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OCU Societies and Awards of Excellence

The Societies is a group of committed community volunteers honored as recipients of the Awards of Excellence. Honorees come together every year to raise money at a luncheon to support areas across the university. Societies members and OCU share a deep commitment to students’ education, and OCU is honored to be part of the local and state community to which these valued volunteers and philanthropists dedicate their time, talents and resources.

2023 Awards of Excellence Honorees with OCU President Kenneth Evans

Established in 1988 under the leadership of Ginny Walker, wife of OCU’s 14th President Jerald Walker, three independent societies at OCU became one to strengthen the goal of providing scholarships and support for the student body and those who educate them. Ginny served as the first president of the newly formed Societies until President Walker’s retirement in 1997. Through the merging of the three societies, she was able to form one cohesive fundraiser, allowing everyone to benefit. The first official event was the Mardi Gras Ball in 1989. This event raised thousands of dollars, distributed equally among the three disciplines.

Originally, the three societies that formed The Societies of Oklahoma City University included the Dulaney-Browne Library Society, the Petree College of Arts and Sciences Society and the Margaret E. Petree College of the Performing Arts Society.

The Dulaney-Browne Library Society was established to provide the library a source of funding to stay current in reading material and technology updates. The library maintains state-of-the-art advances in technology while working with each academic area to understand and anticipate needs. Funds contributed through The Societies provide a way to incorporate more reading material into the library, such as the Bass School of Music’s listening and lending library.

The Petree College of Arts and Sciences Society helps support the Nona Jean Hulsey Art Gallery, located in the Norick Art Center on the OCU campus. The gallery provides a contemporary exhibition space for significant and challenging exhibitions by local and national artists and art organizations. The Hulsey Gallery affords the School of Visual Arts student educational opportunities related to collection management and exhibition of art in a professional gallery.

The late Madeline Norick, a longtime Societies member, donated to scholarships for visual arts students, paving the way and inspiring others to do the same. Her determination left a legacy of creativity and beauty in the Norick Art Center. The OCU Societies continue to honor her through sustained giving and the Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award.

The Margaret E. Petree College of Performing Arts Society supports the Wanda L. Bass School of Music, the School of Theatre and the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment. The Societies have been honored to play a role in raising money to support each of these schools.

The Awards of Excellence came into existence as the Societies outgrew the structure of the Mardi Gras Ball.

With the name change, the Awards of Excellence allowed the Societies to continue to contribute millions of dollars to Oklahoma City University. This money was raised through the dedication of time and attention by the members of the Societies over the past several decades.

The Awards of Excellence is the only organization in the state of Oklahoma to honor women for their volunteer careers. Through the yearly presentation of the Kirkpatrick-Petree Music Society Award, the Dulaney-Browne Library Award, the Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award or the Oklahoma City University Distinguished Philanthropist Award, the recipients exemplify what servant-leadership means within our community and our great state.

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