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June 4, 2004 :: State Regents Name Four Deserving Students as 2004 Chancellor’s Scholars

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High academic achievement and the demonstration of outstanding civic involvement have earned four high school graduates designation as Chancellor’s Scholars for 2004 by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

The graduates were selected from nominations made by high school principals statewide to receive the prestigious $1,000 scholarship.

“Oklahoma’s future will be shaped by young people such as these four students, who identify the needs of our state and communities and strive to fulfill them through action and education,” said Chancellor Paul G. Risser. “The success of a community relies on its citizens, and these students have demonstrated their desire to help improve their hometowns and the surrounding communities by providing valuable services.”

The 2004 Chancellor’s Scholars are Kyle Alderson, Muldrow High School; Jordan Lee Basden, Stigler High School; Garrett King, Binger-Oney High School; and Zachary Taylor, Del City High School.

Alderson has volunteered more than 1,200 hours on various projects in Muldrow, most of which have come from hours spent on three different community service projects: Reading Encourages All Dreams (READ), a reading mentorship program; “Saving Timmy,” a school bus safety awareness program; and Teens Energetically Empowering Neighborhoods (TEEN). Alderson’s “Saving Timmy” script has recently been distributed to hundreds of schools across the state and nation.

An Eagle Scout who plans to attend the University of Oklahoma, Norman, in the fall, Alderson has many academic achievements including class salutatorian, member of the Oklahoma and National Honor societies, recipient of the Outstanding Young Students of America Award and a United States Senate Youth Scholar. He was also selected by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association to represent the state at the National Student Leadership Conference.

Basden has been very active in her community including serving as a volunteer for the City of Stigler and the Stigler-Haskell County Chamber of Commerce. She served as a Safe School Committee member and coordinated Rails to Trails activities along with community blood, canned food and toy drives. She also was an American Red Cross Disaster Relief Volunteer following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Basden, who will attend OU next fall, garnered many academic awards and held several leadership positions at Stigler High School. She is a member of the Oklahoma and National Honor societies, her school’s Gifted and Talented program and Who’s Who Among American High School Students. She received the National English Merit Award and the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award and is an All-American Scholar. She has served as Student Council president and class president as well as other leadership positions.

While serving as Student Council president at Binger-Oney High School, King continuously stressed the importance of volunteerism and involvement in community service projects, food drives for local senior citizens’ centers, and school and town beautification projects and worked with the Rotary and Lions clubs. He founded the Oklahoma Youth Union (OYU), a non-partisan, youth advocacy and representation organization dedicated to providing a voice for the interests of Oklahoma’s young people. With King serving as its executive director, the OYU organization has grown to include students from nearly 50 school districts across the state.

King, who will attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, in the fall, was named the Binger-Oney Academic Team MVP for four years, was selected to the Caddo County Academic All-Conference Team three years and was chosen Caddo County Academic MVP. He has also received three National Achievement Academy Awards in English and was named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students.

Taylor, a National Merit Scholar finalist, will attend OU next fall. He was the valedictorian at Del City High School, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor and was named to Who’s Who Among American High School Students. He served in several leadership capacities at Del City High School including Student Council representative and sophomore class vice president.

Taylor participates in community service projects with truant, at-risk and delinquent youth and attends fundraising and informational fairs to promote the Youth as Resources organization to both potential donors and potential grant recipients. His community leadership includes serving as co-chair for Youth as Resources and Youth Council of Oklahoma City Ward 4 representative.

“Our state is very fortunate to have young people like these four individuals who deeply care about Oklahoma’s future, their future and the future of others,” State Regents Chairman Ike Glass said. “No doubt their respective communities will be forever grateful for their dedication and commitment inside and outside the classroom, and we trust that those same qualities will carry over into their college years.”

The Chancellor's Scholars program, now in its 14th year, was established by the State Regents to honor the office of chancellor and Chancellor Emeritus Hans Brisch, who retired in January 2003 after serving 15 years as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. Chancellor Risser continues the traditions of the program and has contributed professional honoraria to help fund the awards.

The first Chancellor's Scholars were recognized in 1992, and since then, 51 students have received the award. The scholarship program was established through private funding.