RSU Public Television will broadcast this year’s Carl G. and Gladys L. Herrington Distinguished Endowed Lecture, featuring Dr. Vincent Orza, at 10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31, and 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 6.
Orza is an author, small businessman, television news anchor, university professor, former candidate for Governor of Oklahoma, and Dean of the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University. The title of his presentation was “The Guy on Top of the Mountain Didn’t Fall There.”
In November, Orza was appointed President and CEO of KSBI Television in Oklahoma City with the purpose of reprogramming the station. Orza has created several new daily and weekly programs including two live talk shows, a sports magazine, seasonal specials and several other offerings. In addition, he added a new slate of syndicated programs and formatted the station to achieve a dominant presence in the marketplace.
Prior to accepting the position as president of KSBI, Orza spent more than five years as Dean of the Meinders School of Business at Oklahoma City University.
His business career included 22 years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eateries Inc., a company he founded and developed into a national restaurant chain, operating coast to coast under the names of Garfield’s Restaurant and Pub, Garcia’s Mexican Restaurants and Pepperoni Grill Italian Bistros. During his tenure at Eateries, Orza grew the company from an idea to over $100 million in annual sales.
Orza began his television career as a guest on a local talk show which led to a full-time position as business and economics editor and news anchor for KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City. In 1984, he left television to create Eateries Inc. Twenty-two years later, he sold the company to return to television, providing KWTV-TV with regular business and economic commentary and analysis during his tenure as Dean of the Meinders School of Business.
Orza is also author of the book “When I Want Your Opinion I’ll Tell It to You,” a light-hearted, nostalgic look at growing up as a second generation Italian-American.
The late Carl G. and Gladys L. Herrington established the Herrington Distinguished Lectureship Endowment through the Rogers State University Foundation in 1989. The Herrington family initiated the lectureship endowment as a way to provide educational opportunities to RSU students and the community. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education provided matching funds for the endowment.
Mr. Herrington, a retired Exxon executive, served on the RSU Foundation Board of Directors and was a long- time supporter of the university. In 1990, RSU awarded him the Jefferson Fellow Award. The university’s Herrington Hall, which houses the RSU School of Business and Technology, was named in honor of the Herrington family in 1995.
Mr. Herrington’s sister, the late Ms. Margaret Herrington, established the Margaret J. Herrington Endowment through the RSU Foundation. She was born in Tecumseh, Okla., and educated at the University of Oklahoma, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and at Oklahoma City University, where she received her law degree.