The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


Dr. Richard W. Poole
Emeritus Vice President of University Relations and Dean of the College of Business Administration, Oklahoma State University

Dr. Richard W. Poole

Dr. Richard Poole is a highly respected scholar and educator who is distinguished by the scope and diversity of his professional and public service involvements, including the significance of his legacy to Oklahoma State University. For over 35 years he was an active and valued member of the faculty and administration of Oklahoma State University, serving in all academic ranks from instructor to Professor of Economics, and serving as Dean of the College of Business Administration (1965-1973) and Vice President of University Relations (1972-1988). In recognition of his many contributions as an administrator, the OSU Board of Regents honored him as a Regents Distinguished Service Professor in 1987.

At various times during his tenure at OSU, Dr. Poole also provided administrative leadership for University Development, University Extension, Alumni Affairs, and University Placement. He led special efforts in university planning and expanded the University's telecommunication capabilities. He originated the concept for OSU's Centennial observance, including the creation of the Centennial Advisory Commission and the Centennial History Series. The faculty, staff, students, and supporters of Oklahoma State University continue to benefit from the initiatives and foresight of his leadership. For over a decade his administrative actions and vision for the future provided the special guidance and attention needed during that time and established a foundation for the direction of higher education in the next generation. Dr. Poole further demonstrated his commitment to the future by establishing, with his wife Lynn, endowments to provide funding for the prestigious President's Distinguished Scholarship and Distinguished Graduate Fellowship.

Through his devotion to activities that benefit the lives of others, Dr. Poole is recognized as a true humanitarian. In addition to his active involvement in involvement in national educational and land-grant organizations, he has served on the boards of numerous civic groups, including the Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce and the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals. He has served as an advisor for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington D.C., and the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, as well as for many other organizations and educational institutions.

During his professional career, Dr. Poole has been recognized with countless outstanding awards and honors including the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education, Institutional Leadership Award from the Higher Education Alumni Council, and the Appreciation Award from the National University Teleconference Network. In further recognition, business leaders and friends have endowed the Richard W. Poole Professorship in Instructional Excellence in the OSU College of Business Administration.

Through his many achievements and dedication to educational, social, and humanitarian concerns, Dr. Richard W. Poole has brought great honor and distinction to himself, his family, and the State of Oklahoma.

Year of Award: 1999