Darrell and Grace Wessels to Lead Northwestern Homecoming Parade as Marshals

September 19, 2023

Darrell and Grace Wessels

Darrell and Grace Wessels will lead Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s annual homecoming parade as its marshals starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, on Alva’s downtown square.

Upon learning they were chosen as parade marshals, Grace laughed and thought it was a mistake, but after letting the news settle, she commented that she and Darrell were pleased.

“We’re not letting it go to our heads,” Darrell said. “It feels like such an honor, especially since we’re just ordinary people who grew up in Alfalfa County.”

Darrell graduated from Northwestern in 1963 with a major in mathematics and a chemistry/biology minor. He would hang out in the Student Center or go downtown to play Snooker, but he remembers fondly the camaraderie of the students and professors.

The Cherokee native worked as a cattleman and wheat farmer and would work Wednesdays at the Cherokee Cattle Auction. He taught a class at Northwestern for one semester, substituted for a math class at Cherokee High School and tutored students in math.

Grace grew up in Jet and worked the farm together with Darrell while also being a homemaker and mother to their five daughters. She worked at Alfalfa Electric Cooperative for 22 years and retired in 2006.

Darrell and Grace, who have been married 65 years, were honored with the Cherokee Main Street Lifetime Achievement Award and were named the Alfalfa Farm Bureau Family of the Year.

Darrell is the president of the Gene Belcher Educational Foundation, and Grace has served on the Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association’s Governance Committee, as both a member and chair. Grace has also served on the Executive Committee. Their names are on the Division of Education’s Early Childhood Center housed in the Struckle Education Center and have given generously to the division’s Literacy Center and the Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing Skills Lab in Carter Hall.

“Darrell and Grace Wessels are extraordinary models of Ranger loyalty and pride,” John Allen, Northwestern Foundation and Alumni Association Director of Alumni Relations, said. “Their passion for the red and black contributes to the success and the unbeatable spirit of Northwestern Oklahoma State University. We are honored to see them as this year’s Homecoming Parade grand marshals.”

Grace enjoys reading and hanging out with her friend groups while Darrell enjoys cheering and watching sporting events, particularly football, basketball and softball.

“We live in northwest Oklahoma,” Darrell said. “We enjoy the Northwestern events. They give us something to do.”

For more information on the homecoming schedule visit www.nwosu.edu/homecoming.


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist
eedavis@nwosu.edu, 580-327-8480

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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