Oklahoma Military Academy
2015 Distinguished Alumni Honorees
First presented in 1983, the Oklahoma Military Academy Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes those alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professional or military careers and in service to their community by participation in the OMA Alumni Association or in the activities of Rogers State University.
Mr. Frank Landrum, '60
Frank Landrum attended the last two years of high school and then junior college at OMA. He graduated from OMA in 1960 and completed college at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where he received a bachelor's degree in business administration.
While at OMA, he participated in numerous activities that included being the drill team commander, college sophomore class president, president of the Chevron and Saber Society, and a corps commander. He received the Association of the Army Award, was designated the Outstanding Military Five student, and awarded the Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk.
Landrum entered the Army in 1962 as a field artillery officer. He attended numerous military schools to include the basic and advanced field artillery courses, parachute school, special warfare course, Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.
In 1982, he received a master's degree in public administration from Shippensburg State College in Pennsylvania. During his 28 years in the Army, Landrum had numerous state-side and overseas assignments.
Highlights include being an infantry adviser in 1964 in Vietnam where he was awarded two Bronze Stars and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. He served as an operations/plane officer in battalion, brigade and corps units, and he served two years on the Army staff at the Pentagon. Frank commanded a field artillery battalion in South Korea and a brigade at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. His last tour at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, was as the project officer responsible for the development and building of the first computer-supported simulation exercise.
Upon his retirement, he received the Legion of Merit award for his service. Following his Army career, he worked for various civilian defense contractors that conducted brigade and division simulation supported combat exercises. He is an active member of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW). These two organizations award scholarships and leadership courses for our young people. He and his wife Beth reside in Lawton, Oklahoma.
Mr. Harry Simpson, '65
Harry A. Simpson attended OMA from 1960 through his graduation in 1965. While on College Hill, he rose to the rank of captain while being active in athletics (football, wrestling, track, tennis and bowling), Sergeant-at-Arms for the Chevron Society, Drill Team, Honor Court, Judge's Bench, Saber Society and more.
He was in the best drilled company and platoon, and also was active in campus chapel. After graduation, Simpson attended Oklahoma City University where he majored in business administration before joining the Army and serving with the 11th Armored Cavalry Division. He served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967, after which he was stationed at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas.
Professionally, he worked for Burns Construction of Claremore and Oklahoma Testing Laboratories in Oklahoma City as a metallurgist inspecting bridges in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. Additionally, he performed structural inspection of high-rise buildings during construction.
For the past 40 years, Harry has served as a senior draftsman at Midwest Detailing, LLC, where he also serves as a primary structural steel detailer for high profile projects, nationally and internationally. He also has co-owned several companies, including McKim Solar Energy Systems, Simpson Cleaning Service, Aero-Sport Inc., Excel Telecommunications and Midwest Detailing Inc.
He has been active in the community as a member of the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce and the Stoma Club of Catoosa; past president of the Ultralight Aircraft Association of Tulsa; and past instructor with the Junior Achievement Program at the Catoosa Middle School.
In January 1966, Simpson married Deanna Burns (the 1965 Sweetheart of the Corps) and they had two children: daughter, Shannon (Simpson) Cline, and son, Matthew, who died of leukemia in 1995 at the age of 18. The couple has three grandchildren: Savannah Evans, Mike Bright and Samantha (Bright) Robinson. He serves as an elder at the Claremore Seventh Day Adventist Church and has preached several sermons throughout northeastern Oklahoma.
Simpson is honored by the Distinguished Alumni recognition, saying he has always been eager to do all he could to advance the OMA Alumni Association. He has been involved with the organization since being first selected as board member in 1971.
Colonel Alvin B. Cobb, USA Retired, '63
Bruce Cobb attended junior college at Oklahoma Military Academy, where he graduated in 1963. While at OMA, he was awarded the Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk, was a top 10 percent student in Military Science, was a member of the drill team, earned membership in Phi Theta Kappa, was Sergeant Major of the corps and left the college as a cadet 2nd Lieutenant.
Bruce continued studying toward a bachelor's degree at Oklahoma State University and continued participation in the Reserve Officer Training Corps program. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate, was recognized upon graduation as the outstanding cadet and awarded the Colonel Sam Myers trophy.
Upon graduation in 1965, he received a regular army commission as 2nd Lieutenant of infantry. His military career spanned almost 28 years and he retired in 1993 as a colonel in the aviation branch. During his years of service he has two combat tours in Vietnam, multiple tours in airborne assignments, served as aide-de-camp to the commanding general at the Army's Special Warfare Center, served as a member of the staff to the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commanded at all levels from lieutenant through colonel.
