The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


Dr. Lela O'Toole
Dean Emeritus, OSU Division of Home Economics

Dr. Lela O'Toole

Oklahoma State University is pleased and proud to recognize Dr. Lela O'Toole, Dean Emeritus of OSU Division of Home Economics, whose record of achievements complements that of the late Dr. Bennett, for whom this award is named.

Dr. O'Toole is nationally and internationally recognized for her career as a teacher/administrator, consultant, and authority on the improvement of family living and the home environment. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State University and her Ph.D. degree from Ohio State University. Ohio State University likewise honored her by inducting her into the OSU Alumni Hall of Fame; and in 1975 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

Dr. O'Toole will long be remembered by a great many students whose lives she touched as a teacher on the elementary and secondary levels and during her long tenure as Professor and Dean of the Division of Home Economics at OSU. Her publications in professional journals are legion; her honors and awards are many. But perhaps one of Dr. O'Toole's greatest attributes is her very warm, gracious and sincere nature which has motivated her to enter into the lives of people from Scandinavia, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Thailand, and a host of other countries in order to improve their standard of living through her great store of knowledge. One of her more outstanding achievements was as Co-Director of the Pakistan-Oklahoma Home Economics program sponsored by the Pakistan Government and the Ford Foundation, which resulted in the further development of two existing colleges of home economics in Karachi and Lahore, and the development of a new college in Dacca.

Year of Award: 1979