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OU’S Largest College To Honor Award Winners

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Chef Rick Bayless


Bayless graduated from OU in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and went on to become one of the most highly regarded chefs in the world, focusing on Mexican cuisine. Bayless is best known for winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Master. He has won the highest possible order awarded to foreigners by the Mexican government, the Order of the Aztec Eagle, for contributions to Mexican culture. Through his study of Mexican foodways, cuisine and culture, Bayless has contributed to international recognition of Mexican food as complex, rich and historically important.

Bayless is a successful restaurateur and owns eight world-class restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Topolobampo in Chicago. He stars on his own Emmy-nominated PBS television series, Mexico-One Plate at a Time, now in its 11th season. He is the author of eight cookbooks, explaining and demonstrating the pre-Hispanic origins of contemporary Mexican cuisine and its importance to Mexican culture. His books include Rick Bayless 's Mexican Kitchen, winner of the Cookbook of the Year at the 1996 IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Awards.  

Dr. Frank Higginbottom


In 1968, Higginbottom received his bachelor of science degree from OU with a major in chemistry and a minor in physics. He then attended the Baylor College of Dentistry, graduating in 1971 with honors. Upon his graduation from dental school, Higginbottom joined the U.S. Army. In 1974, after two years of service, he returned to Dallas and opened his private practice of esthetics, restorative and implant dentistry in the Baylor University Medical Complex.

During his career, he also served on the staff of Baylor University Medical Center, Garland Memorial Hospital, Baylor College of Dentistry, and currently is a professor in the Department of Restorative Sciences and Graduate Prosthodontics and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Periodontics at the University of Texas in San Antonio. He has published extensively and made numerous presentations related to dental research both nationally and internationally while maintaining an active dental practice and dedicated involvement in his profession. As a member of the International Team for Implantology in Switzerland, Higginbottom has played an important role in developing dental implants into the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.

Brooke S. Murphy, J.D.


Murphy is one of the top trial attorneys in Oklahoma and has been a trailblazer for women throughout her career after being named the first female partner at Crowe & Dunlevy, Attorneys and Counselors at Law. She graduated from OU with a bachelor of arts degree in history and earned her juris doctorate from the University of Wisconsin School of Law in 1975. She joined Crowe & Dunlevy that same year.

A past president of Crowe & Dunlevy, Murphy has served on the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Board of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Inc. as well as the Oklahoma City University School of Law Executive Board. A Master of the Bench of the Luther Bohanon Inn Court and the past president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, she also has been a member of the Local Civil Rules Committee for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and the Magistrate Selection Panel for that Court.

Active in the community, she has received the Mona Lambird Spotlight Award, The Journal Record Leadership in Law Award and the Lawyers for Children Service to Children Award.

Joseph Trimble, Ph.D.


Trimble is an unquestioned leading contributor to the field of psychology and Native Americans, with a record spanning over six decades. Besides his expertise in indigenous issues, he is a recognized authority in multicultural psychology. Because of this expertise, he was asked to chair an APA committee on infusing multicultural issues throughout multicultural psychology textbooks. Still highly active as a scholar, he has published over 200 articles, chapters, books and technical reports, and he has served on over 60 professional committees and advisory boards, including consulting activities

Trimble received his bachelor’s degree from Waynesburg College (now University) in 1961 and pursued graduate studies in psychology at the University of New Hampshire, Harvard University, and OU, where he earned his doctorate in social psychology 1969. Currently, he is a distinguished university professor of psychology and a research associate at Western Washington University’s Center for Cross-Cultural Research and the President's Professor at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Among his many awards and commendations, and as evidence to both his scholarly and community and civic contributions, Trimble was the 2017 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s highest award, the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychology in the Public Interest. He also was the 2004 recipient of APA's Peace and Social Justice Award.

George Henderson, Ph.D.


Since joining the OU faculty in 1967, Henderson’s name has become synonymous with efforts to promote ethnic diversity and interracial understanding on the OU campus and throughout the country. He and his wife, Barbara, were the first African-American homeowners in the city of Norman. When Henderson joined the OU faculty, he became the third African-American faculty member on the Norman campus.

Now professor emeritus of human relations, education and sociology, Henderson achieved several other firsts during his OU tenure, including selection as the first African-American dean of a degree-granting college on the Norman campus when he was chosen to head the College of Liberal Studies and as the first African-American professor in the state to occupy an endowed chair when he was appointed S.N. Goldman Professor of Human Relations. Henderson also founded and served as chair of the Department of Human Relations at OU.

Although he retired from the university in 2006, Henderson continues to teach on a part-time basis. He has garnered more than 50 university and community awards and honors during his time at OU, including, in 2011, the university’s highest honor, the Doctor of Humane Letters. The Henderson-Tolson Cultural Center and Henderson Scholars Program at OU bear his name, and students continue to benefit from his mentorship. He has written 34 books and 50 articles and is a sought-after speaker and consultant who has mentored generations of civil rights leaders in Oklahoma and across the country.