After retiring, Bruce attended the University of Oklahoma to complete a graduate program earning a master's degree in public administration. Following that, he began work as a consultant in the aviation industry and continues that work to date. He has been married to Patty for 51 years and they have two sons, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
In acknowledging the selection as a Distinguished Alumni, Bruce stated that he is humbled by the fact that someone thought enough of him to submit his name into the nomination and selection process.
Mr. Robert L. Dean, Jr., '49
Robert Dean was born in the small town of Byars, Oklahoma, in McClain County. At an early age, with the help and encouragement of his father, he raised Hereford cattle.
At 15, he realized his ambition of going to Oklahoma Military Academy. He was well suited to military life, and at the Academy he was a member of the Rifle Team and band. He gave piano concerts for visiting schools.
After three years at OMA and a year at the University of Oklahoma, he won an appointment to West Point. There, his experience on the OMA Rifle Team served him well as he became a member of the West Point National Championship Team. While on the rifle team, he met his future wife, Helen Lothringer, the U.S. Women's Champion.
Following graduation, he entered the Air Force and became a pilot near the end of the Korean War. After four years, eye problems caused him to be grounded. Reluctantly, he left the Air Force and went to work on Wall Street. After two years, he moved to Mexico City and began work as a financial consultant. He became editor and publisher of "Mexletter", Mexico's prestigious financial publication. While in Mexico he gave numerous piano concerts and was selected the country's outstanding Jazz musician by Sucesos magazine.
A birthday gift of a few pounds of clay from his wife began what was to become a remarkable career in the arts. After winning national awards in sculpture, he realized that art was indeed his calling. He decided to leave the finance business and move to Florence, Italy, to continue to pursue his new dream of becoming an artist.
Shortly after arriving in Florence, he organized the American community and founded the American Society to foster cultural and educational interchange between Americans and their Italian hosts. He became the first president of the Society. His principal work has been portrait sculptures, many of which are of illustrious military figures including Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton, Bradley, Rickenbacker, de Gaulle, and The Night Sentry that memorializes the Revolutionary War patriots. There are five monumental statues of Eisenhower, two of which are in London and Normandy.
In recent years he began to work more in music and theater. His first play was produced in London, and he has also written two musicals. He continues to sculpt and to compose and write for the theater.
Mr. Shawnee Brittan, '53
Shawnee Brittan came to OMA in the fall of 1950 and graduated from high school in 1953. He participated in many activities while at OMA but he feels his major contribution came much later.
"I feel that my main contribution to the corps was producing and directing the OMA documentary which premiered at the 2014 Reunion. Because of everyone's participation we were able to leave this documentary as part of the OMA legacy."
Brittan has received international acclaim in a career that has spanned many years in film and video production. His award-winning productions include "The Grand Ride of the Abernathy Boys," a hit of the Oklahoma Centennial; "En Pointe: The Lives and Legacies of Ballet's Native Americans," which premiered in New York City; "Sleep My Sons: The Story of the Arisan Maru," a World War II documentary; "God's Drum,"featuring Oklahoma's Native American story-teller Te Ata, and "The American Indian Exposition," an Academy Award® documentary official selection.
Current projects include "The Downwinders," a feature film; "Hellship," a feature film; and "Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima," a World War II documentary.
He is a recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists and Performers. He is a graduate of New York University and Oklahoma State University.
He served eight years on the Oklahoma Film Commission, is a charter member of the American Film Institute, is listed in "Who's Who in Entertainment," is a past member of the Academy of Country & Western Music, and is a recipient of the Governor's Arts Award.
Brittan served as Filmmaker-in-Residence and Visiting Professor at the University of Oklahoma from 2001 to 2011. At OU he created the Independent Film Project (IFP/OU), an independent motion picture production program.
He worked in Hollywood throughout the 1960s where he was vice president of Celebrity News Service. In1967, he co-founded Media Research Associates, which was Hollywood's first major outsourcing organization that created marketing, publicity and public relations campaigns for the major motion picture and television studios. In 1971, Media Research Associates was acquired by a major Asian entertainment conglomerate.
He currently serves as vice president of Hollymount Pictures, a start-up production/distribution company in Los Angeles and is consultant to the History Media Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Brittan and his wife, Joanna Champlin, live in Oklahoma City where they are both active in the theater, motion picture and arts communities.