2008 Regents' Alunni Awards Honorees
Lee Ann Bratten
As an OU student, Bratten participated in the Campus Activities Council and Student Alumni Board. She was named a Letseizer Silver Medalist, a Pe-et Top 10 Senior, and Big Woman on Campus both as a junior and senior, among many other honors. She also served as president of Delta Gamma sorority and spent two terms on the Student Congress Ways and Means committee. Upon graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in economics, she traveled to Glasgow, Scotland, as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. After beginning her career at OU, Bratten was named director of internal communications at Sonic, America’s Drive In, where she is directly involved in the Annual Franchisee Convention, internal publications and employee communications.
Throughout the years, Bratten has remained a dedicated member of the university family. She is a President’s Associate and currently serves on the board of directors of the OU Theatre Guild. She also is a supporter of Sooner Stilettos, an organization dedicated to providing OU women’s basketball players with successful female role models. Each year, she generously volunteers her time during OU’s Commencement. Bratten also works closely with several community organizations, including the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, Infant Crisis Services and Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation.
Nominated by Suzanne Greenfield
A native of Seiling, England is a noted meteorologist, author and television personality. He graduated with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and meteorology in 1965, and was one of the first graduates of OU’s School of Meteorology. He is the author of four books, including Those Terrible Twisters (1987) and Weathering the Storm (1996). In addition, he has appeared in countless television programs and is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Emmys from the Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In 2007, a bust of England was sculpted to honor him as one of the “100 Heroes and Outlaws” of Oklahoma’s first 100 years.
During his long and distinguished career, England has never forgotten his alma mater. He has served on the board of visitors for the former College of Geosciences and the College of Arts and Sciences as well as on the advisory board for the School of Computer Science. He offers internships and mentoring opportunities to OU meteorology students, and was one of the lead speakers at the dedication of the National Weather Center in 2006. He frequently shares his expertise with OU’s meteorology classes, and speaks at hundreds of schools and organizations throughout Oklahoma.
Nominated by Frederick H. Carr
During his time at OU, Livingston was a member of Phi Beta Delta fraternity. Since earning his degree in political science in 1967, he has worked tirelessly to promote awareness of OU’s excellence. His service to OU in the Houston area in particular has been invaluable. He serves on the board of directors of the OU Club of Houston and is the founder of the OU in HOUston Speaker Series, which has brought numerous OU faculty members to that city to share their expertise with OU alumni and other community organizations. He plays an active role in recruiting prospective students and representing the interest of OU, frequently volunteering at college fairs in the Houston area. He also is involved in assisting OU graduates find jobs in Houston. He played an essential role in organizing the only Players’ Salute to Coach Switzer, which attracted over 125 former players and a sellout crowd of more than 700 Sooners fans and was the largest OU event ever held in Houston.
In addition to being an asset to the university, Livingston is a dedicated member of the Houston community. He has served on the board of advisers of the Houston Symphony and the New Music Society of Houston. He is an active member and adviser to the Houston World Affairs Council and the Council of Foreign Relations, Houston Committee. He has served in many capacities with the Independent Petroleum Association of America and was the first president and co-founder of the Houston Producers Forum.
Nominated by Barry Feuerborn
Cindy Hefner Merrick
Shortly after earning her bachelor of science degree in physical therapy from OU in 1987, Merrick joined, and later became director, of the physical therapy department at the Charles B. Goddard Center on the OU Norman campus. While there, she was known for her dedication to students’ educations and the well being of patients as well as for her competitive internship program. Also during her time at Goddard, she was coordinator of the Wellness Committee, a member of the Staff Executive Council and the Athletic Council, and the recipient of the Outstanding Staff Member Distinguished Service Award.
Merrick went on to found Therapy in Motion, a company known for its outstanding quality of medical attention, where she continues her support of education by providing internships for OU students. She has served in several leadership positions in the medical community, including as president of the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Association and as a board member of the Oklahoma Physical Therapy Foundation.
Merrick extends her standard of excellence and devotion to helping others in her community. She is active in the United Way and the Norman Public Schools Foundation, and established a fund for 9/11 survivors and families. She is the founder and president of Wellness in Norman and the co-founder of Citizens Organized to Recycle Our Environment. She also has served on the board of directors for Cleveland County Big Brothers/Big Sisters and as chairman of the Special Olympics.
Nominated by College of Allied Health
Pattye L. Moore
While at OU, Moore was a McMahon Scholar and a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1979 with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and public relations, she went on to build a successful marketing and business career. From 1992 to 2004, she worked at Sonic Corp. in a variety of senior management positions, which included serving on the Sonic board and as president of the 3,000-unit restaurant chain. She was named one of the top 100 marketers in the United States by Ad Age and one of the 50 most powerful women in food service. She also has been the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, given by JayMac—the alumni association of OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication—and was named the Arthritis Foundation Top National Volunteer in 2006.
