EDUCATION VISIONARIES: Ron King, center left, chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Dr. Dean VanTrease, center right, former president and chief executive officer of TCC, will be honored at the Second Annual Vision in Education Leadership Dinner, sponsored by the TCC Foundation. With the honorees are honorary dinner chairman David Kyle, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of ONEOK, Inc., left, and Vision Dinner committee chairman Steven Hendrickson, director of strategic planning and communications for the Boeing Company and a TCC Foundation trustee.
JOHN HALL, Tulsa Community College
George Nigh, former Oklahoma governor, will be the master of ceremonies for the Second Annual Vision in Education Leadership Dinner, sponsored by the Tulsa Community College Foundation, September 28, at the Crowne Plaza Tulsa (formerly Adam’s Mark Hotel).
Ron King, chairman, chief executive officer, and president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, will receive the Vision Award for his work in advancing higher education in the Tulsa area.
Dean VanTrease, Ph.D., former president and chief executive officer of TCC, will receive the Stephen J. Jatras Award. The award is named in honor of Jatras, a former TCC Regent and benefactor.
David Kyle, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of ONEOK, Inc., is the honorary dinner chairman. Steven Hendrickson, director of strategic planning and communications for the Boeing Company, and trustee of the TCC Foundation, is serving as the Vision Dinner committee chairman. Brian Forbes, Mary Shaw, and Ann Wadlington, trustees of the TCC Foundation, and Tiffani Bruton are Vision Dinner committee members.
In addition to his role with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, King is former chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Oklahoma Caring Program for Children, and serves on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Research Institute for Economic Development, and the Tulsa Area United Way. He is a member of the Governor’s Business Roundtable, Leadership Oklahoma, Leadership Tulsa, and the President’s Council at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.
King has a unique understanding of the importance of community colleges, having earned an associate of arts degree from Northeastern Oklahoma State University, having been active in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, a national academic honorary for two-year colleges, and having been selected for Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges. He has a bachelor of science degree in marketing from OSU.
Nigh, first elected to state government while a senior at East Central University, is the first Oklahoma governor elected to more than one term and the first gubernatorial candidate to carry all 77 Oklahoma counties. Nigh is a former president of the University of Central Oklahoma, where he currently serves as distinguished statesman in residence.
Kyle, first employed as an engineer trainee by the Oklahoma Natural Gas Company, served a number of positions for ONG until his election as president of ONEOK in 1997.
VanTrease served in a leadership role at TCC for 34 years, beginning as executive vice president before TCC opened for classes in 1970, through his tenure as president and chief executive officer from 1989–2004. He helped oversee the evolution of TCC from a floor of rented offices with 2,796 students in downtown Tulsa into the largest community college in Oklahoma, a four campus system with an annual enrollment of more than 27,000 students.
Under VanTrease’s leadership, TCC established a national reputation for global education, international languages, and health and business career programs. TCC developed innovative curriculum delivery systems to increase access for working adults and traditional students. TCC has become the provider of the first two years of public higher education in the Tulsa area—launching or continuing strong partnerships with area, state, and regional public and private colleges and universities. TCC is also a local and regional leader in performing arts education.
Proceeds from the Vision Dinner benefit TCC students, faculty, and staff through the TCC Foundation. Last year’s dinner provided funds for scholarships and enrichment projects, particularly the Faculty Innovation Grant program to support innovative classroom instruction. The TCC Foundation is dedicated to providing the critical resources necessary to give students from every walk of life an accessible, affordable, and quality education.
Major sponsors of the Vision Dinner are Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Montie Box, John Zink Company, Bank One, Gable & Gotwals, Helmerich & Payne, KPMG, MidFirst Bank, OSU-Tulsa, Jane and Henry Primeaux, Sampson, Tulsa Technology Center, and the Williams Companies Foundation.
Sponsorships for this special evening are available at $10,000 and above, $5,000, $2,500, $1,500, and $500. Individual tickets are $150. For more information, contact Jenna Grant at the TCC Foundation, at 595-7836 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.