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A publication of the University of Oklahoma Foundation

Your Letters


Photo by Shevaun Williams and Associates

Accolades for George Henderson

When I received my recent Sooner Magazine with the honorable Dr. George Henderson on the cover, I immediately recognized him and gleefully opened it to find his story.

 Dr. Henderson, and other esteemed colleagues, came to Osan Air Base in South Korea in the 2000-2001 time frame, and provided a very detailed and extremely informative program in Human Relations that resonated with me then and still does to this day.

 I was fortunate to have been chosen to be one of the student speakers at our graduation, and I got the idea to name some of our instructors that followed the days-of-the-week pattern, based off the hugely influential book by Mitch Albom, “Tuesdays With Morrie.”

 I started naming professors beginning with Wednesday, and when I finished with Tuesday, I said (and I’m paraphrasing), now we know that Tuesdays are with Morrie, but for our classmates we know that Tuesdays belong with Dr. Henderson. I saved him for last, as his impact, while low-key, was philosophical, eye-opening, emotive, and made one commit to the principles we had studied for the past year.

 Scott Hood, MSgt (ret), USAF, ’02 m. hr, Pinellas Park, Fla.


I loved, loved, loved the story on Dr. Henderson. I would have loved to have been in one of his classes. Such a person is hard to come by and is so needed in this day and age. 

 Thank you for printing this and thank Dr. Henderson for being Dr. Henderson.  

 Jenny Spade, National Weather Center and OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, Norman, Okla.


What a wonderful article featuring Dr. George Henderson in the Summer 2020 Sooner Magazine. It’s great to hear that he is well and still making a difference in the world and directly affecting people’s lives.

 I was an undergraduate at OU from Fall 1966 through Spring 1970 majoring in elementary education. In the fall of 1969 I completed my student-teaching experience in a new and unique program focusing on teaching in inner-city schools and lower socioeconomic areas. It included student teachers from various teaching institutions across the state, not only those from OU. We students lived in the Oklahoma City area for that semester. Not only were we student teaching, but also we were involved with intensive classes learning about race relations, interpersonal communication, community, and much more. Dr. Henderson was one of our amazing resources for this eye-opening program.

 Was I, a 19-year old young woman, really aware of what all was happening racially during this time? Probably not, but I do know that Dr. Henderson awakened a new awareness to the world, not only for me, but for most students with whom he worked. Congratulations to him on all his endeavors!

 As for me, I completed a master’s degree in Student Personnel Services, a Ph.D. in Reading Education, and went on to teach for about 10 years, with five of that as a reading consultant in an inner-city area. Eventually I began working with my husband, Larry, (who has three degrees from OU in Industrial Engineering) in college textbook writing on the topic of computers. Our books touched students and professionals learning about computers from 1979 to 2005. As with Dr. Henderson, education gets in your blood.

If you see Dr. Henderson, tell him I said, “I hope I look that good at 88!”

 Nancy Rothlisberger Long, ’70 bs edu, ’72 m. edu, ’75 ph.d. edu, Fayetteville, Ark.

Kudos to President Harroz

 Congratulations to Joe Harroz from Sooner alumni in Liberal, Kansas on being named the 15th  president of our University. Good news does not travel as fast without newspapers in this part of the world. Gene and I are both farm kids from Beaver County, Oklahoma, whose parents sent us to Liberal High and then on to college realizing education is the key to a better life. We are pleased to see him setting strategic goals for all areas and selecting those who can best carry out

that mission. We were pleased when we got news by Sooner Magazine, even on the back page. Again, congratulations, we know he will continue to do a superb job with the 2020 goals and will be a favorite president for all students, faculty and staff.    

 Jo Ann Sharp, ’53 home ec, Gene Sharp, ’51 poli sci; ’53 jd, Liberal, Kan.

Thank you for your story on Joe Harroz’s current role and accomplishments. I think he is doing a great job leading a great university. Our family has three generations of OU graduates: Dad in 1939, me in 1964 and 1993, and my son in 2006.Dad took me to many OU football games in the 1950s Wilkinson era, and I was hooked on OU as a teen.

