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.
Phil Alexander, '67
2023 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Philip D. Alexander was born February 25, 1947 and grew up on a farm in Bartlesville. He fell in love with the idea of joining the military after hearing stories about being a tail gunner from his Sunday school teacher. That idea became more attainable when Phil began attending the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1962.
During Phil’s time at OMA he was active on the Drill Team, Saber Society, Honor Court and Color Guard. Phil has many fond memories of OMA including Cadet Capers, shop class with Major Howard Shirk, modifying the old hearse with Bruce Dougherty for the cheerleaders to use, the camaraderie of the corps of cadets and all the valuable life training.
After Phil completed his studies at OMA’s Junior College in 1967, he was commissioned into the US Army the following year. Phil spent 2 years serving in Korea on active duty as an engineer. He then served in the reserves for 15 years with the rank of Captain. Phil also attended Oklahoma State University during this time, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Phil taught for three years at Kiamichi Vo-Tech and then spent 25 years as an instructor at Oklahoma State University – IT in Okmulgee teaching automotives. He has obtained certifications in a variety of automotive fields, including the prestigious title of Certified Master Diagnostician with Toyota and General Motors. Phil started his own business after retiring from teaching. All Electric LLC, Aviation Unlimited, and Sound Unlimited were all businesses he owned. In addition, Phil holds a commercial pilot’s license and is a certified flight instructor.
Phil and his wife, Debbie, have been married for 51 years and have one daughter, Julia, a son-in-law, Shane, and two grandsons. Phil is very active in his church; he has taught Sunday School in the past and is currently serving on the board. Phil volunteers his time designing and building audio visual systems for churches and auditoriums.
While recalling his early reluctance to get involved with the alumni association, Phil was overcome with emotion as he spoke about what this honor means to him. He added, “OMA played a significant role in who I am now. Although I don’t think about it every day, I live ‘Courage, Loyalty, and Honor’ daily.”
Darrell Jenkins, '68
2023 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Darrell Jenkins was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 28, 1947. He began his time at the Oklahoma Military Academy in the fall of 1963 and, after spending five years at OMA, he graduated in 1968. Darrell then attended college at Northeastern State University for two years. Darrell served in the military as a Captain and was active in the Army Reserves for 12 years. He has been a real estate developer for 50 years. Darrell and his wife, P. Kae, have a son, Allen. They have also been blessed with a grandson, Paxton Jenkins, and a great-granddaughter, Parker Jenkins.
Darrell has many fond memories of OMA that left a considerable impression on him. Some of the best ones involved his time on the OMA Drill Team and traveling to the events the team participated in together. Darrell was also involved in Bowling, the Saber Society, New Cadet Detail, Cadet Capers, was on the Vedette staff, and was in the top ten percent of his military class. Although Darrell stated his greatest challenge at OMA was adapting to the way of military life, he remembers the rabbit period as a good character-building experience. He developed lifelong friendships at OMA and learned important lessons during his time on “The Hill.” According to Darrell, one of the most valuable lessons he learned was the ability to interact with people of varied backgrounds and ideologies.
Darrell has been active in his community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Tulsa Boys Home and helping to build a home for a school teacher through a program called Habitat for Humanity. He has been a member of the National Homebuilders Association since 1971 and is also involved locally with the Tulsa Homebuilders Association. Darrell was elected to the OMA Board of Directors for a three-year term in 2022.
The virtues established by the Oklahoma Military Academy of Courage, Loyalty and Honor have remained important to Darrell throughout his lifetime. He stated that being recognized by his peers for the Distinguished Alumni Award is very gratifying for him.
Drew Shipley, '64 (Posthumously)
2023 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Drew Shipley was born on March 28, 1946, and grew up in Miami, Oklahoma. His time on the Hill began in January 1962 and he soon became a member of the OMA Radio Club. Shipley graduated from OMA in the spring of 1964. He immediately joined the army and was in “B” Company, 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry.
Corporal Shipley began his second Vietnam tour of duty on September 1, 1967. He was part of the 1st Calvary Division (Airmobile) in “Operation Pershing” on the coastal Bong Son Plains in Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam. Shipley led his squad in an ambush patrol on December 10, 1967. His company came under heavy fire from the village of Truong Lam and he was killed in action. Shipley was awarded the Silver Star for his heroic actions that day and was posthumously promoted to Sergeant. In addition to the Silver Star, his awards and decorations include the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Combat Infantry Badge. Sergeant Shipley exemplified the OMA credo of Courage, Loyalty and Honor. He was laid to rest in the Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery in his hometown of Miami, Oklahoma.
Sergeant Shipley’s former Company Commander, Dick Guthrie, wrote, “He could show flashes of insubordination, but few rivaled him in the field-craft.” Guthrie reminisced about Corporal Shipley and two other squad leaders, both being Sergeants, preparing their men for the battle that led to Shipley’s death. He said of the other two squads, “Both of them were led by Sergeants, but neither order was as crisp or well thought-out as Shipley’s had been.” On May 2, 2013, the Company B Barracks of the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia, was named Shipley Barracks in honor of Sergeant Drew Shipley. Dick Guthrie accepted the Dedication Certificate on behalf of Shipley and his family.
Jack Wilkinson, '67 (Posthumously)
2023 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Jack M. Wilkinson Jr. was born on November 7, 1947 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. All four years of high school, starting in 1962, as well as his first year of college, in 1967, were spent at the Oklahoma Military Academy. Jack attended the University of Oklahoma for two years after leaving OMA. He then served as a Weapons Platoon Leader in Vietnam.
With his father, Jack co-owned Monarch Asphalt Industries and had a successful career in the asphalt industry. Jack participated in the Chapel Foundation, Choir, Cadet Capers, the Honor Court, DeMolay, and the Saber Society during his time on “The Hill.” He was also the Guidon Editor, Chevron Society Vice President, the High School Drill Team Commander, and was part of the Honor Committee. Jack received a promotion to the position of Sergeant Major during his final year of high school at OMA.
Jack and his wife, June, made their home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Together they had one son, Brian, a daughter, Elizabeth, and one grandson Jerod Wilkinson. Jack passed away on October 3, 2011 in Fayetteville and his wife followed him less than two years later in 2013.
Richard Dixon, '68
2022 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Richard Dixon graduated from OMA in 1968. While there, he received numerous awards for his athletic achievements, including Tulsa World Player of the Week, Tulsa World 1st Team All-District and All-State Running Back, OMA Best All-Around Athlete, and he even qualified for the state tournament in wrestling. He gained a valuable set of skills at OMA, which helped him go on to a successful collegiate and professional career.
“There were a lot of things it prepared me for later on in life,” he says. After receiving a scholarship to play Division One football for the University of Tulsa, Dixon would need all the preparation he could get. He went through four different head coaches while at TU, which created an even greater challenge. “You had to go prove yourself every single time you had a different coach,” he says. And that’s exactly what he did. Dixon wound up starting as a defensive end and played with future NFL Hall of Famers like Steve Largent and Drew Pearson.
In 1972, Dixon graduated TU with a BSBA in Business Marketing. From 1976 -1981, he served as Director of Alumni Relations at TU and the Tulsa Golden Hurricane Club, and then as Director of Development. Dixon found himself looking for another challenge, though. He served under great leaders during his time at OMA, and it was now his turn to take the role. “I always had a desire to have my own business,” he says. Dixon started working at Morgan Pump, a company that sold pumping units for oil wells. After watching some of the manufacturer representatives, he thought, “Hey, this is something I could do!”
Dixon and one of his business associates decided to open OPECo, which was incorporated in 1984. Despite early challenges, such as the oil crash of 1986, Dixon persevered and grew the company into a multi-million-dollar business with eight strategically located warehouses in five states. He also served several years as Chairman of the Associates Committee on the Oklahoma Gas Association board of directors.
Dixon is retired now, although he and his partner remain 50% co-owners of the company. “I’m fully, semi-retired,” he says with a laugh.
He has plenty keeping him busy, though. For over fifteen years, Dixon and his wife mentored youth at Eugene Field Elementary and Webster Middle School. He also served as horse foreman at Tulsa Hills Youth Ranch, an organization that offers foster youth the opportunity to interact with horses and engage in other outdoor activities while learning valuable life lessons. He contributes to various missionary efforts, and he is especially interested in clean water projects.
For the past few years, Dixon has been an active member of the OMA Alumni Association. After attending the OMA 50 Year Anniversary in 2018, he decided to get more involved. “That’s when I got re-energized,” he says. Dixon now meets with several OMA Alumni members on a regular basis, and he is an important contributor through donations. “It’s kind of a unique deal,” he recalls, “getting in touch with those guys after 50 years.”
Dixon can be found at the annual reunion golf tournaments held by the OMA Alumni Association. He also enjoys spending time at his 32-acre ranch south of Tulsa; he has three horses, three miniature donkeys, three dogs, and a cat.
J. Jay Hines, '58
2022 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
For J. Jay Hines, finishing his education at the Oklahoma Military Academy was an easy decision to make. “Been in a military family, around military my whole life,” he says. “My dad went in the Army in WWII when I was about 3 years old, and stayed in.”
In fact, his enthusiasm for service was so great that he joined the military even before attending OMA, having enlisted in the National Guard at age 15. “That’s right,” he laughs, “you didn’t have to have a birth certificate back then!” Hines later transferred to the Army Reserve Unit on “The Hill” and was the Company Guidon.
