Representative Cole is being honored for his leadership and commitment to education and as one who has consistently championed the value of education. Cole sits on the House Budget and the House Appropriations Committees. As the Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, he’s worked to make sure students have the financial and academic tools necessary to pursue a degree. He’s helped increase access to federal student loans that give students access to college who otherwise would not be able to attend. Cole is a strong supporter of programs like GEAR UP and TRIO, federal programs to help disadvantaged students prepare for and succeed in college. His commitment to ensuring individuals have access to higher education is evident by his personal involvement with the House Community College Caucus.
“Representative Cole has been part of the national dialogue about higher education, college accessibility and the achievement gap since he was elected in 2002,” said TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. “Every student pursuing higher education in Oklahoma, as well as the across the country, has benefitted from his advocacy and leadership to remove barriers to higher education.”
Before serving in the U.S. House, he was a faculty member at both University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Baptist University. With his experience in the classroom, he understands the importance of higher education in advancing the state of Oklahoma through a better-educated workforce. He was a Thomas Watson Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London and currently serves on the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, and as a member of the Congressional Advisory Board to the Aspen Institute.
The 2016 TCC Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner committee members are Sharon King Davis, Shane Fernandez, Susan Harris, Ted Haynes, Mina Lotti, Meredith Siegfried Madden, Joan Parkhurst, Henry Primeaux, Shawn Slaton, and Melinda Stinnett. Joan P. Parkhurst is the TCC Foundation 2016 Board Chair.
Funds raised by the Vision Dinner support student scholarships, competitive academic conferences for students, presentations by noted scholars and enhancements in the classroom to propel our students to graduation and success. Thanks to generous donations, the TCC Foundation gives more than $1 million annually to programs and scholarships to support students, faculty and staff. Past honorees include:
- 2015 - Susan Harris, former Tulsa Regional Chamber Senior Vice President of Education & Workforce
- 2014 - Jake Henry Jr., President & CEO of Saint Francis Health System
- 2013 - Don Walker, former TCC Foundation Trustee and CEO of Arvest Bank
- 2012 - Keith Ballard, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools
- 2011 - Lynn and Stacy Schusterman, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
- 2010 - Gov. Brad Henry, Oklahoma Governor
- 2009 - Montie Box, Sand Springs business leader
- 2008 - David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma
- 2007 - John-Kelly C. Warren, CEO of the William K. Warren Foundation
- 2006 - Michael Johnson, Senior VP & CAO of Williams, former Tulsa Public Schools Foundation chair and TCC Foundation Trustee
- 2005 - Early Childhood Advocates: Martin Fate (posthumously), Leonard Eaton, Bill Doenges, Robert LaFortune, George Kaiser, Nancy McDonald, Pete Churchwell, Sen. Ted Fisher, and Rep. Ron Peters
- 2004 - Ron King, former President & CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Oklahoma
- 2003 - Dr. Jim and Ann Halligan, former President and First Lady of OSU-Tulsa
- 2002 - John Gaberino, former Senior VP & General Counsel of ONEOK, Inc. and advocate of OSU-Tulsa and the OU/OSU Graduate Research Center
- 2001 - Ken Lackey, The Nordam Group, former President of OU-Tulsa and former Chief of Staff for Gov. Frank Keating, current TCC Foundation Trustee
- 2000 - Dr. Paula Marshall, CEO of Bama Companies and former TCC student
For information regarding sponsorships and tickets to the 2016 Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner, call 918-595-7836 or http://www.tulsacc.edu/visiondinner.