 Frederick Patrick, ’64 ba hist; ’93 psych, Siloam Springs, Ark.

 Well done. I knew Joe should become OU's president and he has proved me right. Keep up the good work.  

Liz Robertson, '68 bb, Edmond, Okla.

Another fine issue, for sure.  The “Postscript” on [President] Harroz [Summer 2020] was especially good, I thought.  Keep up the great work!

John Campbell, ’58 ba journ, Washington, D.C.

Details of Tulsa Race Massacre debated

The article entitled "OU plans educational events on Tulsa Race Massacre" on page 3 of the Summer 2020 issue states that "hundreds" died when a white mob attacked the Greenwood District of the city. Official records tallied by the Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics at the time put the figure at 36 deaths. A 1961 report prepared by the Oklahoma legislature confirmed the number of deaths at 36 — 26 black and 10 white. The report also alluded to unconfirmed estimates that as many as 300 may have died. Ongoing research may uncover (literally) new evidence to increase the number of confirmed deaths. But until that research is completed, it is spurious to state that "hundreds" lost their lives as a result of the white mob's attack on the Greenwood District.

 Karl E.Cocke, '59 hist, Sapulpa, Okla.

The final report of the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, released in February 2001, is the definitive accounting of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, compiled by a diverse, state-created body that met from 1997 to 2001. On the death count, the Commission noted that actual deaths likely ranged from 100 to 300. The official death count is 37 (reported as 36 initially, but one additional death certificate was found). The low official death count is attributable to: 1) poor record-keeping; 2) the likelihood of undiscovered mass graves; 3) unreported deaths of injured victims who fled Tulsa amidst the cataclysmic violence; 4) summary, undocumented private burials; and 5) obfuscation of the magnitude of the mortality in light of Tulsa's growth and elevated status as the self-described "Oil Capital of the World."

To see the report, click here

 Phil Armstrong, Project Director, 2021 Centennial Commission, Tulsa, Okla.

Schooner alive and well

Trey Young/OU Daily

Glad to see the Schooner is going to keep going. I was personally involved in the original Schooner when the Bartlet Collins Foundation, Ed, Charlie and Dr. Merrill Bartlett decided to do something for their alma mater in a way that would continue to provide a tradition! That was in 1965. The original Schooner was partially put together in the maintenance building of Bartlett Memorial Hospital under the supervision of the then-Maintenance Supervisor Les Cathcart and Dr Bartlett. I was purchasing agent of the hospital at the time and helped procure the necessary materials. The original Schooner and horses were based at the farm of Les Cathcart for many years. Les would hitch up the horse trailer and Schooner and take it to all games, both home and away, where allowed! When travels and maintenance were too much for Les, the Schooner and ponies were given to the Ruf/Neks to maintain and care for. Hopefully the tradition will continue well into the future! 

Robert King, ’75 mba, Indianapolis, Ind.

 Captain Marvel

Letters to the Editor

To send a letter to Sooner Magazine, press the link below. All letters will be considered for publication unless otherwise noted. Please include your name, graduation year, if applicable,  city and state.

Fantastic, what a story. I admire and salute Col.Weeks and the author of the story. [Winter 2020 Sooner Magazine] It is wonderful to read and learn about women of courage who serve our country. I attended OU in the sixties and graduated in 1965. I was in the USAF medical corps as a physical therapist. My husband served 30 years in the USAF.  I know and realize the many changes that have taken place over the years. Thank you for writing this great story. It brings back fond memories of good times.

 Katherine A. Madden, '65 bs, phys therapy, Bluff Dale, Texas


Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art a destination

I can hardly wait until my next visit to OKC. This will be on my to do list for certain. Reading the article [Winter 2020 Sooner Magazine] makes it so inviting.  I am always spending time in galleries, as I am an artist in watercolors.

 Janet Hubbard, Seaford, Del.

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