Hines participated in many organizations while at the Oklahoma Military Academy. He was a talented tenor sax player and enjoyed playing in the various bands. In 1957, the Marching Band was selected as the official band when Oklahoma celebrated its semi-centennial, giving a concert on the south steps of the Capitol to open the 1957 Legislature. In 1959, thanks to a letter Hines wrote, the Drill Team and Marching Band were invited to participate in the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. He was also in the Concert Band, Rock and Roll Band, and the Dance Band — the “Kaydets”— which played countless events on and off-campus.
While in the Glee Club, Hines recalls, he met their accompanist, a local girl who would become his girlfriend. “I was the only rabbit with a date every Tuesday and Thursday night during CQ!”
By the time he graduated in 1958, Hines had received several awards for his accomplishments. He won the Athletic Ribbon for his involvement on the football and wrestling team, the Merit Ribbon, Band Award, Military Proficiency Ribbon, Outstanding Company, and Expert Marksman Badge and in 1969, won the rifle match between the cadets, instructors and alumni. Hines reached the rank of Corporal on the N.C.D., and his squad won Best Drill Squad of 1958.
After graduating OMA, Hines served in the Air Force as a Crew Chief on the C-124— the largest cargo plane at the time. Hines then attended Southwest Tech and surveyed and drafted for the Oklahoma City Board of Education and the State of Oklahoma Highway Department as well as flying for the highway department as an Aerial Observer and Planning Technician. The Boy Scouts of America offered him the position of District Scout Executive for Western Oklahoma, and later the Director of Community Relations in Amarillo, Texas due to his experiences as a longtime volunteer leader with the BSA. Following a transfer to Amarillo, Texas, J. Jay Hines finally found the profession he would stay in for the next fifty years.
After attaining a successful professional and military career, and still in his early thirties, Hines thought he would try the transportation industry. “I wanted to see more of this beautiful country; I had a wanderlust, so I decided to hang up my suit, put on some boots and gloves and hit the road! I have been an Owner Operator, Safety Director and Union Company Driver” The job has stuck, and over the course of his trucking career, Hines has travelled to all fifty states, several Canadian Provinces, and several Mexican states. He drives a truck to this day.
Hines has also maintained a commitment to civic duty, a commitment that extends all the way back to his childhood. He quickly became an Eagle Scout while in the Boy Scouts of America and was a Page in the 1955 State Legislator for Senator Walt Allen. The two years he spent at OMA instilled an even stronger sense of duty in him, and he has exemplified the values of courage, loyalty, and honor throughout his life.
He continues to give back to the community, he has been a member of Toastmasters International, the Lion’s Club, and the Rotary Club. J. Jay is a Master Mason and member of the York Rite, Scottish Rite and Shrine. He also contributes to St. Jude’s and Shriner’s Hospital, which provides free healthcare services to children with various ailments. “We have twenty-two hospitals,” he says, “but it doesn’t cost a dime, regardless of how much the people make… there’s never any charge; for braces, for surgeries, for anything, not even transportation to the hospitals.”
Hines generously contributes to both OMA projects and the RSU Endowment Fund. In honor of his contribution for the OMA Museum Renovation, he and his late wife will be recognized and honored in the conference center. He also established the J. Jay and Marlene Hines scholarship for RSU GOLD students. J. Jay Hines recently lost his wife and includes her name on everything. “Everything I do is with her by my side,” he says. “My job allows me to be home every day, so I visit her and place a fresh rose on her grave each day, ‘COME RAIN OR SHINE’ and I carry her photograph in my pocket every day.”
Hines sums up his fondness for the OMA Alumni Association simply: “I just enjoy seeing some of the guys I used to go to school with or have known a long time, being back on our beautiful campus and just reminiscing.”
Jim Tanner, '67
2022 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Nestled in one of Claremore’s historic neighborhoods sits a modest house where Jim Tanner has operated his law firm for over forty years. Once inside, surrounded by the ranchstyle furniture and old maps and photographs of Claremore, one may start to see the significance of Tanner’s practice and his involvement in the Claremore community. And if they are lucky, they’ll get to meet Tanner’s furry business partner, Fluffy, the affable stray cat Tanner took in. It is no surprise that one of Claremore’s most influential citizens spent his formative years at the Oklahoma Military Academy.
“It’s immeasurable the things you learn to do at OMA that you don’t even realize you know how to do,” he says. As it would turn out, Tanner knew how to do a lot.
In 1963, he enrolled at OMA high school as a day student. Once there, he took advantage of the school’s stellar music program by playing the trombone, baritone, and guitar in the various bands. He traveled with the Marching Band to countless places across the country, and he especially enjoyed the Dance Band. “It was really a lot of fun,” he says.
Tanner received the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and because of his discipline and many talents, he became the Commander of the Day Students. Among his many awards, Tanner received an honorary saber for his leadership abilities.
After graduating from OMA Junior College in 1967, Tanner wanted to enlist in active military service, but he was medically disqualified. Instead, he attended OU, where he received a law degree. “The other thing about going to law school,” he says, “that was probably as important as anything to me — I wanted to move back to Claremore.”
Tanner’s family has lived in Claremore since the early 1900s. “I can go out to the cemetery; there’s four generations of Tanners buried there.”
He practiced at a small firm near the Rogers County Courthouse for several years, then, in 1981, he wanted to try starting his own practice. He also wanted to take care of his great aunt’s house after she passed away. “Moving out here was a leap of faith,” he says.
It paid off. Tanner practiced diverse areas of law, grew his reputation, and eventually narrowed his specialty to real estate and probate. He is a highly respected attorney, and he has even served on the Claremore City Council. And the house, the one his great aunt’s husband spent so much time working on, remains in its original condition.
Tanner’s true success, however, is in the enormous contributions he has made to the community. “My grandmother, who was a schoolteacher, she would drill into your head ‘when you die you need to leave the world a little better than you found it.’” And he has worked diligently to do just that.
In 1991, Tanner started an organization called Safenet Services, Inc, which serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. “We started out with nothing,” he says. Tanner used his business and legal tact to secure a grant and raise funds for the organization, which resulted in the construction of a multi-milliondollar facility called the Donald W. Reynolds Family Safety Center. Safenet Services can now house far more people and provide even more services.
Tanner is also heavily involved with Grand Lake Mental Health, where he has been a board member for over twenty years and has even served as board president. Grand Lake Mental Health provides a variety of mental health services to the community, including counseling, medication management, crisis centers, and support groups — all at no cost to those with low income. During Tanner’s time with Grand Lake, it has seen massive growth, with facilities appearing throughout Northeast Oklahoma. “If you don’t take care of your mentally ill,” he says, “you’re not going to have a country, you’re not going to have a society if you can’t tend to those people that are in need and can’t help themselves.”
Tanner has also generously supported the OMA Alumni Association and helped with the upcoming renovation of the OMA museum. Over the past decades, he has attended many reunions. Tanner has fond memories of OMA, like playing bridge in Thunderbird Hall, as well as participating in the hilarious ‘Gridiron’ performances. Many of his lifelong friends were made at OMA.
He has two daughters and three grandchildren. Tanner enjoys spending time at home with his wife, Cindy, working on old cars, and he continues to play his trombone. As a member and supporter of the Claremore Civic Band, Tanner contributes to the community while doing something he loves. The band meets on Tuesday nights and plays concerts in Claremore throughout the summer. He was also the leader of a 12-piece dance band called J.T. and the Big Band for over 15 years.
Tanner offers a straightforward reason he is so committed to civic engagement and philanthropy. “Helping other people is important,” he says. “What else are we here for?”
John Helbing, '67
2021 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
“My fondest memories of OMA were spending weekends with a different cadet at his home, meeting his parents and relatives and enjoying home cooked meals,” Helbing said. “Instructor Sergeant Golden believed in me and helped me when I needed it the most. I’m forever grateful for the care and the commitment he made to ensure we had successful futures as men,” Helbing said.
After completing his freshman year at OMA, Helbing transferred to the University of Wisconsin. The 1968 draft interrupted his studies. He served in the Army for three years and then returned to the University of Wisconsin to graduate with honors in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health.
During his three years of military service, Helbing served with the special forces in the 173rd ABN and the 82nd Airborne achieving the rank of Specialist 5th Class. He was a platoon combat medic and then promoted to a company senior medic.
For his service he received the Combat Medical badge, the Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medial with Device, the Parachute Badge, the Good Conduct Medal and the Expert Marksman Rifle.
Helbing was honorably discharged from the Army in 1971 and joined the Wisconsin National Guard. He was promoted to Specialist 6th Class upon entry and promoted to Sergeant 1st Class, Medical Platoon Sergeant.
He held various safety management positions throughout his career ranging from plant safety manager to corporate safety director for Fortune 500 Corporations such as Sara lee, Chiquita, HJ Heinz and Bunge North America.
Since his retirement, his focus is on volunteer work. Wings of Hope, a non-profit that provides free air medical transport to children and adults, is a way Helbing can nurture his love of flying and helping people along the way.
In his free time, Helbing enjoys golfing, photography, hunting and fishing, scuba diving, riding his pedal bike and of course, flying.
Captain Vincent P. Mocini, ‘69
2021 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Captain Vincent P. Mocini, U.S. Navy (ret) served as the U.S. Naval War College’s first Dean, International Programs and Maritime Security Cooperation from 2003 - 2012. During that time he grew the number of foreign officers attending the Naval War College and greatly enhanced the college’s efforts to engage with foreign alumni in the years following their graduation. Under his leadership, the College initiated a series of alumni symposiums in which the leadership of the War College traveled to locations around the world to connect foreign alumni with U.S. senior military leadership, to provide strategic and operational updates from the faculty, and to allow alumni to renew mutual friendships, so important to preventing conflict. Under his leadership, the war college conducted eight symposiums in every major geographic region of the world.
