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East Central University will conduct its annual “Evening of Honors and Recognition” on Friday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the ECU Foundation Hall of the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

Honored will be the 2016 distinguished alums, distinguished former faculty, distinguished service and distinguished family, along with recognition of centennial endowments.




Frank W. Davis is a 1958 graduate of East Central University and has put his degree in history and government into steady practice.

After attending law school at the University of Illinois and the University of Oklahoma where he received his degree, he was admitted to the Bar and returned to Ada where he was soon appointed postmaster.

Davis was later appointed County Attorney (similar to District Attorney) at Guthrie where he and his wife Kay have since resided, raising two sons, David and Paul.

In 1965, Davis established a private practice in Guthrie which he has maintained. He has also served part time as Guthrie Municipal Judge and now serves as attorney for the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma, several rural water districts and two municipal governments.

With a vast interest in government, Davis has been a Republican Party County Chairman for both Pontotoc and Logan Counties and was an Oklahoma delegate to the National Republican Conventions in 1984 and 1996 and an alternate delegate in 2000.

In 1978, he was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for District 31, where he continued to be reelected and served for 26 years before being term-limited in 2004. During his tenure in the State Legislature, he authored approximately 100 pieces of legislation which became law. Davis also served as assistant minority floor leader and was minority floor leader from 1982-1986.


Growing up in the heart of Tornado Alley in Lindsay, Oklahoma, has led to a lifelong fascination of weather for Jim Spencer.

Spencer, the chief meteorologist and weathercaster at KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas, has been forecasting the weather in Central Texas for more than 25 years and his broadcasting career began the same month he started college at East Central University in 1981.

He worked at KADA-AM radio before moving into television at Ada’s KTEN-TV in 1983. Upon graduating from ECU in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a radio/television concentration, Spencer became the chief weathercaster at KTEN and remained there until joining KXAN.

Spencer’s TV weathercasts are the most watched in Central Texas. He is a two-time Emmy Award winning weathercaster and has received national recognition for his work, including recipient of the National Weather Association’s Weathercaster of the Year Award, and is a five-time winner of the Texas Associated Press Best Weathercast Award. He has also been voted Austin’s Best Weathercaster by readers of the Austin Chronicle for 17 years and was named TV Personality of the Year by Austin’s American Women in Radio and Television Chapter four times.

His professional affiliations include the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.


Scales is a nationally-recognized educator, civic and social leader and former superintendent of schools.

Scales served as a teacher, coach and principal at Millwood High School in Oklahoma City and McLain High School in Tulsa before becoming superintendent of the College Station (Texas) Independent School District. He then became deputy superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.

Scales most recently served as superintendent of Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga, Tenn., from 2006-2011, before his retirement.

He was appointed to the State School Board in 1984 by fellow ECU alum and Oklahoma Gov. George Nigh in 1984. That same year, Millwood High School received the National Exemplary School Award from the United States Department of Education.

In 2010, he was inducted into ECU’s Evelyn Keefer Educators Hall of Fame and was recently inducted into the Oklahoma African American Educators Hall of Fame.

He received his bachelor of science in history and physical education from ECU in 1966, master of education from ECU in 1969 and a doctorate of philosophy in education and research from the University of Tulsa in 1991.



Bridges, 2016 recipient of the East Central University Distinguished Alumni Award, joined the ECU faculty in 1978. She was recruited by Dr. James West, chair of the Department of Human Resources, to assist in building ECU’s fledgling undergraduate Social Work Program.  Bridges served as a professor of social work for 35 years, including 16 years as director of the Social Work Program, and led in reaffirmation of the national accreditation of the program in 2002 and 2010.  She retired from ECU in 2013 and gained the title of Emeritus Faculty.

Bridges earned her bachelor of science degree in sociology in 1968 at Central State University; her master of social work degree in 1975 at the University of Oklahoma and her doctor of philosophy degree in family relations and child development in 1989 at Oklahoma State University. 

During her tenure at ECU, Dr. Bridges was named as an Adolph Linscheid Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2006, and received the ECU 2005-06 Teaching Excellence Award.  She was inducted into the Hall of Honor for social work education at the University of Oklahoma in 1998 and received special recognition in 2013 by the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work for contributions to social work education.

Bridges, in addition to serving in the role of educator, co-directed the Child Welfare Professional Enhancement Program at ECU from 1994-2013.   During this time, external funding of $1,746,714 was awarded to ECU, in addition to countless ECU social work graduates entering the child welfare field of practice in Oklahoma.

Bridges has continued her professional involvement since retirement by serving on state and local service and education boards and committees, as well as mentoring both current and former students.



