Alumna Gretchen Barber van Eeghen to speak at Commencement May 7

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Alumna Gretchen Barber van Eeghen to speak at Commencement May 7

April 26, 2011

 Gretchen Barber van Eeghen
Gretchen Barber Van Eeghen

Gretchen Barber van Eeghen, a 1996 graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, will speak during the spring commencement ceremony to more than 250 graduates and their families on Saturday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m. on Ranger Field.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications with a minor in public relations at Northwestern.

Northwestern scholarships played a role in Barber van Eeghen’s education, as she was awarded the prestigious Roy E. Kinser Academic Scholarship, along with a Miss Cinderella scholarship, to attend Northwestern.

While at Northwestern, she took full advantage of various organizations the university had to offer, including Student Government Association, being a part of the Dorm Council, Scholarship Committee, Campus TV Station Reporter, KNSU Radio Station Manager and Morning Show DJ. She also served as the Aquarina’s Synchronized Swim Team president.

In 1992 she was crowned Freshman Queen, then in 1995, she became a Ranger Queen.

Upon graduating from Northwestern, she began her career by working in radio in Grove for Drake Communications, where she was a marketing manager and an account executive.

One year later she landed her dream job of working in television at Clear Channel Television’s FOX and UPN stations in Tulsa. She got her foot in the door as a program director assistant, and within two months was promoted to program director, making her one of the youngest TV executives in the business. As program director, her primary job was to schedule TV programs and movies for both FOX and UPN, while working closely with TV Guide and the two networks.

In 2000 she was promoted to regional program director, where she headed-up the programming for FOX and UPN stations in Tulsa, Little Rock and Wichita.

As regional program director her job entailed putting TV schedules together for different affiliates, as well as negotiating and purchasing syndicated programming such as Oprah, Dr. Phil, Ellen DeGeneres, The Simpsons and Friends, to name a few.

In addition to television, Barber van Eeghen has studied makeup artistry with Mary Kay Cosmetics since 2000, a side business she maintained while working in television. Two years ago she chose to go full-time with her own business in Mary Kay, where she now runs her own makeup artistry and professional skin care business. She has received Top Consultant Status and has been runner-up in her unit sales twice.

Barber Van Eeghen and her husband Ernst currently reside in Carmel, Calif.