It is the people of Tulsa who make this city great. Our civic leaders of the past and present have transformed a prairie town into a cosmopolitan and sophisticated city looking to its future with pride and enthusiasm.
Each year, the Tulsa Historical Society honors some of those who have been part of that journey with an induction into the Tulsa Hall of Fame.
The black-tie dinner and ceremony will be held Oct. 1 at Southern Hills Country Club.
Inductees include the Rev. Dr. Mouzon Biggs Jr., senior minister at Boston Avenue United Methodist Church; Bryan B. Close, president of CloseBend Inc.; Joseph W. Morris, a former federal judge and partner at GableGotwals; the late A.R. "Bill" Tandy, whose gift to the University of Tulsa through the Tandy Foundation created the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy School of Computer Science; and the late Jean Bonney McGill, a passionate advocate for women's health, especially the fight against cancer.
"The impacts these honorees have had on our community ensure Tulsa has a bright future to accompany its rich history," said Michelle Place, executive director of Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. "It's important to acknowledge, honor and document their lives and contributions that have created a better Tulsa."
Colleagues, friends and family members of the inductees will be introducing the honorees at the dinner.
Rabbi Charles P. Sherman of Temple Israel, who will present Biggs, said: "I believe (he) is one of the most hard-working people for community unity that I have ever known. He brings people together. He has a desire to learn more himself about all faiths and races. Out of this comes his abiding respect for all people."
Tulsa businessman Jack Lenhart called Close "a loyal and good friend. He is an excellent second-generation businessman. His late father would be proud of him and all he has accomplished for the family business, for Oklahoma State University and for his deep commitment to so many Tulsa-area nonprofit agencies."
Tulsa attorney Jim Sturdivant will present the honor to Morris. "The thing I think of first when I think of Judge Morris is he is a consummate gentleman, a consummate scholar and a consummate nice guy," Sturdivant said. "I met him before I came to Tulsa in 1963. He made me feel welcome here."
A.R. "Rant" Tandy Jr. will induct his late father, Bill Tandy, a World War II bomber pilot whose family started the Tandy Corp. in Fort Worth. Following the war, he moved to Tulsa and helped the family business develop diversified retail holdings, most notably the RadioShack chain. He also developed his own holdings, including Tandy Industries, which has built homes, college housing, libraries and other projects.
Jim McGill, executive chairman of MacroSolve Inc., will induct his late wife, Jean. "I was once asked what Jean's occupation was and answered, 'volunteer,' " McGill said. "Her legacy will be the unbounded energy and enthusiasm she applied to being the best wife, mother and grandmother that she could be while also finding time to volunteer her service to others. She gave 100 percent to every endeavor." Susie McRight will accept the award on her mother's behalf.
John Erling will be the evening's emcee.
Sponsors of the event include Mollie Williford, Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation, McElroy Manufacturing, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Senior Star Living, the University of Tulsa and the Zarrow Families Foundation.
Patrons are the Barnett Family Foundation, the Chapman Foundations Management, Hall Estill Attorneys at Law, Julie and John Nickel, the Trust Company of Oklahoma and Williams.
Additional sponsors include American Electric Power-Public Service Company of Oklahoma, Susan and G.T. Bynum, Case & Associates Properties Inc., Phyllis and George Dotson, Drummond Law, Frisco Title Corp., Robert J. LaFortune, Edward C. Lawson Jr., Peter and Nancy Meinig, Frances W. O'Hornett, Jerry and Joan Parkhurst, Hannah and Joe Robson, Dr. Steadman and Peggy Upham, William K. Warren Foundation, T.D. Williamson Inc. and Randi and Fred Wightman.
Tickets to the Tulsa Hall of Fame event are $250 each.
For more information about the event, contact the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum at 918-712-9484.