Prior to that civilian government service, Captain Mocini served 30 years in the United States Navy. He served as the 24th Director of the Naval Command College (NCC) from 2001-2003. The NCC is the premier professional military education program offered to allied and friendly foreign naval officers. Prior to that, he was a member of the Naval War College faculty. From 1996 - 2000 he served in the U.S. Embassy, Rome as the Defense and Naval Attache, during which time he facilitated U.S. cooperation during the Italian-led humanitarian mission in Albania and NATO operations in Kosovo. In addition, earlier in his career, he served in joint and Navy staff assignments.
Commissioned from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1973, Captain Mocini spent much of his career on sea duty. He served as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer in USS Richard L. Page (FFG 5). During his tour, the ship won multiple service awards, including the “Battle E.” From 1980-1983, he served two tours as Engineering Officer in USS Fanning (FF 1076) and USS Halsey (CG 23). He was Flag Secretary for Commander, Amphibious Force SEVENTH Fleet in the Pacific.
In 1985, he took command of the patrol hydrofoil missile ship, USS Taurus (PHM 3). This advanced technology ship sailed in UNITAS with our South American allies. The ship also received several commendations for performance in counter-narcotics operations, including the seizure of a ship carrying 24 tons of marijuana in May 1986. After war college study and staff duty, Captain Mocini assumed command of USS Clifton Sprague (FFG 16). During his command tour again on counter-narcotics operations, the ship intercepted and seized a high-speed drug boat carrying more than 1000 kilograms of pure cocaine. The ship also participated in the first combined exercises with ships from the Russian Navy in Atlantic waters off the coast of the United States.
Captain Mocini was born in Chicago and raised in Saugatuck, Michigan. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1973, where he served in various leadership positions. In addition to theater and service medals, his personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal, the Kosovo Service Medal, and the Humanitarian Service Medal. His spouse, Ruth Ann Petree, was taken by cancer in 2015.
Darrell W. Wooster, ‘62
2021 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Darrell Wooster ’62 began his journey to OMA by following in the footsteps of his father and brother who attended OMA in the 30’s and 50’s respectively. His arrival on the “Hill”, as a rabbit, in 1961, began a lifelong love of everything OMA. It’s values, discipline, and it’s people.
Wooster states, “First and foremost, the friendships forged at OMA have been priceless. Mr. Bushong was a math professor who caught me walking across the drill field and whistled from the dining hall and said “Why aren’t you in here taking the ACT test?” I explained to him that I had to get ready for a trip to New Orleans Mardi Gras since I was on the Drill Team. Well he explained to me that if I didn’t take the test there wouldn’t be any trip to Mardi Gras. That brought everything into perspective.”
The friendships gained at OMA include David Ward, Randy Haroldson, Randy Vierling and many, many others. Wooster and Randy Vierling have followed each other’s lives since OMA and live only 3 miles apart.
Wooster would like to express his thanks to Dr. Larry Rice and Dr. Danette Boyle, two selfless people who work tirelessly for RSU and OMA Alumni Association. He would also like to thank the OMA Board of Directors members and selection committee and all those who have poured their lives into helping him and other students past and present here on the “Hill”. He states “Thank you and God Bless”.
Mr. Dave Blankenship, ‘52
2019 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Dave Blankenship graduated from Webster High School in Tulsa and attended junior college at the Oklahoma Military Academy in 1952. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball and also served on the Drill Team. Making lifelong friendships remains one of his fondest memories while at OMA.
He attended the University of Tulsa and joined the Air Force ROTC graduating in 1955. He received his wings at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma and was sworn into duty as a Second Lieutenant. He served three years on active duty, and as a Captain he finished his commitment to the Air Force by serving in an Air Force Reserve Unit as a pilot at Davis Field in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
During the Cuban crisis, he was recalled to active duty until the crisis ended. In 1962, Blankenship began working with an aerospace industry (North American Aviation) when the company was moving to Tulsa. He was tapped to set up the office and hire personnel. He continued in executive positions as the company transitioned to Rockwell International and ultimately Boeing. He provided leadership in a variety of areas from hiring to training to public and government relations in the US and overseas.
In retirement, he continues his past connections to Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, where he currently serves as consultant to the CEO. He also serves on the board of Central Bank of Oklahoma.
Blankenship joined the Air Force Association and attended his first annual convention in 1967. The Air Force Association is a national organization promoting the U.S. Air Force and honoring Airman and Air Force heritage. He never missed the spring or fall meetings until 2017. He was elected to the board, elected President from 1982-83, and served as Chairman of the Board in 1984. He led the research and construction of the AFA Building in Virginia while President and dedicated it as Chairman.
He received the National Defense Service Medal in 1962, the National Management Association Leadership Award in 1967 and the Exceptional Service Medal, an honor by the Air Force for “inspirational leadership and dedicated support of strong defense through airpower.” He also is a member of the Webster High School Hall of Fame.
Mr. Gary Good, ‘68
2019 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Prior to OMA, Gary Good’s life was all about music and sports. So when he enrolled as a Freshman in 1964, he was thrilled to win starting spots on the wrestling and baseball team and join the award winning marching band.
Admittedly, Good was much more interested in his trumpet, drum sticks and sports than the rifle range, which his top rank of Sergeant First Class reflects - but he embraced OMA completely and marched proudly as a Cadet.
Favorite memories at OMA were the two trips to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans where the OMA Marching Band got 3rd place, and performing at the Opening of the Hemisfair in San Antonio, along with the many wrestling and baseball trips. Mostly he remembers the fellowship, of not only classmates, but the instructors, coaches and administrators.
After graduating from OMA in the spring of 1968, Good returned to Oklahoma City and in the fall enrolled in Central State College, now UCO in Edmond. Majoring in Business with a minor in Music, Good soon started an entertainment agency while attending college and the same year began a professional music career as a bandleader and singer.
Booking shows and concerts for corporate and private events, Good booked and produced shows with artists such as Natalie Cole, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Toby Keith, Lee Greenwood, Herman’s Hermits, The Gatlin Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night, Paul Williams, K.C. & The Sunshine Band, The Temptations, Four Tops, Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Don Henley and a host of others.
In the mid 80s, Good added a speakers bureau to his company renaming it Gary Good Entertainment & Speakers Bureau, and began booking lectures for notables such as Bart Starr, Art Linkletter, Steve Allen, Joan Rivers, Debbie Reynolds, Robert Goulet, Barry Switzer, Olympia Dukakis, as well as many notable authors and business leaders. Most recently he secured an appearance in Dallas for Academy Award-winning actress, Diane Keaton.
After being in business in Oklahoma City for over 35 years, in 2008 Good fell in love with Oklahoma’s original state capital, Guthrie, and has since moved his entire operation there. Always enjoying people and activity, Good began adding new ventures, which includes an eclectic art gallery called Gallery Grazioso, Suite Bettie Jean Bed & Breakfast (named after his Mom), Magnolia Manor Boutique Hotel and Magnolia Moon – a wedding and music event venue (as well as his home).
Community involvement has always been important to Good. He served on the boards of The Oklahoma Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was the longest serving Commissioner on The Oklahoma City Arts Commission serving for 34 years. He’s most active today in a project he began when his father passed away in 2003. He named it “The Al Good Instruments for Kids Project” and it’s designed to collect donated instruments - clarinets, trumpets, trombones, guitars, pianos etc. and place them in homes with kids that cannot afford to buy instruments. So far they have placed dozens of these instruments and over 20 pianos.
Good’s wife Cristina has her PhD from OSU and is currently an adjunct professor there. She has two children who are also attending OSU. His brother, Ron, is editor and long-time sports writer for Amateur Wrestling News Magazine and was recently inducted into The National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Sister, Pattie, an entrepreneur lives in Phoenix. Good has two grown daughters; Margo, who lives in Wagoner and works in Pryor, and Andrea, who is living in Edmond, Oklahoma as well as two grandkids, Cass and Haleigh and four great grandkids, all living in Oklahoma within driving distance.
Mr. Tom Hargis, ‘67
2019 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Tom Hargis from Huntsville, Arkansas, graduated from OMA high school in 1965 and OMA Junior College in 1967. During the summer after his high school graduation, his father Earl Hargis, who also attended OMA, passed away.
Hargis was part of the Outstanding Company, Best Drilled Company, Best Drilled Platoon, Chevron Society, Order of the DeMolay, and Saber Society. He earned the Dean’s Honor Roll, Military Proficiency Ribbon, Merit Ribbon, Academic Achievement Wreath, Outstanding Cadet Identification Disc, an Athletic Ribbon in Baseball, and the 1964-1965 High School Business Award.
After his time at OMA, Hargis attended the University of Arkansas and graduated in 1970 from Ouachita Baptist University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Hargis, a Distinguished Military Graduate in ROTC, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Finance Corps.
Hargis retired in 1995 as a Lieutenant Colonel with more than 24 years of active duty service with assignments in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, Virginia, Korea, Japan, and Turkey. Hargis served in positions including Finance and Accounting Officer at installation and Major Command level, installation Comptroller and Budget Officer, Budget Officer at HQs Department of the Army in the Pentagon, and as Executive Officer to the Comptroller of the Army.
