RSU Foundation Hosts Annual Claremore Scholarship Breakfast

Pictured L-R: RSU President Dr. Larry Rice, RSU student Naomi Beckwith, Senior Director of Development Tonni Harrald, Presenting Sponsors James T. Giles and Fonda Ryan and Vice President for Development Steve Valencia

Supporters of Rogers State University gathered today for the annual Claremore Scholarship Breakfast, sponsored by the Rogers State University Foundation. The event is a fundraiser for the Foundation’s annual scholarship fund.

Tom Giles and Fonda Ryan of Pryor served as presenting sponsors. The breakfast is traditionally a fall event but COVID restrictions postponed the 2020 gathering.

“The Foundation has endured a year of cancelled events and the breakfast will be our first major in person fundraiser,” Steve Valencia, vice president for development at RSU, said. “Everyone felt it was important to bring people back together and begin the process of moving forward.”

Organizers hope to raise $30,000 for the annual scholarship fund, which aids students with demonstrated financial need.

“We have received a tremendous response from our breakfast sponsors and donors,” Valencia said. “Our students are grateful for the assistance they receive. These scholarships can sometimes make the difference between a student having to pause studies or moving forward to complete a degree.”

RSU Psychology major Naomi Beckwith, a junior from Owasso, shared words of gratitude and appreciation for the attendees support of student scholarships and bright futures. Beckwith is a single parent and non-traditional student who returned to RSU to complete her degree while caring for her disabled mother. 

“Scholarships and grants relive the burden for many students. Because of your investment, I am able to concentrate fully on my studies, with the assurance that I will complete my educational goals. Thank you for your generosity. Your continued support ensures that students like me have the opportunity to pursue, continue and achieve our dreams,” Beckwith said.

The Foundation is planning to resume fundraising events soon in its other campus communities of Pryor and Bartlesville. Also, in the works is a return of the annual Scholarship Dinner and Auction. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 18 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

An institutionally-related charitable entity, the Rogers State University Foundation, Inc. is an independent not-for-profit corporation that encourages and supports charitable giving for the benefit of Rogers State University. The Foundation acts as the principal organization through which charitable gifts are made and administered in support of RSU students and programs.

For more information about student scholarship opportunities or to invest in the lives of RSU students, visit