Great Plains Technology Center Foundation accomplished its goal of traveling around the world in 37 minutes during its annual scholarship banquet and program.
Traditionally an in-person banquet that doubles as a fundraiser, the foundation adapted to life in the age of COVID-19 in 2020 to instead broadcast live via Zoom featured technology center alums, current students who have received scholarships, and renowned speakers.
Inspirational testimonials included that of Lt. Anna Halverson, USN, from aboard the USS Nimitz in the Middle East. Halverson was a 2012 graduate of Great Plains’ Pre-Engineering program and currently is a helicopter pilot aboard the Nimitz. The program also featured Halverson’s sister Ellen, who also is a Great Plains graduate and U.S. Navy officer. The Halverson sisters are the daughters of Karen and David Halverson; retired Lt. Gen. Halverson was commanding general of Fort Sill during their daughters’ time at Great Plains.
Six additional alumni and student testimonials were delivered from Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman and Frederick, with an emphasis on those here in Lawton, said Glen Boyer, executive director of the foundation. Featured speakers included BG (retired) Jesse Cross, CEO of Red River Science and Technology; University of Oklahoma professor of non-profit management, Diana Hartley; Great Plains Technology Center Superintendent Clarence Fortney; and renowned Oklahoma business entrepreneur and education advocate Vince Orza.
Boyer said while the live broadcast featured both technical challenges, it was well worth it as it created diverse and inspiring stories about how the foundation helps students access a career education at the tech center. The foundation awards scholarships and grants keyed toward helping Great Plains students overcome problems that could disrupt their education.
“It was especially rewarding to see successful graduates who call Lawton home and those scattered around the world wherever the skills they learned at Great Plains helped take them. The program is 37 minutes in length but can easily be viewed in shorter video ‘nuggets’, ” Boyer said.
To view the program click on or paste the following link: https://youtu.be/YmE-uoHhNY0