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The Late Dr. Joe White is Inducted into the OACC Hall of Fame Featured

Written by  Tuesday, 15 October 2019 08:40
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President Jay Falkner, left, stands with Joe White, Jr., and Executive Director of OACC Gary Davidson. President Jay Falkner, left, stands with Joe White, Jr., and Executive Director of OACC Gary Davidson.

CASC press release


On Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, the late Dr. Joe E. White was inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges Hall of Fame at the annual conference hosted by Oklahoma City Community College in Oklahoma City, OK.


The OACC Hall of Fame began in 2011. Since its inception, 19 individuals have been selected for the prestigious award. The illustrious group of members include a current and former Governor, Supreme Court Chief Justice, former Chancellor of Higher Education System, College Presidents, and several distinguished educators. These are men and women of extraordinary talent, vision and leadership, who not only shaped our state, but established a living legacy which will enrich the lives of future generations. Proposed members are nominated by the OACC Presidents and final selection is made by the OACC Executive Board.


Raised in a small town in central Oklahoma, Dr. White developed a passion for education early in life. He would ultimately obtain his Educational Doctorate from Oklahoma State University in 1974 and go on to become the longest sitting President in Carl Albert State College history.


Dr. White began his Presidential service to CASC in 1975. Through unparalleled leadership, and hard work, with exceptional faculty and staff, Dr. White evolved from a young visionary to a legendary leader.


Dr. White embraced the value of education and made it a goal to do his part to better the lives of those around him. He was a charter member of the CASC Development Foundation and believed strongly in the Foundation’s mission to build an endowment fund for scholarships, program for academic enrichment, and a residential campus.


Dr. White was instrumental in the establishment and success of the Scholars Program, having been inspired by Speaker Carl Albert. Dr. White and his wife, Melba Sue, adopted a Scholar each year since the Scholars Program’s inception. In addition, they provided many scholarships through the White-Curfman Family Scholarship. Dr. White had a reputation for always remembering students’ names whenever he saw them. His passion for student success led to the establishment of the Dr. Joe E. and Melba Sue White Academic Scholarship fund at CASC.


Dr. White is regarded as an astounding man who never met a stranger. He was a well-respected member of the Poteau community who always made an effort to give back when given the opportunity to do so.


Among his numerous accolades, he was awarded the Poteau Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996; named to the Murray State Distinguished Athlete Hall of Fame in 2003; and joined the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2004.


Dr. White worked closely with a prominent local family to establish the Hamilton Lecture Series, an annual event that featured well-known individuals in education and government speaking on a series theme, “Excellence in Education and High Political Standards — America’s Future at Stake.” Prestigious speakers in the series were former President Jimmy Carter, former President Gerald Ford, former President George Bush, Miss America Shawntel Smith, and many other distinguished leaders.


“The tremendous impact Dr. Joe White made on the campus and local communities, region, and state,” said CASC President Dr. Jay Falkner, “is truly incredible and inspiring. We are grateful to the Oklahoma Association of Community Colleges for recognizing the educational ‘giant’ Dr. White, and for honoring him with this well-deserved award.”


Joe Jr. OACC Hall of Fame Award 002

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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