Don Walker Honored as Outstanding Community and Business Leader

September 13, 2013

The Tulsa Community College Foundation honored Don Walker, President and CEO of Arvest Bank Tulsa, for his contributions to the greater Tulsa area through his community involvement and his quiet, selfless and effective leadership. He was presented with the 2013 Vision in Education Leadership Award during a dinner on Sept. 10 at the Cox Business Center.

The Vision dinner is held each year to honor a community leader who exemplifies the highest standards in leadership and personal and professional contributions to Tulsa and to education. According to TCC Foundation Trustee and Dinner Chair Tiffani Bruton, the dinner raised more than $245,000 to support key college programs through the support of significant sponsorships from the Walton Family Foundation, Cox Business, ONEOK, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation. The event raises significant funds to support students, faculty and staff at TCC including scholarships, student leadership programs and academic innovations.

Walker was recognized by TCC President Tom McKeon as a friend of TCC. “He has served on our Foundation, he worked closely with TCC during the Vision 2025 planning process to secure necessary funds to build our Health Sciences and Biotechnology Learning Center on our Southeast Campus, and when we ask for his support for our students, he never hesitates,” said McKeon.

Besides serving as a member of the leadership team for Vision 2025, Walker served as co-chair for Vision 2 and Tulsa co-chair for the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial Celebration with Sharon King Davis. Davis, TCC Foundation Honorary Dinner Chair, said during her remarks, “We honor a business leader who has always focused his attention on Tulsa’s quality of life. Don Walker has successfully coupled his long career in the banking industry with a strong belief in community building that has benefited our citizens, our institutions and our initiatives.”

Davis described Walker as a great friend and a great leader and said he has a quiet, organized and thoughtful way of marshaling fellow business leader and the Tulsa community to do important work. She cited two projects in Tulsa that exist today because of Walker’s effort including the park adjacent to the Council Oak Tree at 18th and Cheyenne and the Centennial Green at 6th between Main and Boston.

Walker has served on the boards of the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, Oklahoma Business Roundtable Board, Indian Nations Council – Boy Scouts of America, River Parks Authority, Morningcrest Charitable Foundation, Land Legacy – Oklahoma Land Trust and the Tulsa Community College Foundation. In addition, Walker served as chairman of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, Oklahoma Business Roundtable, River Parks Authority and Indian Nations Council – Boy Scouts of America.

Past Vision in Education Leadership honorees include Keith Ballard, David Boren, Montie Box, former Governor Brad Henry, John-Kelly Warren, George Kaiser, Paula Marshall and Lynn and Stacy Schusterman.

At the Vision Dinner, TCC posthumously awarded Nathaniel S. (Nate) Waters with the Stephen J. Jatras Award. Waters was a TCC graduate who went on to become an advocate for the physically challenged. Mary Shaw, TCC Foundation Chair and personal friend, accepted the award on behalf of Waters for his perseverance and dedication to the power of education and community service to change lives. The Jatras award was established by the TCC Foundation to recognize individuals whose service to higher education reflects the community spirit and commitment of Stephen J. Jatras, a benefactor and community leader who served as both a State Regent and a TCC Regent.

The Walton Family Foundation was a Presenting Sponsor for the 2013 Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner. Cox Business; ONEOK; Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation; and the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation were Leadership Sponsors.

Excellence Sponsors for the evening were Arvest Bank; Bank of Oklahoma; Barnett Family Foundation; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma; Mervin Bovaird Foundation; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Mary K. Chapman Foundation; HP Enterprise Services; Jones Gotcher; George Kaiser Family Foundation; Aldean Newcomb and George W. Krumme; Oxley Foundation; Stuart & Linda Price; Senior Star Living; Schnake Turnbo Frank; Dr. B. Frank & Mary Shaw; Jess L. and Miriam B. Stevens Foundation; TTCU The Credit Union; Williams and University of Tulsa.

Anchor Stone; BancFirst; Mike and Pat Case; Conner Winters; Crafton Tull; Sharon King Davis; Eller & Detrich/Cameron Glass; Flintco; Helmerich & Payne; Langdon Publishing; Janet McGehee; Tom & Stacey McKeon; Nadel and Gussman Energy; OSU-Tulsa; Jane & Henry Primeaux; Public Service Company of Oklahoma; TCC President’s Cabinet; Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation were Achievement Sponsors.

Individual Sponsors were Arby’s; American Fidelity Assurance Company; Jo and Jack Babbitt; Montie and Betty Box; Lee and Debbie Buddrus; Bryan Close; Phill and Fonda Cooper; Dewberry; Ruth Ann Fate; Marge and John Gaberino; Hille Family Foundation; Jim Norton Toyota; Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation; McFarland Architects; MidFirst Bank; Bob and Pat Melott; Nancy and Joe McDonald; Meshri Family; Marina Metevelis; Evelyn Neinhuis; RVA Market Research and Consulting; Ruth Nelson; Osteopathic Founders Foundation; Jackie and Bob Poe; Robson Properties; Joe and Hannah Robson; Secure Agent Software; Selser Schaefer Architects; Erma Spann and Loren Stout; TransSolPro; Dean and Vesta VanTrease; and Mollie Williford.

Funds raised by the Vision Dinner will support scholarships and special programs for students and faculty. Thanks to generous donations, the TCC Foundation gives more than $1 million annually to programs and scholarships to support students, faculty and staff.