May 12, 2005

OMA Alumni Association Announces Recipients of Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2005.

The recipients will be honored at the annual Oklahoma Military Academy Reunion June 3-4 at Rogers State University in Claremore.

The Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards represent the highest honors bestowed upon an alumnus of the Oklahoma Military Academy, the predecessor institution of RSU.

This year, more than 250 OMA alumni, spouses and guests will attend a variety of reunion activities including the Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony at RSU.

Inducted into the OMA Hall of Fame will be Harry Poarch of Tulsa, Jack Short of Tulsa, and Joe Hedrick, who will be inducted posthumously. This year's Distinguished Alumni include Ron Acree of Humboldt, Tenn., Lew Beach of Broken Arrow, Hugh Miller of West Chester, Penn., and Bert Rosson of Jackson, Miss.

"We are very pleased to present the Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards to men who have brought honor to the Oklahoma Military Academy through their many years of dedicated service to their communities and country," said Dr. Danette Boyle, vice president for development at RSU.

OMA reunion events will include a golf tournament, ladies luncheon and opening reception on Friday, June 3. A cadet memorial service, Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni awards ceremony, alumni luncheon and dinner and dance are scheduled for Saturday, June 4, at various locations on campus.

Following is more information about this year's OMA Hall of Fame inductees.

Harry Poarch

Poarch graduated from OMA in 1953. He received a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Tulsa and a master's degree in business management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, with additional graduate study at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He currently is the owner and president of Economy Lumber Co. of Tulsa. He completed more than 29 years of active duty with the U.S. Army, serving as Assistant to the Director for Business Policy, Office of the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and Assistant Chief of Staff, Logistics, U.S. Forces at Azores, Portugal. He also worked in the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Research & Development) at the Pentagon. He completed several other assignments with the U.S. Army at bases around the world including two years in Vietnam. He earned two Legions of Merit, two Purple Hearts and four Bronze Stars. His daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Michael Manley, and three grandchildren also live in Tulsa.

Jack Short

Short graduated from the OMA in 1959. He received a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma. He served in the Oklahoma National Guard from 1965 to 1971. He was with PricewaterhouseCoopers for over 29 years, and was partner in charge of the Tulsa office at the time of his retirement in 2001. He also worked for Parker Drilling Co. in Tulsa for five years. He was appointed to the Oklahoma Board of Accountancy, where he served as chairman for two years of a five-year term. He presently serves on the board of directors of T.D. Williamson, a worldwide pipeline company based in Tulsa, AAON, Inc., an air-conditioning manufacturer in Tulsa and Waste Services, Inc., a waste collection company in Scottsdale, Ariz. He has served on numerous civic boards and committees including the United Way, Salvation Army, University of Oklahoma School of Business, National Jewish Hospital, Tulsa City-County Library, Gilcrease Museum and others. He is a past president of Southern Hills Country Club. He has been married to Scharmayne Short for 40 years and has two sons and three grandchildren.

Joe Hedrick

Hedrick attended the OMA from 1946 to 1948, and will be named to the OMA Hall of Fame posthumously. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1954. During his career, he worked as a corrosion engineer for Alcan Aluminum and was senior sales representative for Broaster Foods. He served with the 45th Infantry Division in Korea and spent six years in the reserves. He was a member of numerous religious and civic organizations. He also raised cattle and quarter horses. He was married to Shirley Hedrick for 31 years, and has six children, 19 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Following is more information about this year's OMA Distinguished Alumni.

Ron Acree

Acree graduated from OMA in 1954. He enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1954 as Corporal on active duty and received commission four years later. By the time he was discharged in 1968, he had received the rank of Captain. During his 14 years of military service, he spent six years in the Reserves and eight years on active duty. He also served in Korea and several posts in the U.S. He earned a master's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and bachelor's degree from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. He has had a wide-ranging career, serving as tourism director at the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department; a bank manager, vice president and member of the board of directors; adult education director at a vocational-technical school; supervisor of planning and research with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections; economic development and financial management and investments specialist; small business specialist at Jackson (Tenn.) State Community College; owner, publisher and editor of several newspapers in Oklahoma; and the owner and manager of restaurants in Oklahoma and Colorado. He and his wife, Cindy Acree, have seven children and 12 grandchildren.

Lew Beach

Beach graduated from OMA in 1953. He earned a bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Tulsa. In addition to serving in the U.S. Army, he has enjoyed a long career as an independent oil and gas producer and owner of Beach Operating Co. He is a member of the Oklahoma Geological Society, Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and OMA Museum board of directors.

Hugh Miller

Miller graduated from OMA in 1953. He received a bachelor's degree from Rice University and completed the Harvard University International Senior Managers Program. He currently is chairman of the board of directors of MGI Pharma Inc., a pharmaceutical company specializing in oncology based in Minneapolis, and director of the Wilmington Trust Co., a regional bank in Wilmington, Del. He began his career as an engineer at a petrochemical plant on the Texas gulf coast. He then spent many years directing sales, marketing and acquisitions and mergers for chemical companies around the world, including Imperial Chemical Industries, based in England. He was president of Stuart Pharmaceuticals, part of Imperial Chemical activities in the United States. He and his wife Angela Miller have four children and six grandchildren.

Bert Rosson

Rosson graduated from the OMA in 1954. He received a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. He enjoyed a long career in the petroleum industry, assembling drilling deals and operating producing properties. He worked for Sohio Petroleum Co., Skelly Oil Co. and Southeastern Exploration Co., among others. He is currently the president and owner of Rosson Exploration Co. Rosson has been a past president and director of the Mississippi Association of Petroleum Landmen. He has two daughters, Cindy and Julie, and one son, Bert Jr. He also has three grandchildren

For more information about the annual OMA Reunion, call (918) 343-7773.