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East Central University will honor Vicky Petete for her long service to the University and her profession on Friday, May 5.

Those who nominated Petete for the Distinguished Award of Service said, “Vicky is

an exemplar of what the award represents: constant interest in and support of the University over time…, provided outstanding services to the an identifiable and significant way to the success of the University…, and sustained and an exemplary record of service beyond an individual’s personal interests.”

“It is truly an honor to be selected for the 2023 ECU Distinguished Service Award,” Petete said. She believes in the mission of ECU and the opportunities it has given her to serve others.

“I can think of no one who better embodies this award both on a professional and personal level,” a nominator said.

A certified public accountant by trade, Petete has been closely involved with ECU and the Ada community. Upon graduation from college in 1979, Petete began her public accounting career at Horne & Company, PC., which allowed her to see firsthand public service at work. 

In 1991, Petete began working for First National Bank and Trust which later became Vision Bank. Bill Horne continued as her mentor as he served as the Chairman of the Board of Vision Bank. Petete truly believes that the opportunities that she has had to serve others is because of employers like Horne & Company and Vision which encouraged and supported her in her many areas of service. Petete plans to retire in June 2023.

For over 40 years, Petete has assisted the School of Business at ECU and its students.  Petete has been an advisor to the Accounting Club and has organized many activities specific to furthering the knowledge of students in accounting including Oklahoma Society of CPA’s events on campus which brought in guest speakers, panels of CPAs from different industries, and presentations on fraud and ethics.

When the National Association of the State Board of Accountancy (NASBA) first developed the Center for the Public Trust (CPT) and began developing student chapters at universities throughout the country, Petete was instrumental in organizing the chapter and getting it approved as an authorized organization at ECU.  Since then, she has served as advisor to the chapter and sponsored ECU students attending the StudentCPT Leadership Conference. In 2019, she was awarded the StudentCPT Campus Being a Difference Award.   

Petete worked with ECU faculty, specifically President Wendell Godwin, Sarah Holmes and Evette Hargo to develop a Master in Accounting degree. The degree program was approved by the regents and became a part of the ECU accounting curriculum.  Because Petete hoped to one day teach upon retiring, she completed the curriculum and received the Master of Accounting degree from ECU in 2011.

Petete has also been an active participant in the mentoring program through the Stonecipher School of Business. Her participation includes mentoring ECU accounting students as well as sharing her life’s experiences and knowledge. Petete has also assisted many students outside of the mentoring program to find potential employers and internships in Ada and throughout the State of Oklahoma. 

Petete assisted with the development of a financial literacy class that became part of the core curriculum at ECU.  She also taught the class each semester as an adjunct professor from 2010-2017.

Petete has served on the ECU Foundation Board since 2012, currently serving as a board member and previously served as chairman, past-chair and treasurer. 

Petete has also been involved with the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants and was named Outstanding Member in Industry in 1997, received Distinguished CPA in 2006, was awarded the OSCPA Public Service Award in 2010. In 2012, she was named to the OSCPA Oklahoma Accounting Hall of Fame and she was named as one of the first OSCPA Path Finder Award recipients in 2019.

Petete was nominated by the OSCPA and was confirmed by Governor Brad Henry to become a member of the Oklahoma Accountancy Board in July 2004.  She completed two five-year terms in June 2014 and served in various roles during that time.

Organizations Petete has been involved with include the People’s Electric Cooperative Board, Mercy Health Oklahoma Communities Board (Mercy West), Rotary Club of Ada, Byng Excellence in Education Foundation and Ada Area Chamber of Commerce. She has also been named one of the 50 Women in the State of Oklahoma Making a Difference.

Petete said, “Public service is not about giving to one event or to one organization, but a lifestyle that not only serves others, but encourages and mentors others in becoming public servants.”

“I try diligently to serve others through my job, life and career,” Petete continued. “I give because I want to make a difference. I give because I want to touch the lives of individuals like I have been touched.”

For more information about the event, contact Office of Alumni Relations at or at 580-559-5561 or visit

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