In addition to the Finance Officer Basic and Advance Courses, while on active duty, Hargis also completed the Command and General Staff College, Defense Resource Management Course, and obtained his MBA at Marymount College in Arlington, Virginia. He was a member of the Association of Government Accountants and the American Society of Military Comptrollers.
Upon retirement from military service, Hargis was a Senior Financial Analyst contractor working on the Army Human Resources Centralization and the Defense Travel System. In 2000 Hargis was selected as the Secretary of the Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association and took a second retirement in 2013.
Hargis has been happily married for 46 years to Sharon McCanna Hargis and currently resides in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. They have two daughters and six grandchildren.
Hargis has stated that his OMA education and military training provided him with advantages that served him well during his career in the military and civilian service. He has served on the OMA Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Bob Hancock, ‘71
2018 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Bob Hancock attended OMA for Junior College from 1969 through 1971. His goal in attending OMA was to complete the accelerated two-year ROTC Program to obtain an Officer’s Commission. During his time at OMA, he reached the rank of Captain. Hancock was a member of the Chevron Society and the Officers Club, and he received the Distinguished Military Graduate ribbon.
After his time at OMA, Hancock attended Oklahoma State University, graduating in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Hancock entered active duty in September 1973 and was assigned to Ordnance Corps, stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. He remained on reserve duty until 1981.
Hancock was hired as the Property and Facilities Manager for Bank of Oklahoma Corporation in 1978 where he was responsible for management, maintenance, leasing, and construction of all bank-owned facilities. He remained with BOK for 14 years, leaving in 1992 to start his own construction and developing business. Beginning in 1992, Hancock and his wife developed a successful full-service residential construction company building high end (more than $1 million) homes from in-house architecture and design through completion. They later branched out into commercial development and senior living facilities.
Hancock has been married to Laurie for 25 years. While he has no children of his own, Laurie has three children and eight grandchildren.
Hancock came to OMA with the goal of obtaining a U.S. Army Commission, but failed to realize how much more he would gain from his time there. The lessons learned and the sense of responsibility instilled as Cadets formed the foundation for him to gain the success that he has had in life. Standing in formation directly below the flag as it was lowered for the last time in 1971 was a deeply emotional time for him, knowing that he had been a part of such an important institution to so many people.
Bill Hayes, ‘59
2018 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Bill Hayes graduated from OMA High School in 1959. Hayes served as President of the Senior Class, earned President’s Honor Roll, Best Drilled Cadet, Outstanding Cadet ID Disk, and was editor of the “Guidon.” He was also a member of the Chevron Society, “O” Club, Cadet Capers, OMA Band, and the Honor Society while lettering in basketball and rifle team. He was the first DeMolay MC.
After receiving extensive Navy training in Aviation Electronics, Hayes flew aboard Early Warning aircraft flying 8- to 15-hour missions over the North Atlantic DEW line while based in Newfoundland and Iceland and later in similar AD-5Q missions from the USS Independence.
After his discharge from the military, Hayes joined Hughes Aircraft and worked on the first commercial communications satellite (Early Bird) program providing Europe/US 24/7 telephony. This was the dawn of the “via satellite” era. He was the Test Director for S/C in the constellation that established the first world wide communications capability.
Hayes served as mission director for the first domestic communications systems satellites for the United States, Canada, Japan, Indonesia, and India and with S/C for special applications such as aircraft-ground communications, satellite direct TV/Radio, and weather cloud cover pics/data.
Hayes managed the selection, procurement, and integration of launch vehicles for SS/L S/C from the world’s inventory and directed the planning and execution of launch campaigns at launch sites in the US, Russia, Ukraine, French Guinea, China, and Japan.
Hayes has been responsible for all aspects of satellite manufacturing including systems engineering, integration, test, launch, mission control centers, and flight operations including the design, manufacture, and operation of support equipment for these disciplines. At his retirement, SS/L was the recognized world’s leader in large reliable commercial satellites.
Hayes and his wife, Barbara, enjoy spoiling their six grandkids. He contributes to national veteran’s affairs (member of American Legion) and to fellow vets at the local veterans hospital.
Hayes believes his abilities to recognize other people’s talents/limitations, assign them appropriately, and to motivate/execute teamwork were derived through the leadership skills he attained from his OMA experience.
Steve Smith, ‘65
2018 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Steve Smith came to OMA by default. His father worked for Creole Petroleum Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey) in Venezuela. He attended the company-owned school for dependents through the eighth grade. There were no English speaking high schools where they lived, so it became necessary for him to attend a boarding school in the U.S. OMA was the obvious choice since the family was from Oklahoma.
While at OMA, Smith served as treasurer of his freshman class, was recognized on the Dean’s Honor Roll all but two semesters, and was on the Chapel Foundation. He was in the Marching Band and received the Band Award all four years. He also received the Merit Ribbon, Outstanding Company Award, Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk, and was awarded the Outstanding Military Science and Tactics Four award at the ’65 Graduation parade by General Smoller. Smith was also a member of the Chevron Society, the State Honor Society, and the Radio Club.
Smith graduated from OMA High School in spring 1965 and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma that same year. While there, he studied Mechanical Engineering and enrolled in the OU Army ROTC program. He found their ROTC to be relatively easy after four years of OMA, and as he was enrolling in the ROTC, he was asked “what would you like to be.” Smith replied First Sergeant would be OK and they let him have it. He then formed the company up and marched them to the parade field.
Smith spent the majority of his working career in the electrical utility industry. He retired from Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, where he spent 16 years as Chief Scheduler. His duties there included buying and selling energy and capacity for the member cities that make up OMPA. He then went to work for the American Electric Power company in Tulsa as an Electrical System Operator. After the northeast blackout of 2003, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation required all System Operators that operated the bulk electrical grid to be certified by the NERC. Smith held the highest certification for system operators (Reliability) for 16 years to insure the company was never in a position to lose control and encounter cascading outages, even at the expense of their own customers.
During Oklahoma’s crippling 2007 ice storm, the extensive training paid off and the majority of its customers were back online in less than five days.
During the summer months while attending OMA, Smith would fly back to Venezuela to be with his family. During this time, he served as a youth counselor at their nondenominational church summer camp, Campammento Maranatha. It was a church camp for expats as well as local kids at the beach on Lake Maracaibo. Smith was on the Board of Trustees at his church in Oklahoma City, the New Hope United Methodist Church. He has also served his neighborhood in various capacities as HOA president.
Dewey F. Wilson Jr., ‘66
2018 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Dewey F. Wilson, Jr. attended OMA from August 1964 to January 1966. His highest rank held was Staff Sergeant and he was a member of the Color Guard. Wilson was involved with the Chapel Foundation, DeMolay, New Cadet Detail and Cadet Capers. He was awarded the Military Proficiency Ribbon and Merit Ribbon.
After OMA, Wilson enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving from 1966 to 1969 followed by two years inactive reserve. In 1973, he re-entered the Air Force and served in Intelligence Operations until February 1, 1990, when he retired with the rank of Master Sergeant culminating a 22-year career. His career included positions from Intelligence Operations Specialist to Intelligence Operations Superintendent. Wilson served in various assignments worldwide. Decorations awarded to him included the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal (four awards), Air Force Good Conduct Medal (six awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal, and Korea Defense Service Medal. His professional military education included NCO Leadership School, NCO Academy, and Senior NCO Academy.
Wilson graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Graphic Arts and received a Distinguished Achievement Award. He then went on to work as a buyer in the Tulsa County Purchasing Department obtaining and managing bids for goods and services for various county departments and retired in 2005.
Wilson volunteered from 2008 to 2017 at Arms Around BA, a mission of several Baptist churches in the Broken Arrow area. He also is involved with the Military Living History group for the 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City. Wilson is also a collector of military memorabilia/artifacts from World War I to Vietnam and has provided numerous military displays around the state of Oklahoma to include displays at Ft. Sill, Tinker AFB, Tulsa Marine Corps League’s annual Medal of Honor events, the National WWII Museum (formerly the D-Day Museum) in New Orleans, and the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, Kansas.
On January 1, 2017, Wilson became Curator of the Oklahoma Military Academy Museum and was appointed to the OMA Alumni Board in summer 2017.
Wilson and his wife Nona have been married for 43 years. They have one married daughter and two grandchildren who live in Broken Arrow. In his spare time, he creates fine art graphic illustrations using various mediums.
Wilson states, “After having attended OMA, and going through the ‘RABBIT’ period, Air Force Basic Training was a breeze. OMA’s military discipline/training attributed to my success in my military career.”
Jack A. Dolman, Jr., ‘66
2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Jack A. Dolman, Jr. arrived on the Hill in the late summer of 1964 to begin school as a college freshman with the Class of 1965 and a member of the Cadet Corps. He attended OMA for two years, graduating in 1966. He came to the Hill after completing his initial six months of active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps and he joined his younger brother Paul W. Dolman, who was beginning his second year in high school at OMA.
After a Rabbit period of eleven days, Dolman was promoted to corporal in A Company. At semester, he was promoted to Battalion Sargent Major and at the end of the first year was further promoted to Second Lieutenant and platoon leader. He returned in 1966 as a captain and Delta Company Commander.
Dolman was active on campus as a member of the Ambassadors of Americanism, Outstanding Company, Chapel Foundation, Chevron and Saber Societies, Drill Team, Judge’s Bench, Cadet Capers and a cheerleader in 1965-1966. He also received honors including the Military Proficiency Ribbon, Merit Ribbon, Athletic Ribbon and following summer camp the Distinguished Military Student (DMS) designation.