During her service as chair of the board of visitors for Gaylord College, Moore’s energy and innovation have paved the way for many progressive endeavors. She has overseen the development of the Gaylord Prize for a leading journalism professional, to be awarded for the first time this year; the endowments of many scholarships; and she provided a gift to name a room in Gaylord Hall after a much-loved professor. She also has initiated a workshop for women seeking to return to the workplace and served on two search committees for Gaylord Chairs. She is the co-author (with Scott Aylward) of a book on leadership development, Confessions From the Corner Office: 15 Instincts That Will Help You Get There. She currently serves on the boards of directors for ONEOK Inc., QuikTrip Corp. and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, and speaks and consults with a variety of companies.
Nominated by Joe Foote
Amb. Edward J. Perkins
Perkins has a meritorious history of service to both the university and the nation. During his government career, he represented the United States as ambassador to Liberia, Australia and the United Nations. In 1986, he became the first African-American ambassador to South Africa, where he worked to peaceably dismantle apartheid rule. In addition to his ambassadorial positions, he also served as director general of the Foreign Service and director of personnel at the Department of State.
In 1996, Perkins joined the OU International Programs Center as its first executive director and as the William J. Crowe Professor of Geopolitics. During his time at OU, Perkins helped lure such luminaries as Henry Kissinger, Margaret Thatcher, Desmond Tutu and Prince Hassan of Jordan to speak on foreign policy. He also developed the Diplomatic Archive to speak on foreign policy. He also developed the Diplomatic Archive of Oklahoma, donating his papers for use by students of foreign affairs. He worked tirelessly to raise $1 million for the US-China Institute to be established at OU and is the author of Mr. Ambassador: Warrior for Peace.
Perkins has earned many awards for his achievements, including the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, Presidential Meritorious Service Award, Distinguished and Superior Honor Awards from the Department of State, and the Department of State Director’s General Cup. He retired from the university as the Crowe Professor Emeritus in 2007.
Nominated by Zach Messitte
Wilton W. Webster Jr.
Although not a graduate of OU, Webster has been a dedicated supporter of the university for many years. A graduate of the California Institute of Technology, where he received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1949, Webster is a renowned inventor and engineer. He is the founder of Biosense Webster, a company known for its technological innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
Webster played a crucial role in the development of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute at the OU Health Sciences Center, and is a member of the institute’s advisory board. Webster also has endowed numerous chairs at the institute for researchers and faculty, helping to bring the most qualified educators to the Health Sciences Center campus.
In addition to his tireless work with the College of Medicine, Webster is a volunteer committee member of the OU Campaign for Scholarships. He and his wife, Helen, have made substantial endowments to the Sooner Heritage Scholarships, ensuring that students for generations to come receive assistance with their tuition. They also are founding members of OU’s Seed Sower Society honoring donors and $1 million or more. Webster is the recipient of Cal Tech’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given by that school to a graduate.
Nominated by Paul Massad
Jon R. Withrow
Withrow graduated in 1954 with a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering. While at OU, he was the recipient of a scholarship from the Standard Oil Co. of Texas, was an active member of Sigma Nu fraternity, served as president and treasurer of the Student Senate and was Big Man on Campus.
After earning his master’s degree in geological engineering, he went on to become president of Sundance Oil Co., a position he has held for 40 years. His numerous professional memberships include the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists, American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Withrow believes financial hardship should not prevent students from pursuing their goals and attending college. With this in mind, he has endowed many scholarships to assist financially challenged students. He and his wife, Cathryn, recently established a new scholarship for students interested in studying autism. In addition to his financial support of the university, Withrow is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors and is a past chairman and lifetime member of the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics Alumni Advisory Council. He is the recipient of the OU College of Arts and Sciences’ Distinguished Service Award.
Nominated by John Ritz
Stanton L. Young
Young earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting and economics in 1950, and is president of the Young Cos. He was a member of the ONEOK board of directors for 30 years, and served on the National Business Advisory Council under Presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter.
Young was instrumental in the construction of the Stanton L. Young Biomedical Research Center at the OU Health Sciences Center, which provided much-needed facilities for research in many medical fields. In 1984, he and his wife, Barbara, established the Stanton L. Young Master Teacher Award in the OU College of Medicine. This award is one of the largest in the nation for a teacher, recognizing inspiring and exemplary educators with a $10,000 prize.
Young has made immense contributions to the Oklahoma City community, and has served on the boards of countless organizations. He was the chairman of the Presbyterian Health Foundation for 15 years, and has served as vice chairman of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, which raised $150 million for the university. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Children’s Medical Research Institute and Foundation and the advisory board of OU’s Michael F. Price College of Business.
Young has been recognized with many honors, including the Dean A. McGee Award; National Governors’ Conference Award for Distinguished Service to State Government; Urban League’s Vilona P. Cutter Award; and the Oklahoma Medical Society Outstanding Layman Award. He also is an inductee of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Nominated by M. Dewayne Andrews