premier regional university.

Like proud parents, members of the Northeastern community gathered in mass and in private cheering their NSU star from day one. Professors and administrators rooted for their student; classmates and members of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority cheered for their friend; and members of the Downtown Country cast showed support for their fellow performer. And all cast their vote for this member of the Northeastern family. The inaugural ‘Carrie Watch’ held on the Tahlequah campus February 22 drew eight media outlets and more than 200 supporters including several members of the Underwood family. Virtually overnight, the campuses of NSU were transformed into Carrie Underwood information centers for visiting media, fans and the general public.

And, just as Northeastern has celebrated its share of athletic championships, national ranking academic teams in various areas, and even its own Miss America in 1996, so too, the University celebrates another national success of one of its own. Carrie and the many, many other successful NSU alumni before her have given the NSU community plenty of reasons to be proud.

On the Map

Carrie Underwood’s success on American Idol has brought newfound attention to several places close to her heart. The city of Checotah, Northeastern State University and the state of Oklahoma all continue to share the limelight as reporters rush to uncover the stories behind country music’s newest artist. In addition to the pre-finals blitz and the 29.4 million impressions made during the show finale, Carrie’s post-show radio, newspaper and television interviews have kept hard-to-pronounce names such as Tahlequah on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Audiences seem delighted to learn that small town values and regional universities are alive, well and successful in today’s world.

Carrie’s first post-show appearances came at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville where she joined the stage with Dolly Parton, Lee Ann Womack, Keith Urban and others. She is currently heading the American Idols Live Tour which began this June and runs through September. The tour features the Top 10 Idols live in cities around the nation. (At press time, Carrie’s only Oklahoma stop was slated for August 10 at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.) Her first single off her coming album, "Inside Your Heaven," was released June 14.

Contact: Nancy Garber, NSU director of public relations, 1-918-456-5511