2012 Distinguished Service Award
|Oklahoma City business and community leader Charles L. “Chip” Oppenheim (right), shown here with Colonial Williamsburg historical interpreter Bill Barker, a.k.a. Thomas Jefferson, displays one of the thousands of copies of the Declaration of Independence he has donated to students through the years as part of Colonial Day at the Capitol.|
Charles L. “Chip” Oppenheim
Charles L. “Chip” Oppenheim, an Oklahoma City business and community leader, has been named the recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.
Oppenheim, who is a trustee of the foundation, was honored for his many contributions to the foundation and particularly his work with Colonial Day at the Capitol, an annual event that brings fifth-grade students together for a day of hands-on learning and presentations by historical interpreters. He has played an integral role in Colonial Day – even donning a colonial tricorn hat to serve as moderator for the annual Patriot/Loyalist Debate. For many years, he has donated authentic-looking copies of the Declaration of Independence for each student to take home as a Colonial Day souvenir.
Oppenheim recently accompanied a delegation of Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence trustees to Colonial Williamsburg to learn more about the foundation’s 20-year educational partnership with Williamsburg and to discuss ways to strengthen joint programming. He has been an active leader of the Foundation for Excellence, serving on the executive and management committees and as president in 2009. Currently, he serves as chairman of the fundraising committee.
“During the past several years, Chip has worked tirelessly to highlight the foundation’s programs and promote the many benefits to teachers and students,” said David L. Boren, chairman of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. “His passion for early American history and his support of Colonial Day at the Capitol demonstrate his commitment to academic excellence in Oklahoma’s schools.”
Oppenheim is managing partner of the Oppenheim Group, a retail commercial real estate management and investments company located in Oklahoma City. Among his many civic and leadership roles, he has served as chairman of the Oklahoma Arts Institute, president of the Oklahoma City Ballet and a member of the University of Oklahoma College of Fine Arts Board of Visitors.