Former Governor, State of Oklahoma
It is appropriate the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award be presented to The Honorable Henry Bellmon, Mr. M. A. Wright and Mr. Raymond A. Young -- individuals who have demonstrated with their hearts, minds and souls those qualities of character which exemplify the life of the man in whose name the award is made.
Mr. Bellmon is the first graduate of Oklahoma State University to be elected Oklahoma's Governor and later a United States Senator. His service overseas as a Marine lieutenant during World War II, reinforced in his mind the axiom the wars result from breakdowns in government. Following the war, he pursued a career in politics and was elected a State Representative, Noble County Republican Chairman, State Chairman of the Republican Party, and later governor of the state. His term as Governor was marked by integrity and governmental reform -- as evidenced by the progress made in education, mental health, and agriculture. This background and experience have enabled him to work on major legislation in the United States Senate in the areas of coal mine safety, postal reform, and Indian affairs.
Year of Award: 1975