Northwestern English program raises funds with Mark Twain bust

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Northwestern English program raises funds with Mark Twain bust

November 24, 2015

 Mark Twain Bust Donation
Gathered for the donation of the Mark Twain bust to the J.W. Martin Library was library representative Verna Graybill, instructor of library and information services; Sheldon Russell, Nancy Russell creator of the bust; winner of the bust Terry Ross, and English department representative Kathy Earnest, assistant professor of English.

Members in Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s English program sold tickets for a chance to win a donated Mark Twain bust for a fundraiser for their Visiting Writers’ Series.

This series bring writers to campus to present their works to the local community, campus and gives students the opportunity to work with the authors.

Tickets were sold to family, friends, English department supporters and people in the community at the beginning of the 2015 fall semester until Homecoming, Oct. 10, for $5 apiece. The drawing took place after the Homecoming parade and local businessman and banker Terry Ross of Alva won the bust. Ross donated the bust to the J.W. Martin Library to be displayed.

Creator of the bust was Nancy Russell. Other artwork of hers includes the Dale Brown bronze displayed at the Runnymede Hotel in downtown Alva. Her husband Sheldon is a 1968 Northwestern alumnus who earned a degree in English. He also is the author of several novels inspired by northwest Oklahoma, including “The Yard Dog.” In 2006 his “Dreams to Dust: A Tale of the Oklahoma Land Rush” won the Oklahoma Book Award in Fiction and was selected as an official Oklahoma Centennial Project. Both artists have items displayed and for purchase at the Graceful Arts Center in downtown Alva.

For more information on the sculpture, Northwestern’s English program or the Visiting Writers Series please contact Dr. Kathy Earnest, assistant professor of English, at or (580) 327-8472.