Upon graduation, Dolman attended and graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1969 with a degree in radio and television journalism.
Early in his career, he worked in sales and marketing for real estate properties in central Arkansas and eventually managed a multi-office brokerage in Little Rock, Arkansas along with a start-up multi-office brokerage in Jacksonville, Florida. An opportunity came knocking in 1988 to join the development team that was building the first major continuing care retirement community in Jacksonville, Cypress Village. “That opportunity opened the door to what became a 25-year career in senior living,” Dolman said. “It was an immensely satisfying period in my life during which I was giving more than getting and serving more than being served.”
“I came to OMA by a circuitous route having done my active duty but wanted to get back into college. When Paul and I could attend OMA together, that really made the Hill, the Corps and the friendships so much more meaningful,” he said.
Dolman also had an uncle, Joseph G. Perry, who attended OMA in 1931 and 1932, receiving an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Dolman now resides in Jacksonville with his wife Marietta. Between their merged families, the couple has six children and 10 grandchildren.
Donald Roy Dowell, ‘66, ‘68
2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Donald Roy Dowell graduated from OMA High School in 1966 and Junior College in 1968. While at OMA, he received a rank of Cadet Captain and Company Commander of “A” Company. He was a member of the Saber Society, Chevron Society, Honor Court, Judges Bench, Color Guard and was a Cheerleader.
After OMA, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in accounting, economics and marketing in 1973. During this time, he served as president of the accounting and marketing clubs where he received the Floyd Lamar Vaughn Outstanding Marketing Student.
During his career, he has been active in commercial real estate in Dallas for the past 35 years earning the Dallas Business Journal’s “2007 Deal of the Year” for the relocation of Comerica Bank Headquarters from Detroit to Dallas. He also has been recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as a Real Estate “Heavy Hitter” several times in his career. Dowell has been active in the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), the oldest and largest industry organization. He was BOMA Chairman of the International Brokerage and Leasing Committee; Past President of BOMA Dallas, BOMA Texas, and the BOMA Southwest Region; and BOMA Outstanding Member of the Year for Southwest Region and Dallas. He was also BOMA Chairman of the Dallas Education Institute and member of the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors (NTCAR).
Among his many civic activities, Dowell served as a board member of Downtown Dallas, a board member of Main Street Garden Park Foundation, and chairman of the Dare to Dream Children Foundation.
Dowell has lived in Dallas since 1980 with his wife of 34 years, Marilyn. They have two children – Erin, who works for Marriott as the events planner, and Paul, who just received a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas.
Dowell credits his OMA experience with developing his leadership and organizational skills, but most importantly for creating many lifetime friends.
Robert (Rob) Fisher, Jr., ‘68
2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Robert (Rob) Fisher, Jr. attended OMA from 1966 to 1968, graduating high school in 1968. During his time at OMA, he held the positions of Squad Leader, First Sergeant and Platoon Leader. In 1967, Rob was Squad Leader of Second Semester Rabbits and then in 1968 he was Platoon Leader of Second Semester Rabbits. Rob graduated in 1968 as a First Lieutenant and his accomplishments at OMA were Outstanding Company, Best Drilled Company, Best Drilled Platoon, Chapel Foundation, DeMolay, Drill Team, Military Proficiency Ribbon, Dean’s Honor Roll, Merit Ribbon, Cadet Capers, Chevron Society, Saber Society, Best Drilled Squad, and N.C.D.
Upon graduation from OMA, Rob went into the Air Force for two years of active duty followed by two years of Reserve. In June 1970, Rob married Vickie Miles Fisher and has been blessed for 47 years with her. They have four children and ten grandchildren who all live in the Oklahoma City area.
In 1972, Rob partnered with his father and purchased Farmers Livestock Commission Company at the Oklahoma National Stock Yards in Oklahoma City and for a 12-year period Rob co-owned B&R Thoroughbred Racing Stables. Upon his father’s death in 1991, Rob and Vickie bought out his father’s half of the company. He owned and ran Farmers until 2008 and then sold it to his son. From 1980 to 1986, Rob held the office of president of the Livestock Exchange at the Oklahoma National Stock Yards and in 1986 he was asked to serve as a Director of the National Stock Yards for which he still serves. In 1999, he became president of National Stock Yards Company, which consists of Oklahoma National Stock Yards, St. Louis National Stockyards and East St. Louis Junction Railroad. For two years, Rob also served as president of the Livestock Marketing Association in Oklahoma and for six years as president of Stock Yards City Main Street. Rob also was a Director of UMB Bank for eight years and served on an advisory committee for the Southern Illinois Business Promotion for six years.
Rob cherished his time and the lifelong friends he made from attending OMA.
Charles (Charlie) D. Hatfield Jr., ‘65
2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Charles (Charlie) D. Hatfield Jr. began his journey into discipline at Oklahoma Military Academy in 1959, where he was a member of the Chevron Society and Saber Society, Honor Society, Concert and Marching Band and president of the Radio Club. He was also in command as platoon leader for day students taking R.O.T.C.
A graduate of Northeastern Oklahoma State University, Hatfield earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing/journalism and was president of Phi Beta Lambda business society and a member of Pi Delta Epsilon journalism society. He was also on the Dean’s Honor Roll.
He currently serves as a publisher of three Texas weekly newspapers, and a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. He was a reporter for the Muskogee Daily Phoenix and advertising sales for the Arlington Daily News.
He has enjoyed a career in broadcast media beginning with KWPR Radio in Claremore in 1964 with a sign-on program “Charlie’s Country Capers” as on-air personality along with responsibility in news and sales. He later worked for KRAV-FM in Tulsa as an account executive. He toured Oklahoma as an account executive for Pete Richardson & Associates, representing radio stations throughout the state calling on advertising agencies.
He formed Hatfield & Associates in 1979 as a technology-consulting firm, providing computer services in the Dallas area.
Born in 1944 at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, he grew up attending elementary schools in Tulsa. His parents divorced in 1957 and he moved in with his maternal grandparents, Henry and Hazel Richmond where he attended Jenks Junior High. A close friend, Terry Rollins from Jenks convinced him to attend OMA.
Hatfield and his wife Sheila of 27 years, moved to Ferris, Texas, in 1992 to purchase the Ferris Press, later turning the small-town paper into a conservative county newspaper taking First Place Awards for Journalism Excellence. Over the past couple decades, the Hatfields have successfully bought and published The Alvord Gazette, the Cedar Hill Chronicle, the North Ellis County Weekly Review, and the Red Oak Record.
As an NRA and Texas Licensed Handgun instructor since 2011, he has helped more than 300 students to obtain their Texas Handgun License. He also teaches gun safety courses for women only.
Hatfield, 72, has three grown children and six grandchildren, currently serves on the Ferris 4A Economic Development Corporation and has served on the Ferris Planning and Zoning Commission for more than 20 years. He also holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as public information officer for Texas Civil Defense.
In his spare time, Hatfield designs graphics and literature for corporations, does a little computer-repair and spends time remodeling his local offices and home.
George William “Bill” Shaffer, ’63
2017 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
George William “Bill” Shaffer graduated from Oklahoma Military High School in 1963 and Junior College in 1965, attending all six years on the Hill. While on the Hill, Bill was on the President’s and Deans Honor Roll and named to the Oklahoma Honor Society, the Honor Court and Judges Bench. He served as President of the Freshman Class, Vice President of the Senior Class, Secretary of the Chevron Society, Secretary of the Saber Society, and served on the Vedette Staff. He earned the Cadet Identification Disc, the Military Proficiency Ribbon and the Merit Ribbon. He was a member of the marching band and later joined the drill team. Bill was named the Outstanding Tulsa Cadet in 1963. Bill was on the high school football and track teams and qualified for state as part of the mile relay team. Bill attended ROTC summer camp at Ft. Sill, and he graduated from OMA as a Cadet Major.
Bill worked for many years in direct care at Shadow Mountain Psychiatric Hospital until retiring in 2016. He is currently Manager of Sales and Marketing for Logos Staffing International in Tulsa.
Bill had been a member of Boy Scout Troop 26 sponsored by the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Tulsa before enrolling at OMA. After graduating from OMA and while attending the University of Tulsa, the troop came calling again and asked if Bill would consider becoming Scoutmaster of Troop 26 “for a couple of years.” That was in 1968. He agreed and became Scoutmaster in January of 1969 and remains in that position today, 46 years later. When Bill took over Troop 26, there were only eleven or twelve boys and no adult leaders. Today, Troop 26 has a yearly membership of nearly 200 boys each year and an adult staff of 50 trained leaders.
The troop has become the largest and one of the most successful troops in state history, generating more than 700 Eagle Scouts. Bill patterned many of the things he established in his Scout troop after things he had learned at OMA. He built a youth leadership program derived from his experiences in the Saber Society and Chevron Society. Discipline problems in the troop are handled by the boys themselves as elected members of the Troop 26 Honor Court. At OMA he learned firsthand that pride, uniforming and tradition are key ingredients to success, and he has modeled those traits to thousands of Tulsa scouts.
