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Oklahoma City University Honors its Distinguished Alumni
To get an accurate idea of a university’s overall quality, one should periodically take a look at the people who graduated from it and what they’ve achieved since then. The Oklahoma City University Alumni Association will honor some of its many stellar examples during Homecoming Weekend festivities, culminating Saturday, Nov. 1, with the Distinguished Alumni and Athletic Hall of Fame Awards Dinner at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel downtown. Reception starts at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Fellow alums are encouraged to attend, and alumni from each college will be honored. Tickets are $30 each and tables for 10 are $300. Tickets are complimentary for alumni from reunion classes of 1998, 1983, 1958 or earlier. To order tickets call the Alumni Relations office at (405) 208-5117 or e-mail alumni@okcu.edu. This year’s eight honorees are: Marquita Lister ’85 Wanda L. Bass School of Music Washington, D.C., native Marquita Lister is taking audiences by storm with her intense, expressive portrayals of operatic roles and her enormous versatility. Critics all over the world rave about the soprano's poignant, precise and intelligent technique, her exquisite voice and her courage and determination to dare the utmost in her performance. Lister studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and garnered prizes at several singing competitions. She spent two years in the Houston Opera Studio and appeared in roles such as Fiordiligi in “Cosi Fan Tutte.” Lister was cast as the High Priestess in the Wortham Theater Center's Inaugural production of “Aida” with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo in a show that included a televised broadcast. Lister has been featured in several national and international publications and has won many awards including the 2000 Legend to Legend and the 2002 Outstanding Service to the Arts. Suzanne Hayden ’84 School of Law Suzanne Hayden began her legal career as an intern before becoming an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma City in 1983. In 1989 she began a 20-year career with the Department of Justice, which spanned from Las Vegas, Nev., to Anchorage, Alaska and from Seattle to Washington, D.C. Subsequently, she lived and worked throughout the world including Russia, Hungary and Turkey representing the U.S. Department of Justice. Hayden most recently served as the Department of Justice resident legal advisor in Turkey working with the Turkish government on counter-terrorism, terrorist financing and money laundering. The Turkish media nicknamed her "The Huntress" for her work in tracing terrorist funds. She is a senior trial attorney for the department's asset forfeiture and money laundering section and works on international money laundering and terrorist financing issues. At the request of several foreign governments she has drafted legislation, met with their congressional members and conducted training for prosecutors, police and judges in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North Africa. Chris Schroder ’01 Athletic Hall of Fame Early in his college baseball career, Chris Schroder transferred to Oklahoma City University where he earned NAIA First Team All American honors in 2000 and 2001. He also earned NAIA All-American Scholar Athlete accolades in those same years. Also while at OCU he set the school’s baseball team career record with a 2.16 ERA. Schroder was originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 46th round of the 2000 First Year Player Draft, and then was selected the following year in the 19th round by the Montreal Expos. Celine Ferguson ’80 Meinders School of Business Celine Ferguson was born in Oklahoma City to Scottish immigrants. She began Scottish Highland dancing at age 9 and went on to win several national competitions, later becoming an accredited Scottish Highland dance teacher. Due to generous scholarships and financial aide she was able to attend Oklahoma City University. She graduated from Oklahoma City University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business. During her senior year at Oklahoma City University Ferguson was recognized with awards like the Top Business Student, Letzeiser Silver Medal for Academic Excellence and was named Miss OCU. She began her banking career during high school and college when she worked part time at Guaranty Bank, which has since become Coppermark Bank. After leaving the bank to attend a management training program at Gulf Oil she later returned to Guaranty and will celebrate her 30th year there in February. In October of this year she was named president of the National SilverLake Users Group Association, serving over 300 banking organizations across the United States. Marie Danvers ’86 Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management Marie Danvers is best known for her starring turn as Christine in the Broadway and national touring production of “The Phantom of the Opera.” She has sung and danced all over the world as Maria in “West Side Story” and appeared in the national and international tours of “The Fantasticks” with Robert Goulet. She also toured internationally with “Singing in the Rain,” “The King and I,” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” Aside from her 20-plus years as a member of Actor’s Equity Association, Danvers has choreographed “Rocky Horror” and directed “The Fantasticks” and “Arabian Nights” at Suffolk Community College. She is humbled to know that she has shared the stage and worked with some of the most revered performers in musical theatre. Among those are Academy Award winners Rob Marshall and F. Murray Abraham, Tony Award winners Kathleen Marshall, Karen Ziemba,, Christine Ebersol, and other Broadway notables like Howard McGillan, Mark Kudisch, Hugh Panaro and Judy McLane, to name a few. Charlotte S. Teel ’89 Wimberly School of Religion Rev. Charlotte Teel, director of Christian education, is currently serving St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Teel received her master’s degree of art in religion from Oklahoma City University in 1990. In 1991 she was certified through the United Methodist Church in Christian education at OCU. She was ordained Deacon in the Oklahoma Conference in 1997. Teel is the visionary and developer of elementary school-aged children’s camping programs and Joy Camps for the Oklahoma Conference. She served as Oklahoma Conference children’s department chair from 1988 to 1991. She also served as chair of the Order of Deacons from 2000-08, and received an Oklahoma Conference child advocate award in 1997. She is a certified Holy Listener (spiritual guide) for hurting children and teens through the recently developed HeartPaths for Kids spiritual center at St. Luke’s. Karla Martin ’86 Kramer School of Nursing Karla Martin is a hospital administrator and development specialist. As proof of her abilities, Martin is on a team that has succeeded in getting the McBride Clinic Orthopedic Hospital into the top 5 percent of orthopedic facilities in the U.S. It was also ranked the number one orthopedic facility this year by HealthGrades. And to prove her individual abilities, Martin was able to obtain license and certification for the hospital on her first attempt. As part of her job Martin assists with implementing the hospital computer system, oversees a monthly multi-million dollar budget and develops hospital policies and procedures. She has previous experience with establishing hospital procedures from the ground up and has been involved in several hospital development projects in four states. Martin earned her bachelor’s degree in science nursing from Oklahoma City University before becoming a director of nursing in Alva. Since then she has been a clinical director and a clinical development coordinator before becoming the clinical operations officer at McBride. Brent Allen Beson ’95 Petree College of Arts and Sciences Brent Beson, M.D., is a board-certified adult neurologist and a medical director of the Neuromuscular Center at Integris Southwest Medical Center. Beson graduated from Oklahoma City University with a degree in biochemistry, then went on to obtain his medical doctorate, continued his education with a neurology residency in Texas and joined a neuromuscular division fellowship in Missouri. After earning his fellowship, Beson became certified by the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He has served as chief neurology resident and has taught his expertise to students, earning an Outstanding Medical Student Teaching award in 2002. Beson has also been an active volunteer for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and was a student volunteer at Southeast Area Health Center. Beson continues to encourage and educate students in the neuromuscular field through lectures and speeches at universities throughout the region, including an award ceremony address at OCU’s Petree College of Arts and Sciences this past spring.