RSU Claremore Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast Raises $48K for RSU Student Scholarships

  • Man and two women standing for photograph.
    RSU Claremore Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast attendees included Tonni Harrald, senior director of development (from left); RSU President Dr. Larry Rice; and RSU alumna Victoria “Tori” Record.

With the support of businesses, organizations and individuals from the Claremore and Rogers County communities, the RSU Foundation raised $48,000 at the Claremore Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast to fund scholarships for RSU students.

Held Thursday, March 28, the RSU Claremore Scholarship Fundraiser Breakfast is an annual fundraiser which provides funding for scholarships for students attending Rogers State University in Claremore, Pryor and Bartlesville.

RSU President Dr. Larry Rice offered opening remarks.

“Thank you all for being here. We appreciate your loyalty, your generosity and your support of this event which is all about raising money for our students,” he said. “Your work helps us to continue to make a difference. Without your support, we couldn’t do what we do for our students.”

Rice then recognized the work of RSU faculty members and recognized softball coach Andrea Vaughan, who recently became the all-time winningest coach at Rogers State University.

Following Rice’s remarks, RSU Senior Director of Development Tonni Harrald recognized sponsors, donors, and contributors, after which, she introduced the guest speaker, RSU class of 2017 graduate Victoria “Tori” Record.

“Through the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many amazing students, one of whom I would put in that category today – Tori Record,” Harrald said. “Not only was Tori an exceptional student in the classroom, but she also worked a full-time job while attending Rogers State, and she was so grateful to receive a Foundation scholarship each year while she was here.

“She was a medical microbiology student and I didn’t know what she was going to do with her career when she left RSU, but I did know two things. One, I knew that she was going to be a success, and two, that she was going to lead other people to be successful in whatever they do. She just has that type of personality,” she continued. “She touched me from the first time she came into our office and brought a tray of cookies – she and her mother came in – I’ll never forget it. We knew that the help we were able to give her really meant so much to her and to her family. Your support over the years has helped make Tori’s future a bright one, as it has so many students here at Rogers State.”

Record then took the stage and offered her words of gratitude and encouragement to the crowd.

“I graduated from Kellyville High School and graduated in a class of less than 100 people,” she began. “When I was trying to decide where to go to college, RSU was an easy choice for me. I have very, very fond memories of my time here.

“Even though it’s been years since my time here, I remember the first time I made a 100 on one of Dr. Jerry Bowen’s physics tests. He quickly became one of my favorite instructors. Like so many of my other instructors, he worked very hard to help his students be successful,” she said. “There are still many RSU professors that I reach out to today.

“The standard here is that RSU’s professors genuinely care about their students. Every major has professors that care about and support you and everything you do,” she said. “You’re seen here. You’re not just another number. Students are always the priority here. I’ll be graduating in May with my doctorate in healthcare administration from OSU Tulsa – something made possible by the solid educational foundation and encouragement I received here at RSU. Everything done here is done to help the students be successful. I just can’t express to you how grateful I am to have been a recipient of the Foundation’s generosity. Thank you.”

Vice President for Development Steve Valencia offered closing remarks.

“For the past few years, one of the hot topics being discussed by leaders across the state has been workforce development. Anyone involved in local economic development will tell you that Oklahoma lacks the skilled workforce to maintain and attract businesses. We do not have enough educated citizens to fill many of the jobs required by employers, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics or what we commonly refer to as STEM education.”

He then shared how RSU is making a positive impact to bridge that gap.

“According to the most recent data provided by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on RSU’s performance in workforce development, RSU’s total headcount enrollment was 3,850 with 3,755 students pursuing degrees supporting Oklahoma’s top 100 critical occupations, and 432 of those students pursuing STEM degrees,” he said. “The data also shows that RSU conferred 728 degrees with 688 of those in programs supporting Oklahoma’s top 100 critical occupations, and 91 in STEM programs.”

“Scholarships play an ever-increasing role in that journey from student to college graduate, and the RSU Foundation is committed to the mission of assisting students and families with the financial responsibility of paying for an RSU degree,” he said. “Your investment – and it is an investment – in scholarships help with the futures of Claremore, Rogers County and northeast Oklahoma, so thank you for supporting our students.”

For more information about the Rogers State University Foundation or to make a donation, contact Tonni Harrald at [email protected] or visit