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Societies to Honor Outstanding Women

The Societies of Oklahoma City University will honor five outstanding women of Oklahoma during the 32nd annual Awards of Excellence luncheon April 23 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 2020 honorees are Matilda Clements, Gayle Lucas Semtner, Becky Roten, Kami Huddleston and Ashley Bowen Murphy. Ann-Clore Duncan and Susan Edwards are the co-chairs of the event.

“We look forward to honoring these five outstanding women as we raise dollars to support OCU scholarships and important university programs,” said Duncan.

The Societies is the only organization in Oklahoma to honor women for their volunteer careers. In the past 31 years, more than 120 women have been honored through this organization. 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 Oklahoma City University Distinguished Philanthropist Award, the recipients exemplify what servant leadership means within the community and state.

Gayle Lucas Semtner, who enjoys volunteering with agencies supporting her passions, focusing on the arts, education, health and maturing adults’ issues, is being honored with the Kirkpatrick-Petree Music & Performing Arts Society Award. The youngest of six, she learned by example, a legacy she believes her children have inherited. Sharing your talents with your family and community is a responsibly for each of us.

Currently, she is serving on the Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma Board of Directors, Leadership Oklahoma City Alumni Board, Expressions of Hope Granting Committee, TMF Quality Improvement Organization Board of Directors and belongs to the Junior League of Oklahoma City, Christ the King Catholic Church, Arts Council of Oklahoma City All Access Arts committee, and Evening of Excellence dinner committee.

She has served as the community development specialist for the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and as program manager for the Aging and Disabilities Resource Consortium with the Aging Services Division of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. She has served on the Oklahoma Arts Council Board, appointed by Governor Frank Keating; the Arts Council of Oklahoma City Board of Directors; co-chaired the Festival of the Arts; and served as president of the Junior League of Oklahoma City.

She has also been honored by OMNIPLEX (Science Museum Oklahoma), Girl Scouts, Junior League of Oklahoma City and Christ the King Catholic School. Gayle and her husband, Barney, have been married for 46 years. They enjoy spending time with their children, Jennifer, John, Jeff and their families.

The Dulaney- Browne Library Society Award is being given to Matilda Clements, who has been an active community volunteer and entrepreneur since moving to Oklahoma City in 1984.

Clements has been a member of the Junior League of OKC for 32 years, 24 of which were enjoyed as an active member, and she is still actively involved as a sustainer. She credits every aspect of her passion for voluntarism in the community to her experiences and training from the Junior League. She served in a variety of leadership positions on committees and councils, and also as membership VP on the Board of Directors. She was honored by the Junior League with the Mary Baker Rumsey Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Clements has also been involved in numerous other civic and charitable activities in Oklahoma City, including Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma for 12 years, and most recently serving as The Juliette Low Leadership Society 2020 Luncheon co-chairman. She is currently the chairman of the 2020 Centennial Gala for Neighborhood Services Organization and has served on the Board of Directors for six years. Additional volunteer engagement includes 13 years with Rainbow Fleet Childcare Resource and Referral Board of Directors and service as Board President and Secretary; Oklahoma Breast Institute Community Advisory Board; Meyers Theatre for Young Audiences Steering Committee; and Impact Oklahoma as chairman of their fundraising events. Impact Oklahoma honored her with the 2017 Member of the Year award.

Integral to Clements’ early years for service in the community and passion for working with children were her 15 years with the Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma Volunteer Auxiliary, for which she served a term as president.

She and her husband, Ed, have two adult children, Caitlin and Bryant, from their 35 wonderful years of marriage.

Becky Roten, who is being honored with the Norick-Hulsey Gallery Society Award, has been involved in her community for the last 30 years. Her focus has primarily been centered around serving children to facilitate access to healthcare and quality educational opportunities. Currently, she serves on the following boards of directors – Rainbow Fleet Child Care & Referral, Citizens Caring for Children, Mercy Health Foundation and Cristo Rey Catholic High School, as well as the current chairwoman of the 2020 YWCA Purple Sash Gala. Her past roles include sitting on the Board of Directors for Child Abuse Response & Evaluation Center, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the St. Anthony Hospital Foundation.

At Christ the King Catholic Church, Roten is very active having served on the Weekly Adoration Committee, Stewardship Committee, the Bridge to Greystone Capital Campaign Committee, and as Eucharistic Minister. In 2017, she was awarded the Christ the King School Distinguished Alumni award. Becky is also a sustaining member of The Junior League of Oklahoma City.

She and her husband Alan have been married for 26 years and have two children, William and Caroline.

The Distinguished Philanthropist Award is being given to Ashley Bowen Murphy and Kami Huddleston, the co-founders of Wedlink Media, a print and online wedding media brand, and Brandlink Media, a digital marketing agency.

Ashley graduated summa cum laude with honors with a finance degree from Oklahoma City University, where she served as president of the student body during her undergraduate years. She also attended law school at OCU as a Hatton W. Sumners scholar and received her J.D. in 2005.

She and her family support a wide variety of non-profits and causes including Infant Crisis Center, Meals on Wheels, American Heart Association, Fields & Futures, Lyric Theatre and Allied Arts, among other local charities. She also enjoys speaking to student groups, office tours and mentoring young students, but certainly feels most at home giving back to Oklahoma City’s university and law school that gave her and her husband so much.

She has three children – Kate, Harris and Caroline — and is happily married to the guy she met the first day of college, Kyle.

Kami Huddleston is a proud graduate of Oklahoma City University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design. She came to OCU on a full scholarship to play softball, where she won three national softball titles during her tenure. Kami is married to Eric, also a graduate of OCU, and they have two children, Lauren and Benton. Kami and Eric are steadfast supporters of OCU, including the Athletics program. They also enjoy supporting a range of non-profits including Peppers Ranch, Parent Promise, Infant Crisis Center and Westminster School.

Together, Ashley and Kami feel specially honored to have been co-emcees for the OCU Meinders School of Business Women in Leadership Conference in 2018. 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.