OSU Alumni Hall of Fame Honors Three Oklahoma Treasures
The Oklahoma State University Alumni Association inducted Ray Booker, Malinda Berry Fischer and Benjamin Harjo Jr. into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame on Friday, February 17, at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center.
Induction into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the OSU Alumni Association. It recognizes alumni and former students with outstanding lifetime achievements in society and professional life.
"These three treasures set a wonderful example for us all," said OSU President Burns Hargis. "Because when it's all said and done, the legacies that we leave are the effect of the lives that go on."
Visit youtube.com/osualumniassociation to view the ceremony video and the three biographical videos for each inductee. Photos from the ceremony are available for purchase from okpartypix.com.
Ray Booker of Tulsa, Okla., graduated from Oklahoma A&M in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He is the founder of Aeromet, Inc. and Aviation Technologies in Tulsa, Okla. Booker is a certified Airline Transport Pilot and is now retired.
"I came here 60 years ago and I met some of the kindest people, some of the nicest people," Booker said following his induction. "The people that helped me here took what was probably not a very good candidate for engineering, and made an engineer out of me."
While at OSU, Booker was involved in the Air Force ROTC and the Baptist Student Union activities. After graduating, Booker was an engineer at Chance Vought Aircraft in Grand Prairie, Texas, before becoming a second lieutenant with the Air Force. He was sent to Pennsylvania State University for training, where he received a master’s degree in 1962 and a Ph.D. in 1965, both in meteorology.
Booker is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. He has published more than 60 professional papers and major reports on meteorological, engineering and aviation.
In 1995, Booker was awarded the CEAT Melvin R. Lohmann Medal, which is presented annually to an individual for engineering achievement. In 2001, Booker was named an OSU Distinguished Alumnus by the OSU Alumni Association. Booker and his wife, Linda, have endowed two scholarship funds and a professorship at OSU. Booker is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association and had a residence hall at OSU named in his honor in 2005.
Malinda Berry Fischer of Stillwater, Okla., graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in education. She is currently President of Marietta Royalty Company and Chairman of Thomas N. Berry & Company.
"Clearly my life's experiences were molded an enriched by and within my very large OSU family, and my rather large personal family," Fischer said following her induction. "Thank you, Oklahoma State Unviersity, for preparing me for many of my life's opportunities. And thank you, OSU Alumni Association, for inducting me and asking me to be a Hall of Fame daughter."
While at OSU, Fischer was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, the American Royal Queen in 1957 and Redskin Congratulate in 1958 and 1959. She was the national 1959 Maid of Cotton, touring the world for the American Cotton Industry, Cotton Council International and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 1962, Fischer graduated from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration. In 1963, she moved to Rochester, N.Y., where she served on numerous boards. In 1965, she was named one of the “Outstanding Young Women of America.” In 1995, Fischer returned to Stillwater as President and CEO of Thomas N. Berry & Company.
From 1997-2007 she served on the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees during which time she was both Interim President & CEO (2004) and Chairman (2005). She established the Thomas E. Berry Professorship in Water Research and Management and the Wise-Diggs-Berry Endowed Arts Faculty Award for teaching excellence in the arts. Fischer is a life member of the OSU Alumni Association.
Fischer was recognized as an OSU Leadership Legacy in 2002 and an OSU Distinguished Alumna by the OSU Alumni Association in 2006.
Benjamin Harjo Jr. of Oklahoma City, Okla., graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Harjo is a Seminole and Absentee Shawnee who is one of the nation’s leading American Indian artists.
"I feel really humbled to be here to accept being inducted into the OSU Hall of Fame," Harjo said following his induction. "To see OSU moving into the future and establing a museum, a recepticle for a lot of alumni art collections; I think that it will be very beneficial not only to the students here but to the whole city of Stillwater."
His work has been featured in several publications including, The National Museum of American Indian, Washington DC magazine, Southwest Art Today, Oklahoma Today and Art of the West. His work can be viewed in public collections including the Fred E. Brown Collection at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, Red Earth Center, Gilcrease Museum, Wheelright Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian.
In 1987, Harjo received the Red Earth Grand Award at the Red Earth Festival. Harjo was the Featured Artist for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s Annual Aspen Benefit in 1993 and 1994. In 2002, Harjo was named an OSU Distinguished Alumnus by the OSU Alumni Association. He was named Signature Artist of the 2005 Santa Fe Indian Market. In 2009, Harjo was named an Oklahoma Living Treasure by the OU Health Center and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement by the Native American Art Studies Association. Harjo is a member of the OSU Alumni Association.
For more information about the OSU Alumni Association's alumni awards program or to submit a nomination, visit orangeconnection.org/alumniawards or contact Melissa Mourer at 405.744.3388.