Bill planned encounters for his scouts with three American presidents (Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr.) President Ford actually came to a troop meeting to present Eagle Scout Awards to 13 troop members. Bill authored and published two books, each a compilation of letters to scouts from some of America’s heroes from all walks of life, including Medal of Honor recipients, presidents, senators, congressmen, astronauts, admirals and generals, professional athletes and entertainment celebrities. “In The Words Of...” and “From The Hearts Of Heroes” each containing letters addressed to the scouts. They included letters from Jimmy Doolittle, Mamie Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Billy Graham, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, and the witch from the Wizard of Oz, Margaret Hamilton. A third book, “Voices From the Mountain” is currently in progress and will include a letter from OMA graduate General Edwin Ramsey.
Bill has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally with numerous awards, such as the Silver Beaver, the Silver Antelope and the Outstanding Scoutmaster Award from the National Eagle Scout Association. He was included in a National Task Force of Scoutmasters to review the draft of the 10th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook. Bill organized and sponsored an annual Oklahoma Special Camporee for 35 years, providing a special camping opportunity for mentally and physically challenged individuals, an event that was honored by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation. Bill’s troop was recognized as the Special Olympic National Organization of the Year in 1980, alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Royals.
Bill has led his troop to summer camping adventures in Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Alaska and Hawaii, has attended 10 BSA National Jamborees, 10 High Adventure expeditions to Philmont Scout Ranch, a canoe expedition at Sommers Wilderness Canoe Base in Canada, and monthly campouts every month for 46 years. Someone added this up to be a total of four years of sleeping in a tent.
Bill’s Eagle Scouts are now taking their places in the business and professional communities all across the country that include doctors, lawyers, coaches, teachers, business leaders, law enforcement and the military. One of Bill’s Eagle Scouts was recently promoted to Brigadier General in the USAF. Bill’s impact on his community has been exceptional.
A life of service to his community that had its beginning “on the Hill.”
Mr. Gary Easley, ‘59
2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Upon graduation from Cassville High School in 1957, he was awarded an athletic scholarship to attend Oklahoma Military Academy. During his two years at OMA, he was on the Student Senate, was named Class Secretary, earned the Merit Ribbon, earned Military Proficiency Ribbon and was in the top 10 percent of his military classes. He also lettered in football, basketball and baseball. Attending OMA proved to be a major factor in his future life and career path.
After graduating from OMA in 1959, he continued his education at Southwest Missouri University in Springfield, Missouri, on a football scholarship. Following graduation, he taught social sciences and coached in Missouri for three years. In 1965, he was contacted by OMA for a teaching and coaching position in the high school division and decided to return to “The Hill.” While teaching and coaching, he earned his master’s degree in education from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. After he moved from the high school to the junior college division of OMA, he continued to teach in the social sciences department as well as coaching the college golf team.
When the decision was made to close OMA, he remained on faculty during the transition to Claremore Junior College, which is now Rogers State University. Until his retirement, he continued to teach, was Division Director of the Social Sciences Department and coached the college men’s golf team. His teams qualified and placed in the national junior college golf tournament several times.
Along with his career in teaching and coaching, he served as an official for the Oklahoma High School Officials Association in football and basketball for 45 years. In 2015, he was admitted to the Oklahoma Officials Association Hall of Fame.
He was instrumental in the formation of Heritage Hills Golf Course in Claremore. He also serves as Trustee on the Rogers County Public Facilities Authority for Heritage Hills Golf Course.
“My years as a student at OMA and the impression they made on me, a farm boy from Missouri, made an easy decision to return to teach and coach. I was a student, teacher and coach on The Hill for 30 years.”
He resides in Claremore with his wife, Janice, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.
Mr. Robert Frank, ‘69
2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Robert [Rob] Frank attended OMA from 1966 to 1969, graduating high school in 1967 and junior college in 1969. During his time at OMA he held the positions of Squad Leader, First Sergeant, Platoon Leader, Company Commander and S-2. Frank was a member of the Chevron Society, Saber Society, Honor Court, Rabbit Drill Team, New Cadet Detail, and Dean’s Honor Roll. In1968 he received a Lifesaving Commendation from the American Red Cross and OMA for saving the life of a 7 year old boy.
During his Rabbit Period, Frank was involved in an accident involving an impaired driver resulting in injuries that would keep him from military service. He elected to remain at OMA knowing he would never receive a commission.
Upon graduation, Frank attended the Texas State Law Enforcement Academy graduating in 1970 and served as a police officer in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. In 1973, he was selected to become a member of a newly formed state law enforcement agency specializing in fugitive apprehension and tactical operations [SWAT].
Frank attended U.S. Marine Corps Special Weapons School, Urban Warfare School, Sniper School, and Air Assault School. He was assigned to the Dallas Fort Worth Metro unit serving in a variety of assignments across north and west Texas until 1979. During his time of service, Frank was awarded Police Officers Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Award, Community Service Award and Lifesaving Award, achieving the rank of Tactical Sergeant [Staff Sergeant].
In 1977, he earned his MBA from Southern Methodist University and in 1979 elected to leave law enforcement to enter the corporate world, where he enjoyed a 30-year career holding positions from Manager Trainee to Global Operations Officer for Lee Apparel Company, Rawlings Sporting Goods and Superior Battery Inc.
In 2009, Frank made the move from the corporate world to the non-profit world, where he presently serves as Global Chief Executive Officer with Bible League International, a Chicago-based Christian service non-profit with 65 offices around the world.
Rob resides in St. John, Indiana with his wife Teresa. They have two children, Brandy Frank Lasiter, who resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with her husband Jason and son Henry; and Travis Frank, a senior at Anderson University, where he is majoring in criminal justice.
Frank currently serves as a member of the OMA Alumni Association Board of Directors and Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee.
Mr. Allen Luther Lewis, ‘61
2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Allen Luther Lewis graduated from OMA Junior College in 1961, received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Indiana University in 1963, an MBA in Economics from The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1972, and completed the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1993.
While at OMA he achieved the rank of Cadet Second Lieutenant and received the Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk, Academic Achievement Wreath, Merit Ribbon, Military Proficiency Ribbon, Top Military Science Award, Top Science Award, DA Superior Military School Cadet Medal, and the Association of the US Army Medal. He was on the Dean’s and President’s Honor Roll, and the New Cadet Detail. He was a member of the Chevron and Saber Society and the Sports Editor of the ’61 “Vedette.”
He was commissioned a Lieutenant of Artillery and entered active duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in September 1963, and served on Active Army for 28 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1991. Assignments included Germany (1964-67), South Vietnam (1967-68), South Korea (1972-73), and at several Army installation and other locations in the U.S. He was assigned to the Army Staff at the Pentagon (1982-83), where he was the Army’s focal point for Space Activities. He graduated from several Army schools, including the Field Artillery Officers Advanced Course, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army War College. His last assignment was as Chief of the Army Element, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force and the Senior Army Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space. Decorations received include the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters and was awarded the Army Staff Identification Badge and the Air Force Master Space Badge.
After retiring from the Army, Allen joined Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, in their Washington Operations Office in Washington, D.C. He retired in 2003, as Director, Advanced Space Programs, Space and Strategic Missiles Sector, Lockheed Martin Corporation Washington Operations.
Allen married Colleen Goeppner of Jasper, Indiana, on November 30, 1963. They have two sons: Allen II, born at Stuttgart, Germany in 1967, and Michael, born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1969; and four grandchildren.
Mr. Tom Murray, ‘57
2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Tom Murray was born in Lubbock, Texas and raised in Hobbs, New Mexico, and Del City, Oklahoma. He entered OMA for his junior year in high school and left after his first year of junior college. As an OMA cadet, he was on the President's Honor Roll and received the Outstanding Cadet Identification Disc all three years. He won the Reserve Officers Association award and also was selected as the outstanding graduating cadet in the high school class of 1957. In junior college, he was the president of his freshman class, became a Distinguished Military Student (DMS) and was Commander of the Outstanding Company for the second semester. In his three years at OMA, he earned seven Athletic letters, was the Tri-Captain of the 1956 high school team and received a football scholarship for his freshman year in junior college.
In July 1958, Tom entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Graduating in June 1962, he entered the Army as Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He served 20 years before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. During his Army service, he served in a wide variety of command and staff jobs. He was a paratrooper (30 jumps), a Ranger and an Army Aviator qualified in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft. As an aviator, he accumulated more than 2,400 flying hours of which more than 1,300 were logged during two years in Vietnam. After acquiring a master’s degree in management from the University of Arizona, Tom was designated as an Army Research and Development Coordinator. In this capacity, his concern was the establishment of Army materiel requirements and management functions related to the Army materiel acquisition process. Some results of his efforts are the
AH-1Q Tow Cobra attack helicopter, the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter and the UH-60 Blackhawk utility helicopter. Among his Army decorations are three Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars, a Navy Commendation Medal with “V' for valor, two Meritorious Service Medals and 28 Air Medals.
After retiring from the Army, he entered the aerospace industry as the Army Business Development Manager for Lear Siegler in Santa Monica, California. Later, he became Director of New Products, concerned with technology transfer and license agreements with foreign countries. Moving to Litton Data Systems in 1995, he became the Business Development Program Manager and later Director of the Rapid Deployment Systems Strategic Business Unit (SBU). Litton was purchased by Northrup Grumman in 2001. With Northrup, Tom became the Business Development lead for the improved glass cockpit for the USMC AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters. In a partnership with Bell Helicopter, he worked on the Japanese, Turkish and Korean Advance Attack helicopter programs. He retired from Northrop in late 2002 and moved to The Villages, Florida with his wife of 54 years, Rae Ann, whom he married on the day of his graduation from West Point. They have two children, Michelle and Tom III, and six grandchildren of whom they are very proud.
