Cameron to honor outstanding alumni
The Cameron University Alumni Association will recognize winners of its 2017 Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards during the university's homecoming festivities. The honors will be presented during the Aggie Family & Friends Awards Lunch at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the McCasland Ballroom, McMahon Centennial Complex.
Tickets are $15 and must be purchased in advance online at www.cameronrsvp.com.
The Distinguished Alumni Award and Outstanding Young Alumni Award are presented to former Cameron students whose accomplishments have brought credit to Cameron by distinguishing themselves in careers, in service to communities and/or through continued support of Cameron University. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to alumni 40 years of age or older. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is presented to alumni 39 or younger.
Ted Blodgett, Class of 1990; DeDe Thorp Graham, Class of 1966; and, Jamie Polk, Class of 1996, will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards. 2nd Lt. Norman Holcomb, Class of 2016; and, Megan Veldhuizen, Class of 2010, have been named Outstanding Young Alumni.
After earning a bachelor's degree in accounting at Cameron, Blodgett went on to earn a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. He manages Gray, Blodgett & Company, Certified Public Accountants in Norman. Blodgett's professional and civic involvement is multi-tiered. He is past-president of the board of the Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants and chairs the Oklahoma Bar Association, Tax Section. He serves on the Norman Community Foundation. Prior service also includes a stint as treasurer for the board of directors of the Salvation Army in Norman.
Blodgett is a member of the President's Partners at Cameron and has served on the Cameron University Foundation Board of Directors.
DeDe Thorp Graham
Graham impacted the lives of Southwest Oklahoma students for more than four decades. After receiving an associate's degree from Cameron State Agricultural College, she went on to earn bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. She began her career as a second grade teacher in Lawton and then taught first grade in Indiahoma.
In 1972, Graham became a high school counselor for Snyder Public Schools and eventually served as federal programs director, assistant superintendent and superintendent. She retired in 2008.
Graham has been president of the board of directors for the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools and has helped lead the Oklahoma Association of School Business Officials. She was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators in 2008.
Polk's passion for education has taken her from the classroom to a role in administration at Lawton Public Schools. A native of Waterloo, Iowa, she earned a master's in elementary education from Cameron then went on to earn Administration Certification from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in education policy from the University of Oklahoma.
Polk served as an assistant principal and principal for Lawton Public Schools before being named assistant superintendent of educational services, a post she has held since 2013. She has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Cameron.
Polk has been involved in numerous civic organizations with an emphasis on fostering best practices to heighten student achievement. She has served on the board of directors for J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter, Marie Detty Head Start Policy Council and is past president of the board of directors for the Christian Family Counseling Center. She is a board member of Leadership Lawton/Fort Sill, United Way and the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.