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Cultural enrichment for students, faculty, staff and the community has led to a beneficial partnership between Oklahoma Heritage Bank and East Central University.

Because of those efforts, Oklahoma Heritage Bank was recently recognized with the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The OHB-ECU partnership was one of 27 business and higher education partnerships throughout the state which were recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The OSRHE award is designed to highlight successful businesses partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through the State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

“Our colleges and universities are working side by side with leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors,” said OSRHE Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These collaborations between business and industry and our state system institutions that we continue building the skilled workforce needed for Oklahoma to be globally competitive.”

Dr. R. Darryl Fisher, distinguished ECU alumnus and chairman of the board of directors for Oklahoma Heritage Bank, has spearheaded the OHB-ECU partnership. He established a lectureship at ECU that provides an opportunity for high school seniors and college freshmen to present their poetry and prose at the annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.

Most recently, OHB provided the campus and community to hear and see two priceless,

museum-quality violins from Cremona, Italy – the Lenora Jackson Stradivarius (1714) and the

San Guarnerious del Gesu (1742). Fisher arranged for Dr. William Sloan and Professor Judy Sloan, of Los Angeles, to present a multifaceted program at ECU to demonstrate the enduring superiority of these priceless violins.

OHB also supports ECU students through internships and employment. Many of the bank’s employee are ECU alumni.       


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