OCTOBER 19, 2005

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Queen for a day: 71-year-old grandmother captures NSU Homecoming crown


Muriel Saunders, Northeastern State University’s 2005 Homecoming Queen poses with her royal counterpart Homecoming King Scott Weatherman during 2005 homecoming activities.

Muriel Saunders has accomplished much in her 71 years and her latest feat has drawn national attention. Saunders made a splash in the headlines when she was recently crowned Northeastern State University's 2005 Homecoming Queen. An advocate for the elderly, she has since made appearances on national radio and television programs and is also being considered for an international television appearance as well.

Saunders is working on her master’s degree in speech communication at NSU. She graduated from Northeastern in May 2005 with a bachelor’ degree in speech communication. Retired from a career in human resources, the 40-year cancer survivor is the mother of three and has two grandchildren.

She made the decision four years ago to return to the classroom. “I had always planned to go back to school, but things kept happening to defer my plans. One morning in June 2001, I woke up and said ‘this is it.’ And I’ve been in school ever since.”

In addition to taking classes, Muriel is also a graduate assistant who teaches class and works in the NSU College of Liberal Arts mass communication lab. She has been a school board member for 12 years and is an active community volunteer.

Saunders, a Muskogee native, graduated from Manual Training High School in 1951. She transferred to NSU after completing an associate degree at Connors State College in 2003.

She is a firm believer in the idea that age shouldn’t stand in the way of pursuing goals.

“Regardless of age, you can do whatever you want to do. You just have to do it,” she said. “NSU is the kind of place where you can do anything you are qualified to do if you’re willing to work for it.”

Contact: Nancy Garber, 918.456.5511, ext. 2885