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Oklahoma City University Societies to Honor Five at Awards of Excellence

The Societies of Oklahoma City University will honor five distinguished women of Oklahoma City during the annual Awards of Excellence luncheon April 20 at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. The Societies of Oklahoma City University focuses on recognizing women for outstanding volunteer service in their communities and in the state of Oklahoma.

The Societies is the only organization in Oklahoma to honor women for their volunteer careers. Through the yearly presentation of the Kirkpatrick-Petree Music and Performing Arts Society Award, the Dulaney-Browne Library Award, the Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award and the Oklahoma City University Distinguished Philanthropist Award, recipients are recognized for their servant leadership within the local community. This year, the Societies added an additional award, the Servant Leadership Award, to honor a current member who has continued to exemplify outstanding leadership and volunteerism. The 2017 honorees are Ann-Clore Duncan, Cathy Busey, Karen Delaney, Glenna Tanenbaum and Cathy Leichter.

Judy Love and Jenee Lister are the co-chairs of the event, which is in its 30th year. “Being named an honoree of the Societies of Oklahoma City University is a huge award and we are delighted with the women who have been named this year,” said Love.

Ann-Clore Duncan’s passion for education led her to receive the Dulaney-Browne Library Society Award. Duncan’s interest in education has kept her involved with Edmond Public Schools for the past 17 years. She has volunteered in the schools, served on district-wide committees, lobbied at the capitol, and worked as a substitute teacher. Duncan is also in her second year as trustee to the board of visitors at DePauw University.

Duncan has also been involved with the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma serving as a board member and fundraising volunteer; the United Way of Central Oklahoma, serving as a Community Investment Volunteer; and the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, serving as a trustee and chair of the education committee as well as a fundraising co-chair of the Reflections of Hope Awards Dinner.

Cathy Busey will receive the Kirkpatrick–Petree Music and Performing Arts Society Award because of her work to help bring music to inner-city children. Busey’s love for music and the passion to share it with others helped her dream come true to create an after-school program with music as the cornerstone. To that end, El Sistema Oklahoma was created.

In 2002, Cathy’s husband, Phil, started his own company, Delaware Resource Group (DRG), a minority company defense contractor. The company has grown in its 15 years of existence, employing hundreds of people throughout the world to train air crew pilots and flight crews as well as to develop courseware and work with simulators for various aircraft for the U.S. Air Force and Navy.

Success in the company led the Buseys to live out their belief that it is important to give back to their community and their church. The Buseys created a partnership with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and Oklahoma City University to establish El Sistema.

The program is in its fourth year and is currently serving 200 children in third through ninth grade. The children who participate in El Sistema Oklahoma receive world-class musical education with lessons that extend beyond the practice room and into the real world.

Karen Delaney, who is being honored with the Norick – Hulsey Gallery Society Award, had a 13-year career in the insurance and reinsurance industries in New York. She retired to become a full-time mother and a community volunteer. Delaney began by working with the AIDS Resource Foundation for Children in Newark, NJ, on a program established by the Junior League of Elizabeth-Plainfield.

In 2002, Delaney moved with her husband to Oklahoma City where he had accepted a job with OGE Energy Corporation. Delaney began serving as a docent at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and has served various non-profit art organizations in Oklahoma City, including deadCenter Film Festival, Allied Arts, Arts Council OKC and the Lyric Theatre. Delaney has also been involved with the Library Endowment Trust, the Junior League of Oklahoma City and Youth Services Oklahoma.

Glenna Tanenbaum, Oklahoma City University’s Distinguished Philanthropist Award honoree, worked as an interior designer in Houston until she moved to Oklahoma City in 1997. She began volunteering at Casady School and was soon named co-chair of the Symphony Designer Show House. She is an active volunteer with the OKC Orchestra League and OKC Philharmonic, raising money to provide educational programs for students in Oklahoma City Public Schools. She worked on the endowment campaign for the OKC philharmonic in order to provide a free concert, “Red, White and Boom” for Oklahoma City residents. The concert is now in its 10th year.

Tanenbaum has served on numerous boards and is currently serving as a member of the Oklahoma City Orchestra League, OKC Jewish Federation, OKC Public Schools Foundation, Oklahoma City University Kramer School of Nursing and many others.

Cathy Leichter, Oklahoma City University Societies’ Servant Leadership Award honoree, has spent 30 years actively involved in fundraising and marketing, not only as a professional but as a volunteer to assist in raising awareness of various non-profit organizations.

Leichter served for 15 years as the Oklahoma City University Societies President, stepping down from the position in 2015. Under her leadership, the group raised more than $3.2 million for scholarships and programs at OCU. She is still an active member of the group, serving currently as a major planning committee member for the Awards of Excellence luncheon.

Leichter continues to stay actively involved with Oklahoma City University in other ways including as a member of the Leichter Scholarship Board, which awards scholarships to students each year, as well as serving on the Wanda L. Bass School of Music Board, in which she led a campaign to raise more than $1 million for the Ann Hundley Hoover Endowed Chair in 2008. She also serves as a board member of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences, where she helps with fundraising activities.

Leichter is also actively involved with many community non-profits helping with fundraising and marketing efforts including Lyric Theatre, The Tree Bank Foundation, Reconstruction of the Wiley Post Hangar, the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, Oklahoma City Orchestra League and Habitat for Humanity.

For more information on attending or becoming a sponsor of the Awards of Excellence Luncheon or about Oklahoma City University Societies, contact Judy Reyes-Henderson, assistant vice president of development for the Oklahoma City University Office of Advancement, at 405-208-5435, or visit okcu.edu/awardsofexcellence.

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