The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


James E. Barnes
Business Executive, Humanitarian

Mr. James Barnes is an alumnus of Oklahoma State University whose expertise, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit have made a significant impact on the energy industry throughout his professional career.

For the past fifteen years he served as the Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of MAPCO Inc., a Fortune 500 diversified energy company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Previously, he had served for twenty-eight years in various engineering and management positions with Conoco, including Executive Vice President and as a member of their Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Mr. Barnes is a true humanitarian, with great devotion to activities that benefit the lives of others. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Committee of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals are a few of the far-reaching organizations he has been involved with. He also has served on numerous community Boards, including those of the Tulsa Opera, the United Way, the Saint Francis Hospital, and the Philbrook Museum of Art. He has provided leadership for numerous fund drives for the Boy Scouts while serving on the Executive Board of the Indian Nations Council.

As a member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education from 1987 through 1995, Mr. Barnes demonstrated a strong commitment to academic excellence and equity for students. His tenure on the State Regents brought new focus to the needs of higher education in Oklahoma and was impetus for the direction of higher education for the 21st century.

He has previously been recognized with countless outstanding awards and honors, including membership in the 25 Year Club of the Petroleum Industry and receiving the National Petroleum Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award. In 1991 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Through his many achievements and dedication to educational, social, and humanitarian concerns, Mr. James E. Barnes has brought great honor and distinction to himself, his family, and the State of Oklahoma.

Year of Award: 1998