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Oklahoma City University to Honor Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming

The Oklahoma City University Alumni Association will honor 10 outstanding alumni during Homecoming weekend festivities in November. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon will be held at noon Nov. 3 in the University Center.

This year’s honorees are business alumni Deborah and Paul Fleming, law alumnus Barry Grissom, theater alumnus Donald Jordan, music alumnus Timothy Long, religion alumna Diana Northcutt, nursing alumna Cindy Rauh, arts and sciences alumnus Buzz Williams and dance/arts management alumni Marcel Wilson and Kevin Wilson.

Tickets to the awards ceremony are $20 each and can be purchased by calling Cary Pirrong at (405) 208-5463 or e-mailing alumni@okcu.edu. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon is part of OCU’s Homecoming weekend Nov. 2-4. For more information, visit www.okcu.edu/alumni/homecoming.

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Honoree Bios

Deborah S. Fleming, ’77, most recently served as vice president and treasurer of SemGroup Corporation and Rose Rock Midstream in Tulsa. She joined SemGroup in 2010 and was responsible for the refinancing of the company after it emerged from a complex bankruptcy.

In 2011, Deborah Fleming financed and assisted in the initial public offering of Rose Rock Midstream, the company’s MLP, comprised of domestic crude oil storage and marketing assets.  She was also responsible for the company’s corporate finance, banking, cash management and insurance functions. She completed this assignment in February.

Before joining SemGroup, Deborah Fleming was vice president and treasurer of OGE Energy Corporation where she was responsible for the corporate finance group encompassing treasury and banking operations, cash forecasting, financial planning, business unit budgeting, investor relations, and pension plan and 401-k oversight.

She also gained experience as the assistant treasurer for Williams Companies. Her primary responsibilities were for the bank and rating agency relationships, all debt product structuring and negotiations, debt compliance, cash flow forecasting, capital markets and derivatives decisions and investments for pension and 401-k plans.

Deborah Fleming received her BSB in finance from Oklahoma City University and her MBA in finance from the University of Tulsa. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a Certified Treasury Professional. She has also served as an adjunct finance professor at Meinders School of Business teaching on campus and at the Great Wall MBA Program at the Tianjin University of Finance and Economics in China.

Paul D. Fleming, ’76, has been the chief internal auditor for BancFirst Corporation for the past seven years. He is certified as an internal controls auditor, fiduciary and investment risk manager and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Previously, Paul Fleming held managerial audit positions at the Williams Companies in Tulsa and served in various audit capacities at the Bank of Oklahoma and MAPCO. 

He graduated from Oklahoma City University with a BS in economics and received the David DeLorme Award, which is given to the top economics graduate.  He earned a BBA in accounting from the University Center of Tulsa in 1995.

He has served on the Oklahoma City University Meinders School of Business Executive Advisory Board since 2008.  He retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years, where he served in the Underwater Demolition / SEAL Teams both on active duty and in the Naval Reserves. He is a plankholder (founding member) of two Special Operations Reserve Units formed to support SEAL Team operations.

U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, ’81, keeps a large poster of the classic movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” in his office to remind himself daily of why he is a lawyer — to make a positive difference in his community and in the lives of fellow citizens.

Grissom is a 1977 graduate of Kansas University and is a graduate of Oklahoma City University School of Law. While at OCU he was a member of the Law Review, the Moot Court Board and the Order of the Barristers.

From 1986 to 2010 he was a member of the Board of Governors for the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association. He was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas in April 2010 and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in August 2010. Prior to his confirmation he practiced law as a solo practitioner where he specialized in handling employment discrimination claims. He is the first solo practitioner to hold that office since the 1880s.

Donald “Don” Jordan, ’80, is a 35-year veteran of professional theater in North America. Jordan has performed in all of the lower 48 states and throughout Canada. 

He has worked as an artistic director, director, stage manager, scene and properties designer, scenic painter, production manager, technical director, actor and stand-up comic. His performing credits include touring in leading roles with the national, international and California companies of the Broadway hit “42nd Steet” and off-Broadway in CityRep’s “Out at Sea,” as well as work at many of the nation’s most respected regional theaters. 

