Press Room  

Oklahoma City University: News

Search Press Releases




Oklahoma City University Societies Announces Awards of Excellence Honorees
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University Societies will honor five exceptional women during the annual Awards of Excellence dinner Feb. 20 at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. This year’s honorees are the late Joan Kirkpatrick, recipient of the Distinguished Philanthropist Award; Barbara Brou, Kirkpatrick-Petree Music and Performing Arts Society Award; Helen Ford Wallace, Dulaney-Browne Library Society Award; Miki Farris, Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award and OCU First Lady Brenda McDaniel, Societies Special Achievement Award. A reception for honorees will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, entertainment from OCU’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music and the awards program. While Kirkpatrick’s parents, John and Eleanor, left a lasting impact on the local community, Joan Kirkpatrick also left her own indelible mark on the family’s legacy of community service. Kirkpatrick graduated from Classen High School and Oklahoma City University with a degree in English. She worked in the art department at KMPT-TV in Oklahoma City and at several real estate and retail establishments including Hightower’s in downtown Oklahoma City. Kirkpatrick spent a decade volunteering at Deaconess and Mercy hospitals. She served on the boards of several nonprofit and charitable organizations including St. Anthony’s Bone and Joint Hospital, Free to Live Animal Sanctuary, the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, City Arts Center and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Perhaps her most memorable contribution is her work as chairwoman of the Kirkpatrick Foundation. She led the way to move the art museum from the fairgrounds to downtown Oklahoma City and ensured the foundation’s continued historical focus on the arts and humanities, as well as a focus on animal welfare and environmental concerns. The foundation supported the planning and programming needs for OCU’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music along with music and arts education for children through the Performing Arts Academy and Norick Art Center. Brou moved to Oklahoma City in 1975 with her husband, Paul, and their five children. During the last 25 years, Brou has been a volunteer for numerous educational, church and charity programs. She served on the St. Anthony Foundation Board for six years and co-chaired the Saints Ball. Brou serves on the advisory boards for OCU’s Kramer School of Nursing and the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Arts Management. She has worked on events and committees for the American Heart Association, Allied Arts, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, The C.A.R.I. foundation, Deaconess Hospital and the Oklahoma Mental Health Association. Brou has always had a special interest in organizations that focus on children. She has served on the boards of the March of Dimes, Child Abuse Prevention and Christmas Connection. She also was a member of the board of managers for the Deaconess Pregnancy and Adoption Agency and now serves on the development guild for the agency. The cause is one that is close to her heart because three of her grandchildren were adopted through the agency. She serves as co-chair of its annual fundraising event and was the committee chairwoman for the Deaconess Centennial Gala. Brou was part of a 10-day mission trip to Peru with Christ the King Catholic Church in 2007. She has volunteered with Christ the King School and Bishop McGuinness High School where she serves as awareness co-chair for the school’s capital campaign. Wallace attended Linwood Elementary and U.S. Grant High School before graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She has helped strengthen community social bonds through her civic contributions and her professional work in society journalism. Wallace was a member of Delta Delta Delta and served as the sorority’s rush chairwoman. She also was crowned J-School Queen in 1962. Wallace went on to attend Oklahoma City University where she earned her teacher’s certificate and completed studies toward a master’s degree in education. She has worked at The Oklahoman since 1957. Wallace writes feature stories, columns and blogs for the Oklahoma Publishing Company and also has taught journalism at Northeast High School. She is well known for her work on The Oklahoman’s society section. Wallace’s civic work includes advising the Beaux Arts Ball Court, serving on the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation dinner committee and volunteering for the Red Earth Festival. She is a member of the Oklahoma City Art Museum Friends, the National Cowboy and Western Museum Association, the Touchdown Club and the Oklahoma Heritage Association. She also served on the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History fundraising council, the Junior League of Oklahoma City board, the Casady School Parents Association, the Visiting Nurse Association and other civic organizations. Wallace was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007. Other honors include being named the Tri-Delta Panhellenic Woman of the Year, her induction into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame, a Women in Communications Byliner Award and the Oklahoma Hospitality Club’s Ladies in the News. Farris, who graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, has shown her kindness and compassion for children through her years of work with Infant Crisis Services. She co-founded the organization as part of a Sunday school class project in 1984 and now serves as its executive director. Farris helped double the agency’s client list in one decade. Her professional experience includes working as a career counselor for Career Management Services, a personnel officer for First National Bank of Oklahoma City and a doctor’s office manager. Farris is a member of the Leadership OKC Board and a former president of its alumni board. She served as president-elect of Kiwanis Club of OKC and is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni and the United Methodist Church of the Servant Advisory Council. She has received the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award, the Management Excellence Award, a Byliner Award and the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award, received recognition as a Kiwanis’ Layperson of the Year, an honoree for the Journal Record’s 50 Making a Difference and Southwestern Publishing’s “Hot Mamas.” The students at Oklahoma City University consider McDaniel to be their most supportive cheerleader. OCU’s first lady has had a substantial impact on the community both on and off campus. McDaniel started OCU’s Light the Campus holiday celebration in 2001 and founded OCU Chats, a student involvement program that has led to several campus activities and initiatives at the university. She was recognized by the Student Senate in 2005 for being a positive role model and for her work on campus events. McDaniel helped with recovery efforts after the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and was selected to write an article on the topic for the Salvation Army’s book “In Their Name.” She has been a board member for the Oklahoma City Zoological Society, the Oklahoma Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse, the University of Oklahoma Breast Institute Advisory Association, OU College of Education Board of Advocates, the Northwestern Oklahoma State University foundation Board of Trustees, OU Mom’s Association, United Methodist Women, Skyline Urban Ministry and Circle of Care. McDaniel has been a chairwoman on several committees including the Cardiac Arrhythmia Research Institute gala, the Payne Education Board spelling bee fundraiser and the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Reflections of Hope. She co-chaired the Oklahoma City Museum of Art Renaissance Ball with her husband, OCU President Tom McDaniel, and was appointed to the Oklahoma Arts Council in 2007 by Gov. Brad Henry. Her honors include a Byliner Award, recognition as a Festival of Hope honoree, one of the Oklahoma Hospitality Club’s Ladies in the News and being a finalist for the Journal Record’s Woman of the Year Award in 2002 and The Oklahoman’s Woman of the Year honor in 2009. While living in Alva, McDaniel was named one of the Outstanding Young Women in America, Alva’s Mother of the Year and a Chamber of Commerce Presidential Award winner. She holds a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s degree in education from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. She has taught at schools in Oklahoma City, Waynoka, Alva and Edmond, and was named one of the top 10 new teachers by Oklahoma City Public Schools in 1963. Past Awards of Excellence honorees include Martha Burger, Jeaneen Naifeh, Meg Salyer, Pam Shdeed, Ann Lacy, Lil Ross, Joan Gilmore, Judy Love, Jane Jayroe Gamble, Cathy Leichter, Madalynne Norick, LaDonna Meinders, Ann Simmons Alspaugh, Jeannette Sias and Lou Kerr among several dozen others.