Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences will honor four outstanding individuals who have had a major impact through service to others. The efforts of 2015 Icons for OSU in Tulsa have helped improve the lives of citizens in the community, throughout Oklahoma and across the nation.
“As a land grant university, OSU has a service mission to educate, share knowledge and help others,” said OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “These four individuals embody that spirit of service and have made the world better through volunteerism, mentorship and philanthropy.”
The 2015 Icons for OSU in Tulsa are Bryan Close, president of CloseBend, Inc., Peggy Helmerich, philanthropist, Bob Jones, former executive director of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, and Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Catholic Dioceses of Tulsa.
“The Icons also have made significant contributions to OSU and our students,” said Dr. Kayse Shrum, president of OSU Center for Health Sciences. “Their accomplishments have made it possible for our students to pursue their educational goals and have created a brighter, healthier future for our state.”
Bryan Close has long been a champion of OSU and the university’s efforts in Tulsa. He moved to his mother’s hometown of Tulsa as a child and graduated from Edison High School before earning a bachelor’s degree from OSU. After several years in the restaurant industry, he joined his father’s welding fitting company, CloseBend, Inc., eventually running the family business. A well-known community volunteer, Close serves on many local and university advisory boards.
Peggy Helmerich has devoted countless hours to improving health care, education, arts, libraries and other charitable endeavors. After a brief movie career, she relocated with her husband, Walter H. Helmerich, III, to Tulsa. While raising five sons, she developed a passion for charity work. She has served on many local advisory boards. The Peggy V. Helmerich Library in south Tulsa was named in her honor, and the OSU-Tulsa Helmerich Research Center was named after Peggy and Walt.
The legacy of Bob Jones continues to impact students at OSU College of Osteopathic and Oklahoma physicians nearly 15 years after his passing. The former OOA executive director was a stabilizing influence, counselor and friend to all osteopathic physicians. He 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 instrumental in the college becoming part of OSU in 1988.
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. Since being ordained as third bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa in 1994, the Chicago native has encouraged the addition of services for those in need. More than 50,000 people receive services through the Catholic Charities’ 14 programs each year, with assistance from more than 1,650 volunteers from the Tulsa area.
The 2015 Icons for OSU in Tulsa will be honored at “A Stately Affair in Tulsa” on Monday, May 18. 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.
OSU alumni Jack Allen, chairman of HUB International CFR, and Dave Kollmann, division president for Flintco, are serving as co-chairs for A Stately Affair. For sponsorship information, visit astatelyaffair.com or contact the OSU Foundation in Tulsa at 918-594-8500.
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