Foundation Launches Memorial, Honorary Gifts Program to Benefit Teacher Scholarships for Professional Development
When Gov. Brad Henry’s mother, Audre L. Henry, died in July 2003, the family decided to honor the longtime special education teacher and school administrator by establishing a memorial fund in her memory through the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. The foundation, founded in 1985 by former governor and former U.S. Sen. David L. Boren, recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools.
The Henry family’s memorial fund garnered more than $10,500 and helped bolster support for the foundation’s new Teacher Scholarships for Professional Development by providing funds for up to 10 scholarships to benefit special education teachers. Inspired by the success of the Henrys’ memorial designation, the foundation is now launching a campaign to encourage other Oklahomans to make memorial and honorary gifts to its Teacher Scholarship Fund.
Gov. Brad Henry and First Lady Kim Henry (left) congratulate Minco Public Schools teacher Karen Schmidt, the recipient of the first Audre’ L. Henry Scholarship for Special Education Teachers. The new scholarship was established through memorial gifts to the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence made in honor of Gov. Henry’s mother, a former special education teacher. Inspired by the success of the Henry family’s memorial designation, the Foundation for Excellence is launching a campaign to encourage other Oklahomans to make memorial and honorary gifts benefiting Teacher Scholarships for Professional Development.
The campaign encourages families -- particularly those of teachers and school administrators – to designate the Teacher Scholarship Fund as the memorial beneficiary when their loved one dies. In addition, it encourages honorary gifts in recognition of current or former educators still living. Donations benefit the Teacher Scholarships for Professional Development Program, which provides funds for Oklahoma public school teachers to attend top-quality regional, national and international conferences in their chosen fields. These scholarships help cover the costs of tuition, travel, lodging and hiring substitute teachers.
“What can be a more fitting way to honor a loved one’s devotion to education than to designate a memorial or honorary gift that provides other teachers the opportunity to develop their skills and bring renewed excitement to the classroom,” said David L. Boren, chairman and founder of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. “More important, Oklahoma’s school children will be the ultimate beneficiaries of such gifts, which will enhance their classroom learning experiences.”
Memorial and honorary gifts to the program can be made payable to:
The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Teacher Scholarship Fund
120 N. Robinson, Suite 1420-W
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Donors should indicate whether their contribution is an honorary or memorial gift and include the name and address of the honoree or deceased honoree’s family. A follow-up acknowledgement card will be mailed to the teacher honoree or to the family of the memorial honoree.
For more information or a brochure, call the foundation office at