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UCO to honor 125 for contributions, distinction

EDMOND -- The University of Central Oklahoma will honor 125 individuals as significant to the first 125 years of the university Thursday at a reception before the UCO@125 Gala.

UCO President Don Betz says the UCO Luminary Society recognizes those whose service and contributions have brought distinction to and positively influenced the life of the university.

I'll write about one of them in Wednesday's edition of The Oklahoman.

The inaugural class also includes such diverse people as:

Civil War veteran Richard Thatcher, the first principal and teacher of the Territorial Normal School (1891-93). He created the school’s curriculum, taught its first classes and following his tenure as principal served as Head of Mathematics.

Katrina Shaklee, who started the Endeavor Games at UCO in 2000 and supported the initiative to make UCO a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site.

Paul R. Lehman, an alumnus and UCO’s first black professor. 

Alumna Eleanor Johnson, who founded The Weekly Reader, a weekly educational news publication for children first published in September 1928. The publication merged with Scholastic in 2012 and continues to serve schoolchildren 87 years after its first issue.

Robert M. Howard, a surgeon who was valedictorian of the Territorial Normal School’s first graduating class in 1897.

Ida Freeman, who began her teaching career in 1898 in a one-room schoolhouse. She was a faculty member at the university in the 1930s and a pioneer of education in Edmond.

Jeremy Campbell is a three-time Paralympic gold medalist and winner of the ESPY Best Male Athlete with a Disability award.

K.S. McNutt

Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from... Read more ›