A new scholarship honoring the late R. Burl Harris, a long-time Ada resident, has been awarded to an East Central University student majoring in legal studies.
Tamra Albritton of Roff, a junior, is the first recipient of the R. Burl Harris Legal Studies Centennial Scholarship that was established through the ECU Foundation Inc.
The scholarship was funded by donations after Harris’ death in December 2010 and was completed to the $15,000 Centennial level by his wife, Jan Harris.
Harris, a 1949 ECU graduate, along with Dr. Stanley Wagner, Dr. James Thomas, Harvey Faust, Oscar Parker and Hugh Warren, established the ECU Foundation which has provided scholarships for thousands of students since 1970.
At ECU, Harris was a member of the college debate team and the Student Council.
He served in the Pacific and Atlantic theatres in the U.S. Navy from 1944 until 1946 during World War II. He also served in the Korean War from 1950 until 1952.
Harris earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1955 and practiced law in Ada until he retired in 1991. He served as Ada’s city attorney for several years. He was a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and was a past president of both the Pontotoc County Bar Association and the Ada Rotary Club.
He also served as master of ceremonies of the Pontotoc County Junior Livestock Show and was active in Vanoss F.F.A.
He was a longtime active member of the First United Methodist Church and with Vernon Roberts organized the First United Methodist Church Foundation.
Harris was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of Home Federal Savings and Loan and served on the board of the Pontotoc County Health Department for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Ada Lodge 119 AF & AM.