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The first Justice Rudolph Hargrave Centennial Legal Studies Scholarship at East Central University has been awarded to Holdenville sophomore Lauren Stafford, it was recently announced.

Justice Hargrave began his education at ECU before completing his law degree at the University of Oklahoma. He served as an attorney and county judge before being appointed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court by Gov. David Boren in 1978.

Hargrave served on Oklahoma’s Supreme Court until his retirement in 2010. He was twice elected by his peers to serve as Chief Justice. His legal legacy includes writing straightforward legal opinions and being a fierce defender of the First Amendment.

In honor of Justice Hargrave’s service to the state, a scholarship was created by his wife Madeline and their son ECU President John R. Hargrave.

Stafford is pursuing a double major in political science and legal studies and holds a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. Once she completes her degree at ECU, she plans to attend OU’s Law School.

“It’s an honor to be chosen to be the first person for this opportunity,” Stafford said. “I am grateful for the opportunity that President Hargrave and his family have given me.”

Stafford is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and this summer has been completing an internship at the Chickasaw Nation Self-Governance Department.

“When we were selecting the recipient for the first Hargrave Scholarship, I immediately thought of Lauren,” said Political Science and Legal Studies Department Chair Dr. Christine Pappas. “Like Justice Hargrave, she wants to go to OU Law and dedicate her life to legal service in the state of Oklahoma.”



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