Univ. of the Ozarks Alumni Association to honor 8

Release Date: 4/8/2008

Clarksville, Ark. --- The University of the Ozarks Alumni Association will present its annual awards to eight distinguished honorees during the Alumni Weekend 2008 Awards Luncheon, scheduled for noon on Saturday, April 19.

Sylvester Benson ’67 of Manhattan, Kan., and Mary Maude Gallagher ’47 of Clarksville will receive the Alumni Achievement Award. Katherine (Rader) Garrett ’39 of Clarksville and

Dr. W. Wayne Workman ’44 of Springdale, Ark., will receive the Alumni Merit Award. Jeff Jackson ’01 of Muskogee, Okla., will receive the Young Alumni Award.

In addition, the Alumni Association has chosen three alumni to receive the 2008 Legacy Award to recognize a lifetime of unselfish giving of their resources to support Ozarks. The Legacy Award recipients are William “Bill” Rader ’42 of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Charlene (McMillan) Watson ’44 of Arlington, Texas; and Margaret (Bost) Douglass ’41 of Tulsa, Okla.

Benson is a retired teacher and administrator who spent more than 30 years in education. He served as principal at Manhattan (Kan.) High School, and also served as an assistant principal, coach, teacher and guidance counselor during his stint in education. After graduating from Ozarks, he earned a master’s degree and his administration certification from Kansas State University. While at Ozarks, Benson became the first African-American to play intercollegiate athletics at a predominantly white university in Arkansas. He and his wife Patsy, a 1965 Ozarks graduate, have three children.

Gallagher is a retired high school and college journalism, Spanish and English teacher. A native and long-time resident of Coal Hill, Ark., she was the founder of the Johnson County Historical Society. After graduating from Ozarks, Gallagher went on to earn master’s degrees from the University of Tulsa and Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. She spent more than 40 years teaching on the high school and college levels. She has published numerous historical articles in newspapers and magazines, many regarding coal mining in western Johnson County. Many of her family members, including her father, worked in the coal mines.

Garrett is a retired English teacher who taught at Alma (Ark.) High School for many years before retiring 30 years ago. She also taught at several schools in Oklahoma. A native of Leavenworth, Kan., Garrett moved to Clarksville in 1935 to attend Ozarks and has lived in Johnson County for most of the past 70 years. Her late husband, Orville, was the owner of Alma Drug Store for several years. She has two children, Orville Jr., who lives in Fort Smith, and Kathy, who lives in Alma.

Workman was a long-time obstetrics and gynecology physician in Blytheville, Ark., who also served on the faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock before retiring. He has served on the U of O Board of Trustees since 2003 and the Alumni Association Board of Directors since 1998. In 2004 he was chosen as a Legacy Award recipient by the university. He and his wife, Betty, have six children.

Jackson is an investment representative for a bank in the northeast Oklahoma region. He has been active with U of O Alumni Association and has served on the Board of the Catoosa (Okla.) Chamber of Commerce. A former standout on the Eagles’ soccer team, Jackson has also been active in the university’s athletic booster club.

Tickets for the Awards Luncheon are $15 each. For more information on the Awards Luncheon or any Alumni Weekend 2008 event, please call the Alumni Office at 479-979-1234.