Tulsa Community College Foundation Sets Record; Raises More Than $475K

The 2021 Vision Dinner hit a historic goal, raising more than $475,000 for the Tulsa Community College Foundation.

This year’s event, chaired by Michelle Hardesty, Andy Kinslow, and Russ Kirkpatrick, recognized 50 Notable Alumni and was tied to the College’s 50th Anniversary.

With an in-person and live streaming option, the event followed CDC and Tulsa Health Department COVID-19 safety guidelines and asked people who attended to complete a form saying they were either fully vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, TCC is extremely grateful for the community support demonstrated by the generosity of our donors,” said Kari Shults, Vice President for Advancement and President of the TCC Foundation. “This record-setting evening will help fund additional scholarships for students, many of which face additional challenges brought by the pandemic.”

In a TCC student survey, 40 percent said their financial situation is worse than before the pandemic and they are struggling to pay for college. During Vision Dinner and a live-ask, donors pledged $50,000 for one-time scholarships to be awarded in Fall 2022.

“It is amazing to see our community respond and value a college education,” said Tim Lyons, TCC Foundation chair and one of TCC’s 50 Notable Alumni. “Personally, as someone who benefited from taking classes at TCC, I am proud to support an institution that provides affordable access to higher education with quality academic programs and personalized support.”

For 20 years, this annual event has supported TCC’s vision of offering greater access to quality higher education through scholarships, leadership development opportunities, engagement and mentoring with academic scholars and leaders, and technology and equipment necessary to prepare for today’s workforce.

This year’s Vision Dinner honored TCC’s 50 Notable Alumni. Selected because of their professional and personal achievement, these individuals represent a diverse population and the best of TCC. The group includes educators, small business owners, entrepreneurs, consultants, and CEOs of nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and international companies to those who have dedicated their lives to public service, influenced our health and wellbeing, and impacted future leaders of tomorrow.

Vision sponsors include Hardesty Family Foundation, TTCU Federal Credit Union, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, Sanford and Irene Burnstein Foundation, and George Kaiser Family Foundation as Pathway Leaders. Cox Communications, Cherokee Nation Businesses and ONEOK are Dream Makers. Additional sponsors are Williams Co., The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, AAON, Ruth K. Nelson, ONE Gas, Osage Casino Hotel, Saint Francis Health System, Hon. Kathy Taylor and Bill Lobeck, and Caron and Shawn Lawhorn.

The 2021 TCC Vision Dinner: Celebrating Success Through Education committee chairs are Michelle Hardesty, Andy Kinslow, and Russ Kirkpatrick. Committee members are Montie Box, Andrew Carlson, Mike Cooper, Laura Creekmur, Curtis Dinan, John Gaberino, Sarah Hansel, John Hewitt, Molly Jarvis, Jim Langdon, Rob Martinovich, Karl Neumaier, M. Susan Savage, Jana Shoulders, Steve Turnbo and Dana Wilkes.

Past honorees include Alison Anthony; Dr. Keith Ballard; David Boren; Montie Box; Congressman Tom Cole; Early Childhood Education Advocates: Pete Churchwell, Bill Doenges, Leonard Eaton, Martin Fate, Ted Fisher, George Kaiser, Robert LaFortune, Nancy McDonald, Ron Peters; John Gaberino, Jr.; Dr. Jim and Ann Halligan; Susan Harris; former Governor Brad Henry; Jake Henry Jr.; Michael Johnson; Karen Keith; Ron King; Ken Lackey; Dr. Paula Marshall; David Page; Lynn and Stacy Schusterman; Don Walker; and John-Kelly Warren.