Green taught undergraduate and graduate courses in reading methods while serving as director of athletics at ECU for 25 years until his retirement in 2006. He also served on numerous committees at ECU and was ultimately inducted into the ECU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Gene and Evelyn Keefer Educator’s Hall of Fame posthumously in 2013.

Green was editor for 25 years of the “Oklahoma Reader,” a state publication for reading teachers. He also served the community in many capacities, including a term as director of the board of directors for Valley View Regional Hospital.

He was born in Asher and graduated from Asher Public Schools before attending East Central State College his freshman year. He transferred to Oklahoma State on a baseball scholarship, while majoring in business administration. While at OSU, Green was a member of the Cowboys’ baseball team which won a 1959 national championship.

Green went on to graduate from Henderson State College (Ark.) with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education. He completed his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma in 1970.

He went on teach at Memphis State University before coming to ECU.

At the time of his death in 2011, Green had been married to his wife, Paula, for 52 years. Their daughter, Kelly, is married to Jeff Maloy and they have four children.



Karen Hudson graduated with a B.S. in business administration from East Central University in 1985, receiving the Distinguished Graduate Award.

In 1994, she received her M.S. in Human Resources Administration, also from ECU. Having spent nearly her entire career assisting or leading non-profit organizations, Hudson is currently the president and CEO of the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce. She has also served as alumni relations director for ECU, interim vice president for institutional advancement at ECU, director of public relations at People’s Electric Cooperative and is the owner of a consulting company she began in 2011, Hudson Advancement Strategies.

Throughout her career, Hudson has created and implemented many impactful programs and events, including ECU’s student-alumni grants and obtaining the ECU Alumni Association’s designation as a 501(c)3 organization. At People’s Electric Cooperative, she organized the first “PEC Day” annual event and implemented the Youth Tour program, both of which have continued for nearly 30 years.

While at the Ada Area Chamber of Commerce, Hudson created the Young Professionals of Ada organization, and founded “Leadership YOUniversity,” a professional development program now in its eighth year, with over 200 graduates. Last year, she established the Ada Area Chamber Foundation, and helped spearhead the fundraising efforts of over $250,000 for the Ada community’s “Trail of Lights” project.

She is currently president of the Sciences and Natural Resources Foundation of Oklahoma, secretary of the Ada Industrial Development Corporation, Pontotoc County Board member for Big Five Community Services and recently completed a 12-year term on the Ada City Schools Board of Education.


Scheef graduated from Plano Senior High School (Texas) in 1981 and accepted a scholarship to play football at East Central University.  In 1984 and 1985, Scheef was named to Who’s Who Among America’s College and University Students and was named Academic All-American in football during his junior and senior seasons.  He was a member of the dean’s and president’s honor rolls while at ECU. 

Scheef was elected co-captain of ECU’s 1984-1985 football team which ranked No. 1 nationally (NAIA) at the end of the regular season. He was All-District IX his junior and senior seasons and Small College Consensus All-American (Honorable Mention) his senior season.  Scheef graduated from ECU with a BBA in marketing in the spring of 1985.  In 2005, he received the Milam Award which is presented annually to a distinguished ECU football alumnus who has excelled in their chosen vocation.

He attended graduate school at the University of North Texas, receiving his MBA in finance in May 1988.  He graduated in the top five percent of MBA students while at UNT.  In June of 1988, Scheef accepted a commercial credit training position with First Interstate Bank (predecessor to Wells Fargo Bank).  During his last five years at Wells Fargo, Craig managed a team of middle market lenders. 

In March of 2003, Scheef accepted the position of Community Bank President (Swiss Ave. location) for Bank of Texas – a subsidiary of BOK Financial.  In 2004, he was promoted to President of Business Banking for the Dallas and Houston markets – having responsibility for seven community banks in Dallas and Houston. 

In April 2007, Scheef left Bank of Texas to begin the process of obtaining regulatory approval and raising capital for an independent bank, focused on the needs of people who exercise their right to free-enterprise – the independent business owner. 



Nine members of the Grinnell family are ECU graduates. Earl and JoAnn Grinnell moved to Shawnee in 1968, where their five Grinnell children – Rebecca, Randy, Richie, Roxann and Ron – graduated from Shawnee High School. Four of the five children attended and graduated from ECU from 1975-84. The second generation of the Grinnell family – Zac, Riley and Josh – graduated from ECU in 2006 and 2007. With Gary, who is married to Rebecca, and Lesli, who is married to Ron, nine family members are ECU graduates.

Members of the family have earned nursing, environmental science and accounting degrees.



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