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ADA, Okla. – East Central University graduating senior Megan Lewis was named the winner of the 2024 George Nigh Award.

The George Nigh Award goes to the top graduating senior from ECU annually and is named in honor of the former governor of Oklahoma and ECU alumnus. In addition to governor, Nigh served multiple terms in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and as lieutenant governor. He also served as president of the University of Central Oklahoma.

The late Julian Rothbaum, a Tulsa oilman, banker, and state regent for higher education, established an endowment through the ECU Foundation, Inc., to fund the Nigh Award. Each year top ECU seniors are invited to apply and undergo a rigorous application and interview process.

To me, the George Nigh Award means serving your community, love for your peers, and striving for excellence for both you and others,” stated Lewis. “It was such an honor receiving such an amazing and prestigious award.”

Lewis received her bachelor’s degree in Biology during the 2024 Spring commencement ceremony. During her time at ECU, Lewis served in many organizations and leadership positions. Those included the Honors Program, PreVet Club, National Society of Leadership and Success, Alpha Chi Honors Society and the Honors Student Association Leadership Team. She also participated in a variety of community services including volunteering for the Pontotoc Animal Welfare Society, Fresh Check Day, Watershed Reservoir Cleanup and more.

Lewis has received the Honors First-Year Classroom Leader of the Year award, Early Admissions to Oklahoma State University Veterinary School, the Baccalaureate Scholarship, Harvey Price Memorial Scholarship, Thomas King Scholarship and Dr. Thomas McKnight Scholarship.

Now that she has graduated, Lewis stated, “I hope to start veterinary school at Oklahoma State University in the fall and one day open my own clinic.”

Lewis described her intended clinic as the first animal hospital in southern Oklahoma that will remain open twenty-four-seven. Eventually, her intention is to develop her veterinary hospital into an organization similar to the Bella SPCA Non-Profit Veterinary Hospital that aims to aid low-income, elderly or terminally ill pet owners.

I wish to help pet owners who have faced financial or other hardships,” said Lewis.

Cutline: Left to right, Gov. George Nigh, Megan Lewis and Vice President of Academic Affairs Jeffrey Gibson

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