ADA – Highlighting a decade of service on the East Central University Foundation’s Board of Directors, as well as its Investment Committee, Yancy Spivey has been named the 2021 recipient of ECU’s Distinguished Service Award.
“Yancy has spent years working as a volunteer to assist the University on numerous projects,” said Dr. John Hargrave, former ECU president and chief executive officer of the ECU Foundation. “He has always been a great asset and is more than deserving of this recognition.”
In the past year, Spivey worked with an anonymous donor to secure a $6.5 million gift that will be earmarked toward ECU’s Nursing program. Although the generous donation will be spread across the next 20 years, its impact will last into perpetuity.
“I certainly cannot take credit for this gift,” said Spivey, who runs his own investment firm in Duncan, Oklahoma. “When you have such a willing family who loves ECU and wants to help, it really is pretty easy to facilitate a win-win platform. The University’s work in this field has been recognized as a game changer in our region, and hopefully this gift will positively influence future generations to come to ECU.”
Spivey’s relationship with ECU began in 2007, when he arrived in Ada as president of Arvest Bank. His wife Laura, who was a teacher in the Ada City Schools system for several years, and their four children lived in the community until his career took them to Duncan.
Thankfully, that was more than enough time for Spivey to become closely involved with the ECU Foundation and the Tiger family.
“My impressions of ECU were great from the beginning,” he said. “I loved the culture, the people, and the campus. I quickly became involved in supporting Tiger athletic teams and my relationship with ECU just grew from there.”
Although Spivey and his family only lived in Ada for about five years, the community – and especially ECU – made a lasting impact. The bonds he forged with ECU in that limited timeframe are still as strong as ever.
“ECU has such an engaging culture, even though I was technically an outsider when I moved to Ada,” Spivey said. “I became involved with the Foundation board and was able to participate on a personal level from a more inside aspect of supporting the University. The board accepted me into its plans and goals. It’s been a tremendous amount of fun.”
Spivey was also recently involved with a six-month project led by the Foundation’s Investment Committee Chair Brad Thompson. The board members worked with a group of ECU Stonecipher School of Business students on a successful request for proposal (RFP) project.
“It was great to see that ECU students were prepared to engage in the real business world,” Spivey said. “They brought valuable information and insight to the table that we were able to use in real time. Very proud platform for what [School of Business] Dean Wendell Godwin, his staff, and his students have accomplished.”
A graduate of Angelo State University in Texas, Spivey understands the importance of regional public universities. He has experienced firsthand the high levels of talent and skill on tap at ECU, as well as the capability to accomplish goals in an effective and timely manner – an approach that reflects his role as president and senior financial advisor at YS Asset Management.
“ECU and similar universities are absolutely critical to the success of Oklahoma and the students they serve,” Spivey said. “There are so many ECU alumni success stories that now stretch across the nation and even the world. Universities like ECU provide that personal touch that allows students to flourish in whatever endeavors they pursue. I was so impressed by ECU Business students assisting with our RFP. I would have put them up against any students in the nation.”
Whether it’s helping secure a financial gift for the Foundation or working directly with faculty and students on a project, Spivey has proven himself to be a valuable resource for ECU – even when he lives in a community 90 miles west of Ada.
“I continue to be involved in events when I can, and I still enjoy my time on the Foundation board, but having that access on a daily basis was a privilege,” he said. “It’s a tremendous blessing for me just to play a small part in the continued success of ECU.”