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

The Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2004.

The recipients will be honored at the annual Oklahoma Military Academy Reunion June 11-12 at Rogers State University in Claremore.

The Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards represent the highest honors that can be bestowed upon an alumnus of the Oklahoma Military Academy. Currently, more than 1,500 alumni remain active with the OMA Alumni Association.

This year, nearly 200 OMA alumni, spouses and guests will return to RSU’s “College Hill” to attend a variety of reunion activities including the Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni Awards Ceremony on June 12.

Inducted into the OMA Hall of Fame will be James R. Elder of Tulsa. This year’s Distinguished Alumni include Bernard “B.G.” Jones of Gilbert, Ariz., Jack E. Harris of Kansas, Okla., and Donald K. Routh of Estero, Fla.

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

OMA reunion events will include a golf tournament, ladies luncheon and opening reception on Friday, June 11. A cadet memorial service, Hall of Fame and Distinguished Alumni awards ceremony, alumni luncheon, ice cream social, and reception, dinner and dance are scheduled for Saturday, June 12, in Post Hall on the RSU campus in Claremore.

Following is more information about the honorees.

James R. Elder
Inductee, OMA Hall of Fame

Elder is a practicing attorney with the firm of Fry and Elder of Tulsa, where he has worked in the areas of civil liability, business and corporate law, personal injury and workers’ compensation. He received a law degree from the University of Tulsa and a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. His tenure as an OMA cadet resulted in a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Upon graduation from law school, he fulfilled his active duty obligation and returned to the U.S. Army Reserves until 1979, when he was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain. He has been admitted to practice law before the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, Oklahoma Supreme Court, U.S. District Court for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma, the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jack E. Harris
Distinguished Alumnus

Harris currently owns and operates a cattle ranch near Kansas, Okla. Previously he owned 23 franchised locations of Sonic Drive-In in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky. He also was vice president of the First National Bank in Marlow and was employed in the sales division of Texaco Oil Co. in Tulsa. As a Captain in the U.S. Army, he was selected for Advanced Armored Training School at Ft. Knox, Ky., and was assigned to combat development experimental command at Ft. Ord, Calif., where he worked with scientists at Stanford University to develop war tactics for future military operations. As a Company Commander of the 14th Armored Calvary Regiment, his unit patrolled the border between East and West Germany for three years. He graduated from OMA in 1955 and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tulsa two years later. In recent years, he was appointed vice chairman of the Delaware County Conservation Board by Gov. Frank Keating. He also was named a leading conservationist in the state by Gov. Brad Henry.

Bernard “B.G.” Jones
Distinguished Alumnus

B.G. Jones is originally from McAlester. He works as a social studies teacher and football coach at McClintock High School in Tempe, Ariz. and resides in nearby Gilbert, Ariz. In 1990, his history students created a world map that was listed as the largest in existence in the Guinness Book of World Records. Since then, the “McClintock Map Makers” have created more than 65 large-scale maps in the Phoenix area. Before his tenure at McClintock, Jones was a longtime teacher, coach and co-owner of Ridgewood, the leading private secondary school in Metairie, La., a suburb of New Orleans. He also served as chairman of the board of directors for the school. He received a master’s degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. During his years at OMA, he was a trumpet player in the marching band, a member of the drill team and a cheerleader during football games. He drove his 1947 Pontiac Hearse to each football game, where it became a tradition recognized by team members and fans. He attended both high school and college and was a student teacher at OMA. During his military career, he served as tank platoon leader, executive officer and battalion adjutant for the Second Armor Division of the U.S. Army at Ft. Hood, Tex.

Dr. Donald K. Routh
Distinguished Alumnu

Routh is one of the nation’s pre-eminent experts in child psychology, the psychology of mental retardation and the history of clinical psychology. After graduating as valedictorian from the OMA, he received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as professor at several leading institutions, including the University of Iowa, Bowling Green State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Miami, where he continues to serve as professor emeritus. He and his wife, Marion, live in Estero, Fla., where he is a volunteer faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University. During his academic career, he authored or edited almost a dozen books and has written hundreds of articles in scholarly journals on a wide variety of topics in psychology. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association in 2002, Presidential Awards from the Academy on Mental Retardation and American Association on Mental Retardation in 2001, and the Presidential Award from the Society of Pediatric Psychology in 1989. While at OMA, he was editor of the “Guidon” yearbook. Now, at age 67, Routh is pursuing his second bachelor’s degree, this one in history.

For more information about this year’s OMA reunion activities, call (918) 343-7773.