A beloved family physician, a leading public policy maker, a prominent state senator and a nationally recognized community college president are all being honored as icons for their contributions to Oklahoma State University, the city of Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma.
The 2013 Icons for OSU in Tulsa are B. Frank Shaw, D.O., past president of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association and a family practice physician in Muskogee, Okla.; Chris Benge, senior vice president of government affairs for the Tulsa Regional Chamber and former Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives; Jim Halligan, Ph.D., former OSU president and current Oklahoma state senator; and Thomas McKeon, Ed.D., Tulsa Community College president.
“The OSU in Tulsa Icons have made a significant impact on Tulsa and Oklahoma, as well as OSU,” said Howard Barnett, president of OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences. “The accomplishments of these honorees have created new opportunities for our students to further their college educations and create brighter futures for themselves and our state.”
Shaw is a primary care physician at University Heights Center Medical Clinic in Muskogee. He has served as an adjunct clinical faculty member for the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a physician mentor for OSU-COM students and was on the OSU Center for Health Sciences Physicians Advisory Council for 20 years. In 2007, the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association honored Shaw as the Doctor of the Year. He is a past president of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association and the Oklahoma Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He was appointed by Gov. Brad Henry to the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners from 2006-2012.
As Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, Benge was instrumental in brokering a deal to prevent the OSU Medical Center from closing in 2008. During his 12 years in the Oklahoma Legislature, Benge served in several key leadership positions. Following his legislative career, Benge worked in Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s administration as director of intergovernmental and enterprise development. A graduate of OSU-Tulsa, Benge joined the Tulsa Regional Chamber in August 2011 as senior vice president of governmental affairs.
Halligan served as president of OSU from 1994-2004 and provided the visionary leadership to establish the campus in Tulsa. As the chief executive officer for the OSU system, Halligan emphasized student success, increased retention and graduation rates, encouraged the development of national scholars and invested more than $200 million in facilities. Halligan also expanded the university’s research and economic development efforts. In 2008, Halligan was elected to represent the citizens of District 21 in the Oklahoma Senate.
As president of TCC, Dr. Tom McKeon provides leadership and guidance for nearly 20,000 students a year. McKeon has been with TCC since 1980, and has served in a number of administrative roles, including executive vice president and chief operating officer before being named TCC’s third president in 2004. McKeon has led an initiative to encourage high school students to attend college concurrently through the Attend College Early program and introduced the Tulsa Achieves program for graduating high school seniors in Tulsa County.
The 2013 Icons for OSU in Tulsa will be honored at “A Stately Affair” on May 20. Proceeds from the black-tie event at Southern Hills Country Club will fund scholarships for students who plan to attend the OSU Center for Health Sciences or OSU-Tulsa.
Ross and Billie McKnight are serving as honorary chairs for A Stately Affair and Bryan Close and Janet McGehee are co-chairs for the event.