TU Business College Hall of Fame Inducts Leaders

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE: Pictured from left before the Hall of Fame ceremony are Joe Craft, Collins College of Business Dean Gale Sullenberger, Margery Bird (accepting on behalf of her late husband, Jim Bird), Keith Bailey and TU President Steadman Upham.

Courtesy The University of Tulsa

The University of Tulsa’s Collins College of Business recognized the professional accomplishments of three Tulsa business leaders during its Feb. 26 Business Hall of Fame event at the Allen Chapman Activity Center.

Keith E. Bailey and Joseph W. Craft were recognized as this year’s inductees. James M. Bird, Sr. was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously.

“Our honorees are wonderful role models for our students. They have started new entrepreneurial business ventures, provided outstanding leadership for their firms and worked tirelessly to make Tulsa an exceptional place to live and work,” said Gale Sullenberger, dean of TU’s Collins College of Business. “Their contributions to TU and the business community have greatly enhanced our ability to provide outstanding educational experiences for students from Oklahoma and across the nation.”

Bailey is perhaps best known for leading the Williams Cos. Inc. through a decade of tremendous growth and change while establishing a set of core corporate values that continue to anchor the company today. Bailey’s keen business instincts are matched only by his deep belief that quality education is a key to sustaining a thriving, successful society. For years, he has given his time and talent to a number of higher education boards, currently with The University of Tulsa, and is involved in a range of community organizations and services, including Philbrook Museum and the Tulsa Area United Way.

Craft, a native of Kentucky, has spent much of his life working in Tulsa and leaving his mark on the community. An entrepreneur, attorney and energy industry leader, Craft came to Tulsa in 1980 and joined MAPCO Inc. He was instrumental in a management buyout of the company’s coal operations and the subsequent formation of Tulsa-based Alliance Resource Partners, L. P., the industry’s first publicly traded master limited partnership. The Craft family has a reputation for generously supporting social services and education in the Tulsa area as well as in Kentucky where Alliance has key operations. Mr. Craft is currently serving as a board member of the Board of Trustees for The University of Tulsa, as well as a director for Bank of Oklahoma and Tulsa Community Foundation.

Bird was a dedicated Tulsa citizen who made his mark in the business community as an innovator in oil exploration and seismic vibration equipment. An entrepreneur, a dedicated businessman and a quietly generous philanthropist, Bird’s largesse extended to non-profit organizations such as The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, the Philbrook Museum Board of Trustees and The University of Tulsa. He was particularly fond of the TU Women’s Rowing Team and was instrumental in the building of a boathouse on the Arkansas River for the team. Bird died at the age of 90 on July 14, 2007, just a few months before he was originally scheduled to be inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.

The Business Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 to recognize Tulsa’s outstanding business leaders and entrepreneurs. Since then, 23 individuals have been inducted into the program. The inductees have distinguished themselves by paving the road for others, building community partnerships and generously giving their time and efforts to philanthropic organizations.

For more information on TU’s Business Hall of Fame, please contact Amy Berry at (918) 631-3111.

Updated 03-25-2009

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