Burns Hargis – The Cowboy Rides Away

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Rotary Club of Okla. City Preparedness Plan

 

Burns Hargis was named the 18th President of Oklahoma State University and the OSU System in December 2007 and took office March 10, 2008.

Hargis oversees one of the nation’s most comprehensive land-grant university systems with more than 35,000 students, 7,000 employees, and campuses located in Stillwater, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Okmulgee.

As president, Hargis has enthusiastically united the broad OSU community of students, employees, alumni and donors behind his bold vision of a modern land-grant university that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for success. The results have been historic.

He has guided OSU to record enrollment and record fundraising, with pledges and cash surpassing the $1 billion Branding Success campaign goal nearly two years ahead of schedule. In total, OSU has raised more than $2 billion in private support and added more than 81,000 new donors during Hargis’ time as president. OSU’s giving has focused on student scholarships, faculty, facilities and other vital resources and programs.

Hargis is overseeing a construction boom that is transforming the OSU campus to be more competitive in academics and athletics. Most recently, the crescent-shaped business building and spectacular McKnight Center for the Performing Arts are new campus icons. Guided by Hargis’ vision, the OSU campus has never looked more beautiful.

Hargis and his wife, First Cowgirl Ann, are active across campus, interacting regularly with OSU’s diverse student body. Strong proponents of wellness, they have led OSU’s initiative as America’s Healthiest Campus. They also have taken OSU’s story of success to alumni around the world.

He has held several leadership positions related to intercollegiate athletics, serving on NCAA, Football Bowl Championship and Big 12 Conference boards.

Hargis, who holds degrees in accounting from Oklahoma State University and in law from the University of Oklahoma, is the second OSU graduate to lead the university as president. Oliver S. Willham, president from 1952 to 1966, graduated from then Oklahoma A&M in 1923.

Before being named OSU President, Hargis had a long and distinguished legal and business career, with active civic and philanthropic leadership across many fronts. He also is familiar to many Oklahomans through the political perspective and wit he provided on the award-winning television program “Flashpoint”.

Prior to coming to OSU, he was Vice Chairman of Bank of Oklahoma, N.A. Before joining Bank of Oklahoma in 1997, Hargis practiced law in Oklahoma City for 28 years, including with the firm of McAfee & Taft. He is a former president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, former president of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Hargis served as vice-chairman of the Oklahoma State Election Board and the Oklahoma Constitutional Revision Commission, and served as Chairman of the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services. He is a former member of the Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Hargis was a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oklahoma in 1990.

A firm believer in the power of imagination and collaboration, Hargis was the first chair of the Oklahoma Creativity Project. He has served and chaired many boards, including the Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents.

Hargis received the state’s highest honor when he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2009. Hargis and his wife, Ann, have two children and three grandchildren.


Chair of the Day

Ellen Fleming has been an officer of Bank of Oklahoma since 1980. She currently serves as Senior Vice President and Regional Executive in the Institutional Wealth Group. In addition to Oklahoma City-based staff, Ellen manages client service teams in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Kansas City.

A graduate of Oklahoma State, Ellen is a Life Member and former Director of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association. She is a long-time member of the OSU Board of Governors and previously served 2 terms as a Trustee of the OSU Foundation. Ellen also completed her Masters degree at University of Central Oklahoma.

A member of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City since 1997, Ellen is past President and past Treasurer. She served for 10 years on the Club’s Board of Directors and chaired the Club’s Foundation. She is a previous recipient of the Rotary Club’s Rotarian of the Year award. She is a Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Ellen currently serves on the Board of Last Frontier Council of Boy Scouts, where she is Council Treasurer. Ellen is also a member of the Boards of Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma and the Economic Club. She is an active parishioner at Christ the King Catholic Church, where she serves in several volunteer capacities. She also served for 7 years on the Catholic Archdiocese’s Finance Council.

She is a graduate of both Leadership Oklahoma and Leadership Oklahoma City, where she previously served as President of the Alumni Association. Ellen is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Oklahoma City.

Ellen is a past recipient of the Byliner Award from the Association for Women in Communication, in recognition of her professional, civic, and volunteer accomplishments.

A native of Woodward, Ellen is married to Tim Fleming, Director of Golf at Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club. Ellen and Tim have 2 sons, Patrick Helmey, who practices law and lives in Houston with wife Lacey and sons Wilder and Decker, and Thomas, who is employed as a TV anchor/producer at Nexstar Media in Utica, NY.

 

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