Rose State Honors Community Leaders and Distinguished Alumni Published March 8, 2017 by Tamara Pratt

From a retired major general to entrepreneur and public speaker. Rose State College and its Foundation honored Oklahomans giving back to the college and community at the 7th annual Recognition dinner on March 2, 2017.

Tower Award Winners

Tower award winners, from left to right:  Ray Hardin, Major General William "Billy" Bowden, Vincent Friederich, and accepting for Midwest City Hospital Authority: Guy Henson, Nancy Rise, and Mayor Matt Dukes.

Three individuals and an organization received the College’s prestigious Tower Award. The beautiful award resembles the iconic Campus logo tower in the campus mall and is reserved for the very exceptional friends of the Institution. Honorees were selected for the significant contributions they have made to the College through their time, financial support or both.

2017 Tower Award recipients included:

  • Major General William “Billy” Bowden, Retired USAF
    Former Rose State College Regent and community activist in Midwest City and Oklahoma City.
  • Vincent Friederich
    Barnes and Friederich Funeral Home, Incoming President of the Oklahoma Funeral Directors Association and Rose State College Foundation Trustee.
  • Ray Hardin
    Edgewood Homes, former Rose State College Regent, supporter of education through the establishment of the Katherine Joan Hardin Scholarship and Ray M. Hardin/Kelly and Kevin Miller Endowment.
  • Midwest City Hospital Authority
    Philanthropic giving to the Midwest City area including updates to the Atkinson Heritage Center, modernization of the College amphitheater and support of the RSC Pilot Program of STEM activities.

As part of Rose State College’s 40th Anniversary in 2010, College staff, Board of Regents, and the RSC Foundation Board Members created the Rose State College Tower Award. A total of 24 recipients have received this award since its creation.

Two individuals were honored with Rose State’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame award in recognition of their professional accomplishments, community service, and collegiate support.

2017 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inductees include:

  • Mr. Russell Smith
    Member of the 1st graduating class from Rose State in 1970, former Mayor Midwest City and current Chairman Rose State College Board of Regents.

Russell Smith

  • Ms. Colleen Payne-Nabors
    Former Rose State College student, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Mobile Cardiac Imaging (MCI) Diagnostic Center, a “serial” entrepreneur, author and public speaker.

Colleen Payne-Nabors

A total of 12 recipients have received this award since the inception of the program.

More information about the Rose State College Foundation can be found at, click on Alumni & Foundation section at the top of the page.