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ADA – Justice Noma Diane Gurich, of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, will be the guest speaker at East Central University’s Lou Watkins Endowed Lectureship on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the ECU Foundation Hall at the new Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

The event will feature lunch at 12:30 p.m., followed by Justice Gurich’s lecture at 1:15 p.m. and then a panel discussion on ‘Women in Politics and Government’ at 3 p.m. in room 221 of the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business, located inside the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

The purpose of the Lou Watkins Lectureship in Political Science is to enhance the ability of ECU to bring to campus recognized authorities to address issues and subjects of public interest at the national, state, or local government level.

Watkins taught political science at ECU from 1980-91. Watkins, wife of Rep. Wes Watkins, became chair of ECU’s Political Science Department in 1985. Her support makes the lecture possible.

Gurich was appointed to the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma by Gov. Brad Henry in 2011 and has served Judicial District 3 since then.

She began her career as a district judge in 1998 and was nominated by the Judicial Nominating Commission and appointed by Gov. Frank Keating to serve the remaining six-month term of a retiring district judge.

After the appointment, Gurich drew three opponents and was successful in winning the contested election for District Judge, Oklahoma County, Seventh Judicial District – Office No. 13 (county-wide seat), in November of 1998. She was re-elected in 2002, 2006 and 2010 without opposition.

Gurich was a judge on the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Court for 10 years and, while serving in that capacity, was an advisory member of Legislative committees including the Special Joint Interim Study Committee on Workers Compensation reform and the Workers’ Compensation Medical Cost Containment Task Force.

She was awarded a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Indiana State University where she majored in political science and minored in history. Gurich later graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law, where she was in the top third of her class.

The lunch and lecture are free, but reservations must be made for lunch by noon on Tuesday, Oct. 22. For more information or to make reservations for the lunch and lecture, contact Dr. Christine Pappas at or 580-559-5640.


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