Jordan is a member of Actors Equity Association and has served as an elected representative for more than a decade.  Serving as Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre’s (CityRep) founding artistic director, he oversees all aspects of the theater's operations. Under his artistic leadership, CityRep was recognized by Actors' Equity in 2011 for the theatre’s “dedication to excellence and professionalism” and in 2012 was accepted as a member theater in the Theatre Communications Group, the national association of leading regional theatres. 

Jordan received the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award, which is the highest form of recognition given for the arts in the state. The lifetime award was presented in recognition of his leadership and community service. Governor Mary Fallin declared Feb. 14, 2012, as “Oklahoma Loves CityRep Day” in recognition of the company’s artistic, educational and economic contributions. 

Jordan earned his BA in theater from Oklahoma City University. He also holds an MFA in theater from Trinity University’s professional theater training program.

Timothy Long, ’90, is an Oklahoma-born musician who has enjoyed success as a conductor, chamber musician and collaborative pianist across the country. Long, of Muscogee Creek and Choctaw Native American descent, grew up playing many instruments. He studied piano and violin at Oklahoma City University and completed graduate studies in piano performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music.

Highlights of Long’s pianistic performances include recitals with soprano Jennifer Aylmer, mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer, tenor Vinson Cole, baritone William Sharp and an appearance on NBC’s “Today Show” with tenor Salvatore Licitra. Among his many chamber music partners have been the Pacifica, Chester, Euclid and New Lyric string quartets, and he has performed concerts with the Oklahoma Symphony, Lawton Philharmonic, the Sociedad Filarmonica de Conciertos Orchestra of Mexico City, the Beethoven Society Orchestra of Washington, D.C., the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia. He is also affiliated with the International Sejong Soloists as harpsichordist.

Long is in his first season on the New York City Opera conducting staff and will be conducting Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” at the Stony Brook Opera. He will also be making his mainstage conducting debuts at Boston Lyric Opera in Rachel Portman’s “The Little Prince” and at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis conducting performances of “Rigoletto” and Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliette.”

Long served as assistant conductor to Robert Spano at the Brooklyn Philharmonic for three years and has conducted three tours for Boston Lyric Opera-Opera New England as well as performances at the Juilliard School, Yale Opera, Stony Brook Opera, the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, the Aspen Music Festival and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in a performance broadcast on WNYC.

He is a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Rev. Diana Northcutt, ’90, spent 11 years in hospital administration and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from Southwest Missouri State in 1986.

Northcutt returned to school to get her master’s degree in Christian education from Oklahoma City University. She went on to get her master’s of divinity degree from Phillips Theological Seminary in 1995.

Diana was ordained as a deacon with the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in 1995 and then as an elder in 1998.  She drew on her life experiences while serving for 12 years as pastor in several rural churches within the Oklahoma Conference including at Aline, Granite Carter, Willow, Laverne and Rosston. During her time at Laverne UMC, she was instrumental in the development of the Laverne Hispanic Ministry, which has become a freestanding fellowship.

Northcutt has spent more than 25 years working with youth ministry in Oklahoma and has worked at the local church, conference and jurisdictional levels. From 2004 to 2009 she served as the Oklahoma Conference director of Local Church Youth Ministries.

Northcutt is currently the director of Discipleship Ministries for Small Membership Churches in the Oklahoma Annual Conference. In this role, her focus is the re-visioning of small membership churches and assisting in the development of the Healthy Congregations model. She is responsible for conference demographic work.

She continues her passion for youth ministry through her development of the Youth Worker’s Academy to enable healthy youth ministries in small and mid-size churches. She has worked closely with the conference youth leadership camps to create a partnership with Oklahoma City University to grant scholarships for graduates.

Cindy Rauh, ’04, is vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Duncan Regional Hospital (DRH) in Duncan.

Rauh helped the hospital achieve the Thompson Reuter’s Top 100 Hospitals for three out of four years. She is involved in achieving and maintaining the hospital’s top percentile quality scores and has helped initiate an OU College of Nursing program on the DRH campus.

Her duties include supervising and oversight of all acute care and extended care nursing departments, radiology, pharmacy, laboratory, outpatient imaging center, outpatient wound care center, outpatient and inpatient psychiatric services and rehab services.

She previously served as director of acute care services, was an ICU nurse and supervisor at Duncan Regional Hospital, and was director of Chisholm Trail Hospice. She was a PRT nurse for S.J. Regional Medical Center in New Mexico, and a licensed practical nurse at Okeene Hospital in Oklahoma.

