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2006 Honorees

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2006 Regents' Alumni Awards Honorees

Sara Bodenhamer

Sara Bodenhamer earned her bachelor of business administration and bachelor of arts degrees in Spanish from OU in May 2000, was named as Price College’s Outstanding Marketing Graduate and was involved in the college’s JC Penney Leadership Program and Integrated Business Core program, serving as CEO to her IBC team’s project in fall 1998.

While at OU, she was named a Top 10 Freshman and was a member of several honor societies, including the Mortar Board Honor Society, Order of Omega Greek Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and Golden Key National Honor Society. Active in OU Cousins, Student Congress, the Crimson Club, Kappa Alpha Theta and the Student Alumni Board, Bodenhamer also served in Panhellenic as vice president of finance for the executive council and as junior president.

Also during her time at OU, she participated in a Study Abroad program in Madrid, Spain and twice received a President’s International Fellowship Award. She represented the university as a Walt Disney World College Program Intern and, upon completing that internship, was selected by the Walt Disney Co. to act as a campus representative for the program.

Since graduating from OU, Bodenhamer was founder and president of the OU Club of South Florida, where she organized and executed January 2005 Orange Bowl National Championship events in South Beach as well as other alumni events and watch parties. In her current position at The Ritz-Carlton, Bodenhamer has twice received the Chairman’s Circle Award for the top-level sales incentive awards program.

Nominated by Jill Quintana


Elizabeth Merrick Coe

Elizabeth Merrick Coe earned her bachelor of arts degree in letters in 1945, is a member of a family that has been involved in the life of OU for more than five decades, beginning with her father, Ward D. Merrick, who worked with then President George Lynn Cross to establish the OU Foundation Inc. Mrs. Coe is a trustee emeritus of the OU Foundation.

Coe served as president of the Merrick Foundation for several years and continues her involvement with the foundation as a trustee. The Merrick Foundation has a long tradition of support for OU, including providing funding for OU’s first fully endowed faculty chair- the Merrick Chair in Western American History.

A cancer survivor, Coe has taken a special interest in OU’s Breast Institute at the Health Science Center, serving as one of the original members of the Friends of the Institute, a community advisory board for the Breast Institute. The Merrick Foundation and many others provided funds to establish the Elizabeth Merrick Coe Chair in Breast Imaging at the Breast Institute.

Coe also is a founding member of the OU’s Presidents Associates program and served on OU’s highly successful Reach for Excellence Campaign.

She has been active in the Oklahoma Council on Libraries, Allied Arts Foundation, Kappa Alpha Theta Alumnae Association, Oklahoma City Community Council and the Presbyterian Hospital Board. Coe’s husband, the late Charlie Coe, one of OU’s greatest golfers and one of the top amateur golfers in the nation, is honored through the naming of the Charlie Coe Gold Learning Center at OU.

Nominated Anonymously


K. Paige Cole

K. Paige Cole earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from OU in 1992 and was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha women’s fraternity and serves that organization in a variety of leadership roles.

As an alumna, Cole has been a tireless advocate for OU. She has served as president of the OU Club of Tulsa for the past two years and currently is serving her third one-year term. In this role, she acts as a liaison for the university, recruits students at area college fairs and plays an active role in the annual Sooner Caravan fund-raising event, through which the OU Club of Tulsa raises scholarships. Cole has been instrumental in cultivating donors and increasing scholarships awarded to Tulsa-area students. Additionally, she is involved in the OU-Tulsa Advisory Board, created by OU-Tulsa President Ken Levit, and has been a volunteer for the Sooner Club.

Cole also is active in other organizations in the Tulsa area, including Leadership Tulsa, of which she is a graduate; Tulsa CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) Inc., for which she served in the board of directors; and the Junior League of Tulsa. She has volunteered her time to several nonprofits in the area, including the United Way, Ronald  McDonald House, Southeast Tulsa Jaycees; and 101st Open and Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma.

Nominated by Tracy Kennedy & Kristin Ware


Ronnie K. Irani

Ronnie K. Irani earned his bachelor and master of science degrees in petroleum engineering from OU in 1980 and 1988, respectively, and was active in the India Student Association while a student. Since graduating, he has served his alma mater in several capacities, including being a member of the Michaela F. Price College Board of Visitors, Sarkeys Energy Center Advisory Board, Mewbourne Petroleum and Geological Engineering Advisory Board and International Programs’ Board of Visitors.

In addition, he established the Ronnie K. Irani International Student Endowment at OU to support and encourage international students through scholarships and leadership opportunities; created the Dominion Scholars Program, which supports multicultural engineering students in the OU College of Engineering; and created the Dominion E&P Scholarship in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering.

Professionally, he has served on the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board of Visitors; Oil and Gas Recovery Technology Review Panel, funded by the Department of Energy to support and enhance research in oil recovery technology; and the Industrial Advisory Board of IPEC.

Before becoming president of RKI Exploration and Production in 2005, Irani was executive vice president of Dominion Exploration and Production, headquartered in Oklahoma City.

Nominated by W. Arthur Porter.

Dr. Krista M. Jones

Dr. Krista M. Jones earned her doctor of dental science degree from OU in 1981, and was a member of the President’s Leadership Class, Mortar Board, Tassels and Kappa Alpha Theta at OU. Additionally, she was selected as a Top 10 Freshman.

