Approximately 300 attendees, including 150 alumni, participated in this weekend’s annual Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association on the Rogers State University campus.
OMA, which has been hailed as the West Point of the Southwest, operated on College Hill in Claremore from 1919 to 1971 before it transitioned into the university now known as RSU.
Of the attending 150 alumni, a full one-third was from states outside of Oklahoma. The alumni, their family and friends enjoyed a two-day reunion that included many social activities and an awards ceremony inducting two men into its Hall of Fame and three men into its ranks of Distinguished Alumni. RSU President Dr. Larry Rice also was recognized for his years of service to preserving the OMA legacy.
The theme of this year’s reunion was “All Gave Some, Some Gave All” that honored the many OMA alumni who served the nation.
“We are proud to honor all those former cadets who served their country whether during war or peace,” said Bill Ramsay, OMA Alumni Association president. “During these times, it is important to remember that freedom is not free. Many have sacrificed to keep our country great and strong, including those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and whose names are etched on the OMA Killed in Action Memorial on the RSU campus. On behalf of the OMA Alumni Association, it was our honor to recognize and remember all who served.”
Twenty-six first-time attendees participated in the reunion activities, including David Stenhouse, class of ’67, who provided the keynote address during the morning formation on Saturday morning. Stenhouse currently serves as Director of the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center, which collects, assesses, analyzes and disseminates information regarding terrorism and crime prevention.
Hall of Fame Inductees
Lt. Col. George Hudman ’53, US Army, Ret. Posthumous
A 1991 OMA Distinguished Alumnus, Lt. Col. George Hudman traced his successful military and business careers to his time spent on “The Hill.” By the time he graduated from OMA in 1953, he left an indelible mark on the school and its football program, where he was recognized as a Junior College All-American fullback. Hudman is enshrined in the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and is the only player in OMA’s history to have been named an All-American. Hudman entered the U.S. Army in 1955, serving with distinction for more than two decades. Among his honors, Hudman received the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star, Air Medal with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Joint Services Commendation Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. In the private sector, he opened a successful private investigation company and later served as president and CEO a full-service brokerage firm in Arizona. He passed away in June 2012.
Brigadier General Preston Wood ’33, U.S. Marine Corps, Ret., Posthumous
A military man, business leader and inventor, Brigadier General Preston Wood called upon the education, training and lifelong friendships he developed during his years at OMA. An avid horseman and polo player, Wood lettered in polo during his last year at OMA and later played on the polo team at the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his business degree in 1936. After graduation, he began a highly successful and illustrious Marine Corps career that spanned more than two decades. By the time he retired in 1957, he had risen to the rank of brigadier general and had amassed a host of medals and decorations, including three Bronze Stars (one with Combat “V”), the Navy Unit Commendation, the American Defense Service Medal with Base Clasp, the American Area Campaign Medal with one silver star, the World War II Victory Medal, the Navy Occupation Service Medal, the China Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Wood later worked for several companies engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of a patented line of punch card trays, files and data processing equipment. He designed several improvements for the machines and held a patent for the tabulating card file tray. He passed away at home in May 1974 and was buried with full military honors at Fort Gibson National Cemetery.
Distinguished Alumni Honorees
Ken Colley ’69
Ken Colley came to OMA for high school in 1966, graduating the following year. He went on to attend junior college at OMA, serving as class president and vice-president of his OMA junior college class. 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, and his older brother, Chad, who was a commissioned first lieutenant serving in Vietnam. After graduating from OMA, he earned a business degree from John Brown University and Colley continued serving his country as a member of the 188th Air National Guard in Fort Smith, Ark., from 1971 through 1976. 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 is serving as the adjutant for the 2013 OMA Alumni Association reunion.
Carlos Galvez ’60
Born in Guatemala and sent to Oklahoma when he was seven, Carlos Galvez 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. He was a member of the Chevron Society and the Saber Society, and was recognized as best drilled cadet for 1958-59. 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. He parlayed that experience into a nearly five decade career in the pipeline construction industry, where he worked across the globe. Following his retirement, he has provided consulting services working in the pipeline industry to assist companies in maximizing their assets.
Curtis E. McMenamy ’64
Curtis E. McMenamy graduated high school at OMA in 1962 and junior college at OMA in 1964. During his time on the Hill, McMenamy was excelled in several sports and earned recognitions, including Best Drill Company, Outstanding Company, the Best Drill Platoon and was a Drill Team Commander. He 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 to 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, Make-A-Wish-Foundation and 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.
Lt. Gen. William E. Potts Award of Excellence
RSU President Dr. Larry Rice was honored with the Lt. Gen. William E. Potts Award of Excellence, which recognizes the efforts to those whose extraordinary service has advanced the OMA Alumni Association. Established in the early 1990s, the Potts Award of Excellence is selected by the OMA Alumni Board of Directors only through unanimous selection.
Dr. Rice has been affiliated with the university for more than three decades, including the past five years as its president. Under his leadership, the university has enjoyed strong enrollment growth, expansion of key academic programs, creation of one of the nation’s most competitive small-college athletic programs, and construction of several major additions to its Claremore and Pryor campuses.
A strong advocate for the OMA Alumni Association, Dr. Rice knows first-hand the power of the OMA legacy. His doctoral dissertation – “Eighty Years of University Preparatory Education on College Hill” – is a detailed history of RSU’s predecessor institutions up to that time.
An Oklahoma native, Dr. Rice began his academic career in 1979 as a full-time faculty member at RSU, which was then known as Rogers State College, where he taught classes in criminal justice, psychology and sociology. He was Director of the Applied Science Division from 1979 to 1986 and Associate Director of Academics for the Pryor campus from 1986 to 1991.
During much of this time, Dr. Rice also served as a state representative in House District 8, where he served with distinction for 18 years. From 1991 to 2008, he served in various leadership capacities at The University of Tulsa, where he helped lead its governmental relations work, as well as other administrative and fundraising operations.
The Oklahoma Military Academy Alumni Association recognized several alumni and friends during its annual reunion, held June 7-8 at Rogers State University. Recognized were, front row from left: Carlos Galvez (Distinguished Alumnus); Jan Bartlett, daughter of the late Brig. Gen. Preston Wood (Hall of Fame), Glen Burke, family friend of Lt. Col. George Hudman (Hall of Fame). Back row, from left: RSU President Dr. Larry Rice (Potts Award); Bill Ramsay, OMA Alumni Association President; Curtis McMenamy (Distinguished Alumnus) and reunion adjutant Ken Colley (Distinguished Alumnus).
The OMA Alumni Association is trying to locate more than 1,300 “lost” alumni who are not yet part of the organization’s updated database. Anyone who knows a “lost” OMA alumnus or wants more information on the OMA Alumni, please call OMA Alumni Association Executive Director Danette Boyle at 918-343-6888.