Rauh is past president of the board of the Oklahoma Organization of Nurse Executives. She was appointed in 2006 to the Nursing Education & Nursing Practices Advisory Committee of the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. She is a member of the Oklahoma Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives, American Nurses Association and other professional organizations.

Rauh is currently in the DNP program at Oklahoma City University and plans to finish in the spring. She earned her master’s in nursing at the University of Oklahoma in 2008 and her BSN from Oklahoma City University. She holds an associate’s degree in nursing from San Juan College in New Mexico and a license practical nurse degree from the OT Autry Vocational Center in Enid.

Buzz Williams, ‘94,has coached the Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball team since 2008. His team has made the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA national tournament for the past two years.

Williams has guided Marquette to four straight NCAA Championship appearances including the program's 15th participation in the regional semifinals last season. The squad has also ramped up its community service efforts under Williams' guidance and collected academic recognition since he assumed the reigns of the program prior to the 2008-09 campaign.

Off the court, Williams and his staff assembled a consensus top-25 recruiting class in each of the first two years of his tenure, including a group rated as high as No. 1 in the country by HoopScoopOnline.com. The program's community service efforts have also reached new heights under Williams, highlighted by “Buzz's Bunch.” This group focuses on providing opportunities for special needs children to attend games and summer camps. The Golden Eagles have also continued and strengthened their long-standing relationships with the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin as well as the Special Olympics.

In 2007-08, Williams served as an assistant coach with the Golden Eagles in his first season at Marquette. MU concluded the year 25-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.

His coaching career has included stints as an assistant, associate head and head coach. He has more than 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I level. Williams has recruited and coached more than 20 players who have earned all-conference accolades, including two league players of the year, two conference freshmen of the year and four Associated Press All-Americans.

Williams arrived in Milwaukee after serving for one season as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. Prior to UNO, Williams served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M for two seasons. Williams spent four seasons at Colorado State, serving as an assistant the first three seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in 2003-04.

Williams was a student assistant at Oklahoma City University and the program claimed a national title during his senior year. The Van Alstyne, Texas, native earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Oklahoma City University before completing his master's work in the same field at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1999.

Brothers Marcel Wilson, ’98, and Kevin Wilson, ’98, have worked to exemplify the definition of professionalism and versatility in their trade. Their choreographic style is a fusion of jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, pop and musical theatre. Their unique interpretation of music allows them to design captivating movement while mixing it with progressive visuals and staging.

They have performed with artists such as Madonna, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Lenny Kravitz, Mandy Moore and Mary J Blige. They have toured the world with icons such as Janet Jackson in “All for You,” Britney Spears in “Onyx Hotel,” Christina Aguilera in “Stripped” and “Back 2 Basics,” and Cher in “Final Farewell.” Musicals include Broadway’s “The Lion King,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Crazy for You,” “42nd Street,” “Rock of Ages” and the Radio City Rockettes’ “Christmas Spectacular.” They have appeared in films and television programs including “Dreamgirls,” “A Christmas Carol” starring Jim Carrey, “Blades of Glory,” “Austin Powers: Goldmember,” “Will & Grace,” “Eli Stone,” “Weeds,” “Scrubs” and in Academy Awards ceremonies.

Marcel Wilson has been co-choreographer for the Daytime Emmy-winning “Wayne Brady Show,” which also won the American Choreography Award for Best Choreography. He recently finished choreographing an online magazine cover created for the iPad and iPhone.

For the past three seasons, Kevin Wilson has been associate choreographer on the hit TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” and for Cher at the Colosseum in Las Vegas. His work can be seen in “The Show in the Sky” at the Rio Hotel Casino and Resort, the Bellagio New Years Eve Extravaganza, NYC Pops presenting Wayne Brady at Carnegie Hall and numerous other TV shows and stage tours. He was associate choreographer for the 2010 Miss USA pageant.

Marcel and Kevin Wilson created their own entertainment company, Mister Wilson Entertainment, enhancing the entertainment industry with innovative concepts, cutting-edge choreography, inventive art direction paired with state-of-the art technology for stage, film and television.

Marcel Wilson earned his bachelor’s degree in performing arts and dance performance, and Kevin Wilson was a dance performance major at Oklahoma City University.