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A Stately Affair in Tulsa

The sold-out, biennial black-tie gala raised about $600,000 for scholarships at OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences.

Center for Health Sciences OSU Tulsa America's Healthiest Campus College of Human Sciences Library

A Stately Affair, OSU's biennial, blacktie gala at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, raised more than $600,000 for scholarships at OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences.

"With more of the financial burden of paying for college being placed on students and their families, the need for scholarships continues to rise to keep higher education affordable," says OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. "Our donors have come through in a big way to support our students and help them earn a degree from a comprehensive research university in Tulsa."

The May event was co-chaired by OSU alumni Jack Allen, chairman of HUB International CFR, and Dave Kollmann, division president for Flintco, along with honorary chair Governor Mary Fallin.

In addition to raising scholarship funds, A Stately Affair in Tulsa recognized the 2015 Icons for OSU in Tulsa. These four individuals have made significant contributions to OSU, the city of Tulsa, the state of Oklahoma and humankind.

The 2015 Icons for OSU in Tulsa are Bob Jones, former executive director of the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association; Bishop Edward Slattery of the Catholic Archdiocese of Tulsa; Bryan Close, president of CloseBend Inc.; and Peggy Helmerich, community volunteer.

The legacy of Jones continues to impact students at OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and Oklahoma physicians nearly 15 years after his passing. The former OOA executive director played a major role in the establishment of the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, the nation's first freestanding state-supported college of osteopathic medicine, and was instrumental in the college becoming part of OSU in 1988. During his tenure at the OOA, the number of osteopathic physicians in Oklahoma increased from 300 to 1,200, with more than half serving in rural communities.

A champion of the underserved, Slattery has helped thousands of Oklahomans receive food, shelter and health care as the result of his leadership of Catholic Charities of Tulsa. Slattery was ordained a priest on April 26, 1966, for the Archdiocese of Chicago and served as associate pastor of St. Jude the Apostle Parish from 1966 to 1971. He began his service with the Catholic Church Extension Society in 1971, working as vice president through 1976 and president until 1994. While working at Extension, Slattery was appointed associate pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish and later served as pastor. On January 6, 1994, Pope John Paul II ordained Slattery as the third bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa.

Close has long been a champion of OSU and the university's efforts in Tulsa. A graduate of Tulsa's Edison High School, Close earned his bachelor's degree from OSU in 1966. In 1974, his father founded the welding fitting company, CloseBend Inc., and hired Close to oversee accounting. He eventually joined the company full time and has remained with the family business for more than 40 years. Close is a well-known community volunteer, currently serving on many local advisory boards, the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the OSU College of Human Sciences Partners Association, and is a member of the OSU President's Fellows. He was also co-chair for the wildly successful 2013 A Stately Affair in Tulsa and was inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame.

Helmerich has devoted countless hours to improving health care, education, arts, libraries and other charitable endeavors. She earned degrees from Gulf Park College and Northwestern University before becoming an actress, co-starring in eight movies for Universal-International. After only three years, Helmerich retired from show business and relocated with her husband, Walter H. Helmerich III, to his hometown of Tulsa. While raising five sons, Helmerich developed a passion for charity work. She served on the Tulsa City-County Library Commission and was a member of the Tulsa Library Trust. The Peggy V. Helmerich Library in south Tulsa was named in her honor, and the Helmerich Research Center at OSU-Tulsa was named after Peggy and Walt. She continues to volunteer with numerous community organizations, including the Tulsa Ballet, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Garden Center and Friends of the OSU Library.

For more information about the event, visit www.astatelyaffair.com. To find out how to contribute to scholarships for OSU-Tulsa and OSU Center for Health Sciences students, contact the OSU Foundation in Tulsa at 918-594-8500.