The Tulsa Community College Foundation honored Susan Harris and the legacy of Larry Mocha during its annual Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner on Sept. 24 at the Cox Business Center. Harris was presented the 2015 Vision in Education Leadership Award for her visionary leadership in creating Tulsa’s education landscape, including elementary, secondary and higher education. Mocha was posthumously given the Stephen J. Jatras Award for his lasting legacy and passionate support of TCC.
Photo: (l to r) Tulsa Community College Foundation 2015 Board Chair Pierce Norton, 2015 Vision in Education Leadership Award honoree Susan Harris, TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Vision Dinner Committee Chair Susan Neal, and past Vision recipient and 2015 Honorary Chair Don Walker
The 2015 Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner surpassed its goal and raised more than $250,000 for the TCC Foundation which helps TCC achieve the margin of excellence as one of the top community colleges in the nation. The TCC Foundation provided nearly $4 million in resources through unrestricted, restricted and endowment funds in 2014 for education opportunities for TCC students, faculty and staff.
TCC President Leigh B. Goodson, TCC Foundation 2015 Board Chair Pierce Norton, Vision Dinner Committee Chair Susan Neal, and past Vision recipient and 2015 Honorary Chair Don Walker presented Harris with the Vision in Education Leadership Award.
Many community leaders consider her Tulsa’s “education engineer” providing the inspiration, initiative and implementation behind every major education funding initiative or decision made in Tulsa over the course of two decades while she served as Senior Vice President of Education and Workforce Development at the Tulsa Regional Chamber before her 2013 retirement.
“Susan Harris invested herself and her career in the improvement of school buildings, classroom environments and academic instruction at every level of the educational experience,” said TCC President & CEO Leigh B. Goodson, Ph.D. “She’s been a tireless advocate for education including her early embrace of Tulsa Achieves as a program to transform Tulsa and build on its economic prosperity by removing barriers to higher education.”
The TCC Foundation also recognized education advocate, business owner and long-time TCC supporter Larry Mocha posthumously with the Stephen J. Jatras Award. The award is named after Jatras, a benefactor and community leader who served as both a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and the TCC Board of Regents.
“Larry Mocha was a dear friend – always supportive, kind and encouraging,” said Goodson. “He was passionate about small business, entrepreneurship and education. He invested himself in TCC, Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma and his spirit and legacy will continue to influence others for years to come.”
Mocha served as the TCC Foundation Chair in 2014, was a member of the Advisory Board for the Signature Symphony at TCC, sat on the TCC Presidential Search Committee and was a member of the TCC President’s Society. Mocha’s wife, Sandy Mocha and Vince Williams, APSCO President accepted the award in his honor.
The Vision Award is presented annually to an individual dedicated to education excellence and community leadership. ONE Gas is the Visionary Sponsor for the 2015 TCC Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner. Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; Ruth K. Nelson; TTCU The Credit Union; The University of Tulsa; and The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation are Leadership Sponsors.
Excellence Sponsors are Phil & Jo Albert; American Airlines; Bama Companies; Bank of Oklahoma; Conner & Winters, LLP; Cox Communications; George Kaiser Family Foundation; The Grace and Franklin Bernsen Foundation; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services; Jones, Gotcher & Bogan, PC; George & Aldean Krumme; Langdon Publishing; The Mervin Bovaird Foundation; Nabholz Construction; The Oxley Foundation; Jane & Henry Primeaux; Public Service Company of Oklahoma; QuikTrip Corporation; Saint Francis Health System; Schnake Turnbo Frank and Tulsa Regional Chamber.
The 2015 TCC Vision in Education Leadership Award Dinner committee members are Steve Fate, Shane Fernandez, Jim Langdon, Mina Lotti, Nancy McDonald, Steve Turnbo, and John Wiscaver.
Past honorees include Jake Henry Jr.; Don Walker; Keith Ballard; Lynn and Stacy Schusterman; Gov. Brad Henry; Montie Box; David Boren; John-Kelly C. Warren; Michael Johnson; 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; Ron King; Dr. Jim and Ann Halligan; John Gaberino; Ken Lackey; and Dr. Paula Marshall.
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.