Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

November 2010

ECU Inaugurates John Hargrave as Eighth President


ECU Inauguration
President John R. Hargrave was inaugurated as president of East Central University on Nov. 19.

John R. Hargrave was inaugurated as East Central University’s eighth president on Nov. 19 in the Ataloa Theatre in ECU’s Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.

Hargrave was named president of ECU on July 1, 2009, by the board of regents of the University System of Oklahoma.

Connie Reilly, chair of the RUSO Board of Regents, delivered the charge of leadership to Hargrave. The symbols of office were presented by Reilly, Chancellor Glen D. Johnson and Regent Mike Mitchell.

Taped greetings were offered by Gov. Brad Henry. Others participating in the ceremony were Chickasaw Governor Bill Anoatubby; Rudolph Hargrave, justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and President Hargrave’s father; and Dr. Bruce Weems, ECU’s senior faculty member and dean of the College of Health & Sciences.

The ECU Wind Ensemble played for the processional, national anthem and ECU’s alma mater and fight song. ECU’s Army National Guard GOLD Program presenedt the colors.

The Hargrave family has deep ties to the university, beginning with his parents who met at ECU. Hargrave met his wife, Kay, at ECU and his two sisters also met their spouses at ECU. His mother and aunt earned master’s degrees from ECU, and his youngest son is an ECU student.

Hargrave graduated from ECU with honors in 1977, majoring in speech and sociology. He earned a law degree at the University of Oklahoma in 1980 and began practicing law.

The Hargraves decided to raise their four children in Wewoka, his hometown, while he commuted to Oklahoma City. He had been a managing partner of the Edmonds Cole Law Firm in Oklahoma City since he helped establish the firm in 1985. Kay Hargrave, a 1978 ECU graduate, is an assistant district attorney for Seminole, Hughes and Pontotoc Counties.

Hargrave was mayor of Wewoka from 2002-07 and oversaw the planned construction of a new water/sewer plant and improvements to water purification plants. He became a member of the Board of Directors of Wewoka Industries in 1994 and helped negotiate the establishment of a juvenile treatment facility in Wewoka.

He founded the Downtown Investment Group and the Wewoka Community Foundation and served as the liaison for those groups and the city of Wewoka and Wewoka Industries with the Wewoka Chamber of Commerce.

The ECU president wants to expand activities that will bring potential students to campus to become part of the ECU family as well as encourage alumni to return and share their favorite moments as students.

One of his first duties was opening the new Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center in September 2009. He and other university officials are working to make a new School of Business and Conference Center a reality next door to the fine arts center.

He also has hosted several events honoring veterans – students, faculty, staff and community members – for their service.

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