UCO Honors Gov. Mary Fallin With Dedication Of Room

March 26, 2014

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121, lhouts@uco.edu

UCO HONORS GOV. MARY FALLIN WITH DEDICATION OF ROOM

The University of Central Oklahoma’s Nigh University Center (NUC) now includes a room that bears the name of Gov. Mary Fallin. The university hosted a reception on Tuesday to celebrate the occasion.

The naming of the room honors Fallin, a UCO alumna, who has been a strong supporter of higher education in Oklahoma.

UCO has a long established a tradition of honoring Oklahoma public servants with room dedications in the NUC, including Oklahoma Govs. and U.S. Sens. Robert S. Kerr and Henry Bellmon, and Congressman Carl Albert.

UCO President Don Betz highlighted Fallin’s significant contributions to higher education in Oklahoma during the reception.

“In terms of Oklahoma higher education, we believe that Governor Fallin made history here. On Sept. 22, 2011, the governor held an important press conference along with the Chancellor [Glen Johnson] and committed our state to an unprecedented plan to change Oklahoma’s future through educating its citizens,” said Betz.

“It was here that she introduced Oklahoma and all of us to Complete College America, and to her vision, a substantial increase in the number of our citizens who will obtain a college degree. At that time she made a vital connection to all of us – between educational attainment and economic prosperity. She’s placed our state on course to increase the number of college graduates by a whopping 67 percent by the year 2023.”

Former Oklahoma Gov. and UCO President George Nigh, former UCO President Roger Webb, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson, Regent Ann Holloway, Regional University System of Oklahoma Regents Richard Ogden, Connie Reilly and Susan Winchester, and members of Fallin’s cabinet and family were on hand for the honor.

The governor called Tuesday’s experience a humbling one.

“I have very fond memories of my years here, so this is very, very special,” Fallin said, addressing the standing-room-only crowd.

“I was a young girl, paying for my own college, but I was also trying to support myself. What I found was that UCO not only offered a great education with great professors, and I certainly learned a lot, but it was affordable to me.”

Fallin remarked that she hopes the students who visit and use the room, which features photos of her life and career, will see the importance of giving back to their communities, whether in volunteer capacities or in public service.

To learn more about UCO, visit www.uco.edu.

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Editor’s Note: To download art associated with this release, visit www.uco.edu/photo/Fallin03.14.

Cutline 1: The University of Central Oklahoma on Tuesday hosted a reception and ceremony to celebrate the newly named Mary Fallin Room in the Nigh University Center. Gov. Fallin is an alumna of the university.

Cutline 2: UCO President Don Betz and Gov. Mary Fallin in the newly named Mary Fallin Room in UCO’s Nigh University Center.