“I was just a boy when I entered OMA, but what I learned there, from the faculty and my fellow cadets, prepared me well for the rest of my life,” he says.
Mr. Clark Dean Webb, ‘61
2016 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Clark Dean Webb was born in Oklahoma City in 1943. An “Army Brat,” Webb had lived in 17 different locations prior to attending OMA in fall 1957. The only grade he started and finished in the same school was the 6th grade. Prior to starting high school, Webb and his parents decided it might be best to attend OMA so he could get a consistent educational philosophy during high school.
During his four years at OMA high school, he was in Headquarters Co. except for the first semester of his senior year when he was Battalion Sargent Major. He was a member of the band, football team and baseball team all four years and was on the wrestling team during his senior year. He also was part of the Best Drilled Company, Platoon and Squad, the Chapel Foundation, Chevron Society, Guidon Staff, Vedette Staff, Honor Court, O Club and New Cadet Detail. He received the Military Proficiency Ribbon and Outstanding Cadet Identification Disk, and he received the Outstanding High School Athlete Award upon his 1961 graduation.
His fondest memories of OMA are athletics; band trips to Oklahoma City, San Antonio and New Orleans; bivouac; and the train rides from Oklahoma City back to Claremore on Sunday evening.
Following graduation, he went to Washington, D.C. where he worked as a clerk for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) while attending George Washington University for a year and a half and then to El Paso for another year and a half while attending Texas Western College. In 1964, he attended McMurry College in Abilene, Texas, where he graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Army, Military Intelligence from 1967 to early 1971, after which he went directly into the FBI where he served as a Special Agent from 1971 until his retirement in 1996. While in the FBI, he was assigned to offices in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Puerto Rico, New Orleans and Houston.
He married Terry A. Hewell in 1968 and they have two sons, Aric of New York City and Sean and wife Crystal of Evergreen, Colorado.
Throughout his life, he has been active in various church activities relating to youth, young adults and mission trips. From 1998 to 2003, he and his wife were Co-Youth Directors at their church in Seguin, Texas. From 1979- 2001, he was active in officiating football, soccer and volleyball. He was a volunteer with the Salt Lake City Olympic Torch Relay from Atlanta to Salt Lake 2001-02. He serves on the Boards of the Guadalupe Valley Habitat for Humanity and the Texas Lutheran University Wesley Foundation. He serves as a member of the Seguin Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, Guadalupe County Emergency Response Team, Guadalupe County Master Gardener’s and a volunteer with the Guadalupe County Children’s Advocacy Center.
His recollections of OMA were somewhat of a blur, until he returned to his first reunion in the early 1990s. Since then, some memories have been refreshed, but he always seems to dwell most on his classmates who gave their lives in Vietnam. He is proud to have been able to attend OMA and is truly humbled by being recognized as a Distinguished Alumni.
Mr. Frank Landrum, '60
2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
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.
Harry Simpson, '65
2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Harry 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, Simpson 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 45 years, he served as a senior draftsman at Midwest Detailing, LLC, where he also served as a primary structural steel detailer for high profile projects, nationally and internationally. He also co-owned several companies, including McKim Solar Energy Systems, Simpson Cleaning Service, Aero-Sport Inc., Excel Telecommunications and Midwest Detailing Inc.
Simpson was 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 had three grandchildren: Savannah Evans, Mike Bright and Samantha (Bright) Robinson. He served as an elder at the Claremore Seventh Day Adventist Church and has preached several sermons throughout northeastern Oklahoma.
Colonel Alvin B. Cobb, USA Retired, '63
2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Colonel Alvin B. 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
2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
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
2015 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
"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.
Mr. Wade Medbery, '53
2014 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Wade Medbery attended school in his hometown of Clinton, Oklahoma until 1949 when he enrolled at Oklahoma Military Academy, where he graduated from high school in 1951 and junior college in 1953. While at OMA, he participated in sports and many other activities, listing his favorite as the drill team due to their many demonstrations in support of sporting events as well as many parades.
Following Medbery's graduation from OMA, he remained in the US Army Reserves until he was commissioned in 1957 in Armor. He retired in 1984 after 31 years as a Lieutenant Colonel. He served in major management positions in the Army for his last 14 years.
After his retirement from the Army, Medbery spent 1988 in Boston, serving as general manager of a diesel manufacturing company and helping with their reorganization efforts. Then he spent 1989 and most of 1990 in Palestine, Texas, where he served for a year as city manager.
Beginning in September of 1990, he worked under contract as the manager of a space experiment for the US Army Intelligence Agency in Fort Huachuca, Arizona until he fully retired in 1992. During his years in management, Medbery was a working member of the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club in Palestine, Texas. Upon full retirement, he and his late wife Barbara began travelling full-time throughout the United States.
In 1999, Medbery was elected to the Board of Directors for the OMA Alumni Association and served as president from 1999-2001. He worked with other Alumni to improve the museum, provide input for yearly reunions, and help search for alumni not known to the active roster. He was also instrumental, along with P.D. (Bud) Inhofe, in establishing the South Padre Island Mini Reunion in 1999,which has been held every fall since and has become a beloved OMA Alumni tradition.
Concerning his award as OMA Distinguished Alumni for 2014, Medbery states he is humbled by the nominations for this honor: "The best part of my attendance at OMA was the friendships made that I still maintain today."
Mr. William Ramsay, '61
2014 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Bill Ramsay graduated from high school in 1961 after spending two years at OMA, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. He later graduated from The University of Tulsa with a bachelor's degree in business management.
Bill began his 40-year career in telecommunications at Southwestern Bell, working in the mailroom while attending college. After graduation, he held many different positions in Oklahoma and in St. Louis including sales, technical support and marketing.
He then joined AT&T at the time of the breakup of the Bell System. In 1986, Bill was hired by WilTel, a subsidiary of The Williams Companies in Tulsa at the time of the rapid growth and development stages of WilTel and WorldCom.
During this time, he worked with a team of executives in planning and executing several acquisitions, along with negotiating large domestic and international customer contracts. The company was ultimately acquired by Verizon, and he retired from there in 2007 as Director of Wholesale Accounts, responsible for a sales and technical support group with an annual revenue base of $300 million, including several top 10 global accounts.
Since leaving Verizon, Ramsay has been developing a portrait and event photography business, and has also been engaged in the development of an internet marketing company.
Bill has been involved in civic and community activities for many years including the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Junior Achievement and the Adopt-a-School program. He has also been very active in the Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association, serving as President of the Board of Directors for the past three years.
Bill and his wife Deann reside in Tulsa and have three children and four grandchildren.
Ken Colley, '69
2013 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Ken Colley has led by example, giving back to the community and organizations to make a difference in the lives of others. A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Colley came to OMA for high school in 1966, graduated the following year and attended junior college at OMA, graduating in 1969.
He served as class president and vice-president of his OMA junior college class and was an officer in the Saber Society. He was the 1968 recipient of the U.S. Meyers Award for the "cadet with high morals and leadership."
From his first moments at OMA, he showed determination and excellence, as seen by his early recognition as a Rabbit in 1966 with Golf Company and in his service as a member of the best drill squad and best drill platoon, both in 1966.
Active on campus, Colley earned an athletic ribbon in baseball, an academic achievement wreath and was a member of the Guidon staff, drill team and rifle team. He earned the rank of cadet lieutenant colonel and served as a battalion executive officer at OMA. He also attended Fort Benning Summer camp in 1967 and the Fort Sill summer camp in 1968.
A second-generation military man, Colley followed the path of his father Ralph, who retired as a major from the U.S. Army in 1964 after a 24-year military career serving in WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. His older brother Chad also had a military career and was a commissioned first lieutenant serving in Vietnam.
After graduating from OMA, he earned a business degree from John Brown University. Colley continued serving his country as a member of the 188th Air National Guard in Fort Smith from 1971 through 1976. Colley counts among his fondest OMA memories presenting Bob Hope with a saber during an appearance in Tulsa. When the comedian saw Colley and Cadet Col. Brack Jackson approaching with the sword, he joked, "I've been drafted," much to the crowd's amusement.
Colley owns and operates a successful real estate appraisal company in Fort Smith. He also is an active volunteer with the Rotary Club, where in 2013 he will begin serving a one-year term as the district governor for parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Colley has been actively involved with the Rotary's youth exchange program, hosting young people from Germany, Brazil, Columbia, Hungary, Taiwan and South Africa. He also led a group study exchange team for a one-month event in Brazil in 2008.
Colley has been married to his wife, Lynn, for 41 years and they have two children, KC Colley and Courtney Fulton, and one grandchild, Archer Colley. Colley also has been selected as the adjutant for the 2013 OMA Alumni Association reunion.
Mr. Carlos Galvez, '60
2013 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
"Changing one's nationality is not an easy decision," he says. "However in my case, it became evident that this is my home and this is where I wanted to raise my family."
Galvez was sent to Oklahoma when he was seven. He attended St. Joseph Preparatory School in Muskogee, which had a school culture that made him feel very much at home when he transferred to a military academy. He attended high school at OMA for his senior year, graduating in 1958. He then went on to graduate from OMA junior college in 1960.
At OMA, he achieved the cadet rank of captain and served as a group adjutant during his time at OMA. He was a member of the Chevron Society and the Saber Society, and was recognized as best drilled cadet for 1958-59. Active on campus, he also was a member of the drill team, cadet capers, judge's bench, Vedette staff, honor court and new cadet detail. He played basketball and was a member of the bowling team. He fondly recalls his memories of trips taken with the drill team and representing OMA in the public.
Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962-1968. He went on to work in the hotel and construction industry while going to night school at the University of Tulsa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1969.
He parlayed that experience into a nearly five decade career in the pipeline construction industry, where he worked internationally in the Middle East, South America, the Far East and Africa. He has been involved with major pipeline projects, including the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Trans-Ecuadorian Pipeline, IGAT Pipeline in Iran, and the Alto Magdalena in Colombia just to name a few.
Following his retirement, he has provided consulting services working in the pipeline industry to assist companies in maximizing their assets.
"The education received while attending OMA prepare many of us to pursue careers in various fields. Though our enrollment was never very large, I am still quite impressed by the number of successful individuals generated by this institution," he says.
Curtis E. McMenamy, '64
2013 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
Curtis E. McMenamy's fondest and worst memory at OMA was leaving the Hill at graduation. Although he knew he was leaving to make his mark in the world, leaving the school after five years felt like moving away from family.
McMenamy graduated high school at OMA in 1962 and junior college at OMA in 1964. McMenamy also attended Edison High School in Tulsa and Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
During his time at the Hill, McMenamy played football, was on the golf and swim teams, and was high school basketball team captain. He was awarded the Athletic Ribbon, the Military Proficiency Ribbon, the Sharp Shooter Badge, the Merit Ribbon, and was on the Dean's Honor Roll. He was awarded the Best Drill Company, Outstanding Company, the Best Drill Platoon, and was a Drill Team Commander. He was in Cadet Capers, the Chevron Society, DeMolay, the Drill Team, Elks Club, Judge's Bench, New Cadet Detail, Officers Advisory Committee, and the Saber Society. He was also DeMolay Master Councilor, Rifle Expert M-1, a Saber Society Officer, a Chevron Society Officer, Junior College Class Vice President, a Distinguished Military Student, part of the Honor Court and attended the Fort Sill Summer Camp.
McMenamy served in the U.S. Army from 1967-69 and was in the reserves until 1978 as a Captain. He was president of the National Welding Supply from 1969-85, president of Comutel Inc from 1985-1989, and general manager of Omni Tech from 1989-1992. He worked at Spray Tech/Sears Home Improvement from 1992-2003 where he was director of regional sales. McMenamy has worked at Home Depot since 2004.
McMenamy has been an active community volunteer, including with Shriners Hospitals for Children, as president of the National Welding Supply Association, sponsoring the Make-A-Wish-Foundation for six years and was a past chairman of the United Way. During a United Way fund drive while he was in active duty, McMenamy was number one in the Fourth Army in dollars collected and percentage of goal, for which he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
He and his wife Sandra have four children - two sons and two daughters. He also has five grandchildren and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ali -- but don't call her a dog ,it hurts her feelings.
McMenamy says it is a great honor just to be nominated as a Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame nominee. "Living 1,300 miles away from OMA, [I] wish I could have done more to support the Alumni," he said. "When I look over the names of those honorees who came before, I see many military heroes, men who have performed exceptional public service and those who have supported OMA for years after they left the Hill. Again, it's a great honor just to be thought of with these great individuals."
Mr. Joe C. Daniel, ‘69
2012 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
A second-generation Oklahoma Military Academy alumnus, Joe C. Daniel (’69) credits his time on the Hill – three years of high school and two years in junior college – as influential to his successful military career of more than 40 years of active and reserve service.
Daniel followed the footsteps of his father, Major (Ret.) Gilmore C. Daniel, on the path to OMA. While the younger Daniel was a student, he was a member of the Chevron Society and the Saber Society. He also was honored as a member of the Dean’s Honor Roll and received a Merit Ribbon. His prowess with firearms earned him designation as a rifle expert M-1 and captain of the rifle team.
“OMA helped me learn and obtain those qualities that I have needed to achieve my goals in life,” Daniel says. “Honor, courage and loyalty have been key words in my life and have helped guide me during hard times.”
Retired from active duty as a colonel in 2008, Daniel received numerous awards throughout his distinguished career, including the Defense Superior Service Medal upon retirement. During his career, he served in Germany, Panama, Korea, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Great Britain and Holland. He also served as a Department of Army Civilian, Dual Status Tech with more than 23 years of DOD service. In his final military post, he served as assistant division chief assigned to Joint Staff J-1 Personnel Readiness Division from 2002 to 2008.
Outside of his military career, he served more than 15 years in state and local law enforcement. He also worked as an executive at a savings and loan and operated his own real estate appraisal company in Bartlesville.
Currently, Daniel works for the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the director of operations for civilian expeditionary workforce and recently completed a 10-month detail serving as human resource advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff’s Afghanistan Pakistan Hands Program to prepare officers for working within the culture of that region.
Daniel has been married to his wife Susan for more than 26 years. He has three daughters and three grandchildren. He remains proud of the OMA legacy and is working with the administration to explore reinstating ROTC to the Rogers State University campus.
“The history of this school has been second to none,” Daniel says. “We have had a large core of outstanding OMA alumni over the years to be proud of. I’m proud to have attended a school my father attended.”
Lawrence Lee Lantow, ‘38
2012 Distinguished Alumni Honoree
A 1938 graduate from OMA junior college, Lantow was active on campus, especially as a trombone player in Capt. Kelly’s marching band, concert band and symphony orchestra. The band was honored in 1936 with the opportunity to play on national radio. As a student, he excelled academically and was recognized with inclusion on both the president’s and dean’s honor rolls. He also was a master counselor of the Claremore DeMolay chapter.
In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and went through basic training at Ft. Knox and later attended officer candidate school. He became an instructor at Ft. Knox and then a platoon leader, serving in France, Belgium and Germany during World War II. For his service during the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded a Bronze Star.
In addition to Lantow, three of his brothers also served in the U.S. military. His brothers Bob and Norman also were paratroopers during WWII and dropped into France during the D-Day invasion. Both were killed in 1944 during separate battles. His little brother Bill followed his brothers’ footsteps, serving as a Marine during the Korean War. Following the war, Lantow left the military and began a long, fruitful career with Hope Lumber and Supply Co. in Tulsa, Okla. During more than 36 years with the firm, he worked his way up through the company and ended his career there as its vice president. Lantow also has been active in the community, including more than 19 years with Project Get Together, now known as the Community Action Project of Tulsa County, helping low-income individuals and families with food, lodging, educational resources and health care.
He has been an active member of the Tulsa Executive Club, the Optimist Club and Junior Achievement. He served as director for the Oklahoma Lumbermen’s Association, a board member of the Southwood Club, and various leadership roles for Eastside Christian Church since 1952.
Lantow and his wife Ola Mae have two daughters, Linda and Jeanne, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
- 2011: Robert “Blaine” Jones, ’53 | Warren M. Rodgers, ‘62
- 2010: Thomas M. Hanna '54 | David l. Morgan '45
- 2009: Thomas Anderson ‘55 | Dr. William Daugherty ‘65 | Dr. Ralph “Ken” Johnston ‘61
- 2008: Gerald Breeding ‘55 | Charles Emerson ‘55 | Scott Graham ‘53 | Gene Howard ‘43 | Gene Little ‘56
- 2007: Lt. Colonel Warnock Harwell ‘43 | Mack Palmer ‘52 | Lt. Colonel Walter Price ‘43 | Stewart “Smokey” Stover ‘56
- 2006: James E. Burt III ‘55 | Thomas I. Simpson ‘66 | Willis C. Hardwick ‘56
- 2005: Ron Acree ‘54 | Lew Beach ‘53 | Hugh Miller ‘53 | Bert Rosson ‘54
- 2004: B.G. Jones ‘64 | Dr. Donald K. Routh ‘55 | Jack E. Harris ‘55
- 2003: Bob Corlett ‘62 | Bill B. Harris ‘54 | P.D. “Bud” Inhofe ‘50 | Norman Shaw ‘53
- 2002: Col. Glen Burke ‘53 | Larry Burton ‘63 | Robert Wright ‘53 | Daniel York ‘65 (posthumously)
- 2001: Randy Vierling ‘63
- 2000: Daniel E. Duggan, Jr. ‘53 | David Raper ‘65 | John Tatroe ‘39 (posthumously)
- 1999: Jarold B. Casey ‘29 | Lt. Sam Trizza, Jr. ‘63 (posthumously)
- 1998: Col. John W. Russell, Jr. ‘43 | Herbert N. Standeven ‘53
- 1997: Col. Benjamin F. Boyd ‘43 | Anthony M. “Tony” Massad ‘47 | Harry H. Poarch ‘53
- 1996: Dale Covington ‘54 | Gary Henry ‘50
- 1993: Col. James R. Spurrier ‘38 | Lew Ward ‘50
- 1992: Leon Lloyd ‘43 | Lt. Col. Edwin P. Ramsey ‘37
- 1991: Col. John E. Horne ‘39 | George Hudman ‘53
- 1990: Alex K. Adwan ‘48 | Col. James H. Morrison ‘52
- 1995: Jack W. McMichael, Jr. ‘41 | Ted B. Wright ‘52
- 1994: Col. Robert B. Lewis, ‘40
- 1989: Carroll A. Reddic, Jr. ‘36
- 1988: Col. Barry H. Grabel ‘64
- 1987: Lt. Gen. William E. Potts ‘41
- 1986: Dr. Carl E. Ward ‘60
- 1984: James R. Elder ‘67
- 1983: Dave T. Faulkner ‘33