Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
OSU in Tulsa

Icons for OSU in Tulsa

Read about the 2017 Icons for OSU in Tulsa

The Icons for OSU in Tulsa are individuals who have demonstrated significant contributions to OSU-Tulsa, OSU Center for Health Sciences, the city of Tulsa, the state of Oklahoma or humankind. Meet past recipients of this honor:


Bryan Close

Bryan Boyd Close has long been a champion of OSU and the university’s efforts in Tulsa. He was born in Kearney, Neb., during World War II and traveled around the country due to his father’s military service. He moved to his mother’s hometown of Tulsa and fell in love with the vibrant community. He graduated from Tulsa’s Edison High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from OSU. In 1974, his father founded the welding fitting company, CloseBend, Inc., and hired Close to do accounting. He eventually joined the company full time and has remained with the family business for more than 40 years. Close is a well-known community volunteer, currently serving on many local advisory boards, the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the OSU College of Human Sciences Partners Association, and is a member of the OSU President’s Fellows. He was also co-chair for the wildly successful 2013 A Stately Affair in Tulsa.


Peggy Helmerich

Peggy Helmerich has devoted countless hours to improving health care, education, arts, libraries and other charitable endeavors. She earned degrees from Gulf Park College and Northwestern University before launching a successful career as an actress, co-starring in eight movies for Universal-International. After only three years, Helmerich retired from show business and relocated with her husband, Walter H. Helmerich, III, to his hometown of Tulsa. While raising five sons, Helmerich developed a passion for charity work. She served on the Tulsa City- County Library Commission from 1973-1997, was chair of the organization from 1982-1984 and was a member of the Tulsa Library Trust from 1981-1994, serving as president from 1981-1984. The Peggy V. Helmerich Library in south Tulsa was named in her honor, and the Helmerich Research Center at OSU-Tulsa was named after Peggy and Walt. She continues to volunteer with numerous community organizations, including the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Garden Center and Friends of the OSU Library.


Bob E. Jones

The legacy of Bob Jones continues to impact students at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and D.O.s in Oklahoma nearly 15 years after his passing. As executive director of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association from 1969-1999, Jones was known as a stabilizing influence, counselor and friend to all osteopathic physicians. Jones played a major role in the establishment of the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, the nation’s first freestanding state-supported college of osteopathic medicine, and was a driving force that led to the college becoming part of OSU in 1988. During his tenure at OOA, the number of osteopathic physicians in Oklahoma increased from 300 to 1,200, with more than half serving in rural communities. He provided counseling to students and helped found the Oklahoma Educational Foundation for Osteopathic Medicine, which provides scholarships to students of osteopathic medicine. He authored The Difference a D.O. Makes, which is provided to osteopathic medicine students across the country.


Bishop Edward J. Slattery

A champion of the underserved, Bishop Edward James Slattery has helped thousands of Oklahomans receive food, shelter and health care as the result of his leadership of Catholic Charities of Tulsa. A Chicago native, Slattery was the second of seven children born to William Edward Slattery and Winifred Margaret Brennan. He then attended St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, where he received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity and also obtained a master’s degree from Loyola University. He was ordained a priest on April 26, 1966 for the Archdiocese of Chicago and served as associate pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Parish from 1966 to 1971. He began his service with the Catholic Church Extension Society in 1971, working as vice president through 1976 and president until 1994. While working at Extension, Slattery was appointed associate pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish and later served as pastor. On Jan. 6, 1994, Pope John Paul II ordained Slattery as the third bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa.

Past Icons


B. Frank Shaw, D.O.

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.


Chris Benge

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.


Jim Halligan, Ph.D.

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.


Thomas McKeon, Ed.D.

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.


Robert M. McCullough, D.O.

McCullough is an internist/hospitalist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa. He is a former professor at the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and trustee of the OSU Medical Center. In addition, he has served in different capacities for the American Osteopathic Association, the American Osteopathic Foundation and the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association.


Michael P. Johnson

An active community leader, Johnson is the president and chief executive officer of the J&A Group. He retired as senior vice president and chief administrative officer of Tulsa-based Williams Companies in 2008. He currently serves as board member of the Oklahoma Conference for Community and Justice, the Tulsa Community Foundation and the Oklahoma Affiliate of the Health Care Service Corporation. He also previously served on the OSU-Tulsa Board of Trustees in several leadership roles.


Ebb Reeves, D.O.

Reeves is a retired family practitioner and former chief of staff at the OSU Medical Center in Tulsa. He helped organize the OSU Medical Center Trust and supported the 2009 legislation that allocates $5 million a year to support the hospital’s operations. He now serves as trustee of the OSU Medical Center. In April, he received the “Doctor of the Decades” award from the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association in honor of his successful career.

H.A. and Mary K. Chapman

H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust

The H.A. and Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust is an organization originated by Tulsans H.A. Chapman, an independent oil and gas producer, and Mary Chapman, a nurse. The Chapman Trust provides support for nonprofit organizations involved in a wide variety of charitable purposes including education, health and human services, arts and culture, civic and community interests, and nature and wildlife.