She has served her alma mater as president and executive committee member of the College of

Dentistry Alumni Association; as charter member and trustee of the college’s J. Dean Robertson Society; and as a member of the university’s Reach for Excellence campaign. She also regularly hosts receptions at her home to help recruit new donors for the college, has used her private dental office in Edmond as a preceptor site for dental students since 1983, has delivered numerous presentations to OU dental students and has made one of the first planned estate gifts in this history of the OU College of Dentistry.

Professionally, Jones has been active in numerous organizations, including the Oklahoma County Dental Society, for which she served as president; Oklahoma Dental Association Oklahoma Association of Women Dentists; American College of Dentists; Academy of Dentistry International; American Dental Association and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She also has been active in her community, including the Edmond Medical Center and Edmond Area Chamber.

Nominated by Stephen K. Young, DDS, MS


Pete J. Klentos

Pete J. Klentos earned his bachelor of science degree in geology in `1957, was a member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and served in the Army ROTC at OU. He has since contributed his time and financial support to many areas of the university, including the school of Geology and Geophysics, Alumni Affairs, the Athletics Department and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History. He has been instrumental in fund-raising projects for the Sarkeys Energy Center, of which he is a Founder, as well as for scholarships and a wide range of other academics and athletics programs.

Klentos was a member of a group of OU alumni in the oil and gas business that implemented the plan for the Conoco Oil Pioneers of Oklahoma Plaza at the Same Noble Museum. Currently President of the OU Club of Lafayette, he also is a life member of the Alumni Association and has been a President’s Associate for 25 years. A successful Businessman, Klentos serves as director of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists.

Nominated by David L. Maloney.


Kenneth D. Lawson

Kenneth D. Lawson earned his business management degree in 1975, was active as an OU student in the Information Systems Club and received several university scholarships as well as a Phillips Petroleum Special Minority Scholarship.

Lawson is a longtime OU supporter who for the past four years has served as president of the Oklahoma City/Norman Chapter of the OU Black Alumni Society and Friends and as a chapter’s liaison with the National OU Black Alumni Society. He has been a driving force in fund raising for the chapter’s Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament, held in conjunction with OU Diversity Enrichment Programs and OU Alumni Affairs, which has resulted in the awarding of 69 scholarships totaling almost $100,000 in tuition waivers. In addition, Lawson works tirelessly to recruit sponsors to ensure that the chapter’s fund-raising efforts are successful.

Lawson coordinated the chapter’s “Trailblazer Award” selection process and presentation the past two years, during which Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Tom Colbert and Oklahoma Court of Appeals Judge David Lewis were honored.

Nominated by Oscar B. Jackson.


Tim Schnoebelen

Tim Schnoebelen attended OU in 1966 and 1967 but stopped just short of graduating after his father suffered a heart attack, is a member of a family of Sooners: both of his brothers attended OU, one of whom was a member of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band in the mid-1950’s and the other who earned a master’s degree in social work in 1968.

While at OU, Schnoebelen worked in the back shop as a linotype operator for student paper, The Oklahoma Daily. Also during his college days he worked weekends and holidays at the Mooreland Leader. After his father’s heart attack, he and his wife took over operation of The Leader and purchased the business I 1972.

In 2005, Schnoebelen was one of the 25 other journalists to be presented with a Half Century Club plaque and pin by the Oklahoma Press Association, joining his late grandfather and father, both names Omer, in receiving that designation. Additionally, The Mooreland Leader won three awards in Division 7 as well as first place in Community Leadership, second place in Editorial comment and fourth in Sports Coverage.

Nominated by Gary Scnoebelen


Glen P. Shoop

Glenn P. Shoop attended OU as a pre-med major from 1938 to 1942, left OU before earning his degree to serve in World War II as a pilot. While at OU, he was commissioned in the ROTC. Also while attending OU, the family with whom Shoop lived introduced him to William Bennett Bizzell, OU’s fifth president, who had just retired from the presidency. In later years, Shoop- who served as the Bizzells’ summer driver and general employee- credited Bizzell with teaching him his “social graces.”

In 1946, after an honorable discharge from the Air Force with the rank of major, he went to work for Braniff in Dallas as a pilot, where he served as a captain on DC3s, DC4s, Boeing 735s and other aircraft, also flying military personnel to and from Vietnam. He later was promoted and selected to fly the Concorde- and honor accorded only six American crewmen and only two captains. He retired from Braniff in 1980 after working for the company for 34 years.

Because of Shoop’s involvement with the reorganization plan of the company following bankruptcy, shoop was appointed to the board of directors of the new Braniff.

Nominated by Keith Jackson


John F. Snodgrass

John F. Snodgrass earned his bachelor of science degree in business in 1949, was active in Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the Navy V/12 officer-training program during World War II at OU.

A dedicated alumni leader, he has served on the Michael F. Price College of Business’s Alumni Council and on the OU Health Sciences Center Board. He has participated in presidential and provost search committees, was active in OU’s Reach for Excellence Campaign and, earlier, its Centennial Commission and is a trustee emeritus of the OU Foundation.

A life member of the OU Alumni Association and an Honored President Associate, he has made gifts that benefited a wide range of other university projects, including the arts, golf and campus beautification. He also played an important role in securing major gifts from the Noble Foundation and Samedan Oil Corp. for the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

Snodgrass serves on the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Arts Institute and has served on the boards of the Noble Foundation, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, OG&E, Southern Oklahoma Memorial Foundation and various banks.

Snodgrass has been honored with induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Distinguished Service Award.

Nominated by David L. Maloney.