During the Oklahoma Military Academy’s Reunion held June 1-2 at Rogers State University, the OMA Alumni Association awarded the prestigious Lt. Gen. William E. Potts Award of Excellence to Col. John E. Horne (posthumously) and to Dr. Danette Boyle.
The Lt. Gen. William E. Potts Award was established in 2005 and is awarded at the discretion of the OMA Alumni Association Board of Directors. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and commitment to the alumni association with the same degree of excellence that Lt. Gen. Potts demonstrated in his personal and professional life, not only during his time as a cadet at OMA, but also in the years that followed, leading to his achievement as the highest-ranking alumnus of the Oklahoma Military Academy.
Randy Vierling, OMA Class of 1963, presented the first award posthumously in honor of Col. John E. Horne. The award was accepted by his daughters Mary Faulkner of Claremore and Bonnie McKeever of Tulsa. Col. Horne is survived by Mary and her husband Dave of Claremore, Bonnie McKeever of Tulsa, four grandsons and one great grandson. Col. Horne was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie, grandson Taylor Erwin Faulkner, parents W.W. and Grace E. Horne; two brothers and three sisters.
Col. Horne USAF (Ret) was born in1919 in Chickasha, Okla. At the age of 14, he convinced his parents to allow him to attend military school. He graduated from OMA high school in 1936 and junior college at OMA in 1939. Upon graduation from OMA, he attended the University of Oklahoma. Before graduating from OU he was called to active duty in October 1941 by the U.S. Army Air Corps. Col. Horne would later earn a bachelor’s degree in economics, magna cum laude, from St. Olaf College in 1953 and a master’s degree in liberal arts from the University of Oklahoma in 1978.
Col. Horne’s distinguished military career spanned 30 years. Upon retirement from the Air Force in 1968 he was appointed president of Oklahoma Military Academy and served in this capacity until 1971. He later joined the New York Life Insurance Company as an agent and field underwriter. He retired in 1994 but remained active with the OMA Alumni Association. In 1991 he was awarded the OMA Distinguished Alumni Award and the Hall of Fame Award in 1995.
Bill Harris, OMA Class of 1954 presented the second award to Dr. Danette Boyle, vice president for development. Boyle has been instrumental during her 30 year tenure ‘on the hill’ in helping to promote and preserve the rich history and traditions of the Oklahoma Military Academy.
Early in her career, Dr. Richard Mosier, president of Claremore Junior College, asked her to assist the OMA Alumni Association in re-activating their organization. She worked with OMA cadets living in the area in developing an organization that would attract cadets from all over the U.S. back to their alma mater on a regular basis. Today, hundreds of cadets come back to College Hill for the annual OMA Reunion, participating in activities that last throughout the weekend.
Boyle has worked alongside presidents Richard Mosier, Roger Randall and Joe Wiley, as well as with the OMA Alumni Association, in organizing the annual reunion, the establishment of the Distinguished Alumni and Hall of Fame Awards, which are presented each year at the reunion, publishing of the OMA story in the book, “Voices From The Hill,” establishment and ongoing operations of the OMA Museum, securing funds which have established The Troop 40 Cavalry Endowment, Fifties Endowment, Sixties Endowment, as well as many other scholarship endowments and planned gifts benefiting both RSU and the OMA Museum.
A member of the OMA Alumni Association recently said “Beyond the call of duty should be Danette’s middle name.” Boyle resides in Tulsa with her husband Ron and son Matthew.