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ADA, Okla. – Dr. Bruce Weems, former educator and Dean of the College of Health and Sciences at East Central University, will be honored at ECU’s Evening of Honors and Recognition on May 10 at 6 p.m. in the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

“I have a rather unusual family history at ECU,” stated Weems. “My father graduated in the 1920s and my mother attended about the same time; she earned her teaching certificate there. My son also attended, and my wife and daughter both graduated. We have a long history with ECU.”

Weems began his own service with ECU in 1972 as a professor of physics. He would later become chair of the Physics Department before being named Dean of ECU’s College of Health and Sciences in 1991. This is the position he would hold until his retirement in 2014, after 42 years with the university.

During his tenure at ECU, Weems also served as director of the Oklahoma State Science and Engineering Fair (OSSEF) for 24 years, where he was credited for handling many aspects of the fair, which regularly saw close to 400 students from across the region in attendance.

“We also had associations with the International Science and Engineering Fair where we would send about 16 students to fairs at various locations,” he said. “Our students got to work with a lot of top-notch scientists on their projects.”

Under Weems, local participation and encouragement for the OSSEF grew considerably, while the ECU College of Health and Sciences went through significant phases of growth.

“Our department went through a lot of changes,” Weems remembered. “We combined physics and chemistry. Then later we added environmental science. Then we added nursing, cartography and others. We had a pretty diverse section of departments.”

Despite the growth that the College of Health and Sciences would go through under him, Weems states, “I was most proud of the quality of our faculty. We had such a stable faculty that our programs seemed to run themselves.

The effects of Weems tenure at ECU and the reputation he fostered in the science and university community remains to this day.

"Dr. Bruce Weems was a pleasure and a joy to work with in his capacity of Dean of the College of Health and Sciences.” said ECU President Emeritus, John Hargrave. “He is a very deserving recipient of the Former Distinguished Faculty Award. He is a good man."

When asked about being chosen for the 2024 Distinguished Former Faculty honor, Weems said, “It’s quite an honor. I think of all the faculty who have received the award, and its humbling because I know the quality of those who proceeded me. I am very appreciative to those honoring me.”

To purchase tickets for the ECU Evening of Honors and Recognition, visit or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or at 580-559-5724. Advanced tickets are recommended.

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