Class of 2016

The 2016 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Honorees were formally inducted at the 89th Annual Oklahoma Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony on Thursday, November, 17 in Oklahoma City.

Being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state. Since the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s inception in 1927, 683 accomplished individuals have received this commendation. The names of the Hall of Fame members, as well as busts and portraits of these individuals, can be seen at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. In addition, the inductees are recognized on granite monuments in the Heritage Plaza at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.

Visit our archives to view all Oklahoma Fall of Fame members.

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Rita Bly Aragón | Dale

Major General Aragon served as the first female General Officer and first female commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. In 2010, she was selected as the first woman and fourth Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs under Governor Mary Fallin.

Born and raised in rural Dale, Oklahoma, she taught elementary school and was an award winning principal in the Oklahoma City Public Schools. She joined the military to supplement her income as a single mother raising two daughters.

Her military career culminated in two tours in the Pentagon, serving as assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and as the assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air Force for Manpower and Personnel.

She has served on the boards of the American Red Cross of Central Oklahoma, the YWCA, The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, Integris Health Edmond, 4 Star Leadership for General Tommy Franks, Folds of Honor and Honoring America’s Warriors Foundation. Aragon serves also on the President’s Advisory Board at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Her awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal,Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and others. Aragon has been recognized as Oklahoma’s Woman of the Year by The Journal Record, Oklahoma Woman Veteran of the Year and Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame and is the recipient of the Valley Forge Freedom Award.

She is the widow of J. Greg Aragon of Edmond.

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Michael Burrage | Durant

Michael Burrage, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, was born in Durant, Oklahoma. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1971, and earned a juris doctor degree with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1974.

Burrage was in private practice in Antlers, from 1974 to 1994. He was named Outstanding Young Lawyer in Oklahoma in 1977 and served as president of the Oklahoma Bar Association in 1990.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Burrage to be a United States District Judge and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 8, 1994. He served as a federal judge for all three of the U.S. District Courts in Oklahoma and was the first Native American Federal Judge. He also set on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by designation.

Burrage was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1993 and served as State Chairman in 2008 – 2009.

In 1996, he became the chief judge at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma where he served until 2001. He’s now senior managing partner at Whitten Burrage law firm in Oklahoma City.

Burrage was inducted into the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Order of the Owl Hall of Fame on Oct. 30, 2013. He is married to Aletha and has two sons, Sean and David.

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Dan Dillingham | Enid

Dillingham was born in Enid, Oklahoma, where he attended public schools. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a BS degree in Finance and Economics. Dillingham then served two years in the 3rd Armored Division Finance Office in Frankfurt, Germany. Upon discharge, he returned to Enid and has since been in private business in the insurance, ranching, oil and gas industries.

In 1960, he married Kay Camp. They were blessed with two daughters, three sons and now enjoy them and their spouses, 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Dillingham has maintained an active interest in both public and private education and nonprofit organizations. He served on Phillips University and Enid Higher Education boards. Dillingham was active in the establishment of branch campuses for Northern Oklahoma College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University, now serving 1,500 students in Enid.

His nonprofit board service includes director of Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, chair of St. Mary’s Regional Hospital, director of Oklahoma State Chamber and member of the Kerr Foundation Agricultural Board.

In 2002, Dillingham was elected to the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank-Kansas City where he served as Building Committee Chair during construction of a new bank building.

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Rebecca Dixon | Tulsa

Becky Dixon, President of AyerPlay, began her groundbreaking career in broadcasting, first at KTUL-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Next, Dixon became the first woman to host a network sports show, joining ABC Sports, as co-host of Wide World of Sports, with Frank Gifford. Dixon also served as a broadcaster for the Super Bowl, Olympic Games,World Gymnastics Championships, College Football and Triple Crown of Horse Racing.

Dixon later returned to Tulsa and launched the television special, Oklahomans. The show was the first statewide broadcast of its kind and for two decades was instrumental in promoting the achievements of Oklahomans.

In 1994, Dixon joined forces with communications pioneer Ed Taylor to form AyerPlay. The company broke new ground on the Internet with one of the first live webcasts, when Dixon co-hosted a World Aids Day Symposium, in conjunction with Harvard University. Today, AyerPlay provides integrated marketing services to 7,000 clients nationwide.

Dixon has received numerous industry awards, including the Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Women in Communications. She is also a member of the University of Tulsa Communications Hall of Fame. Community work includes the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Board of Directors, plus the Sutton Center and Pencil Box Boards. She also serves on the Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Dixon is married to Patrick Keegan and has two children, Jennifer and Dan Dixon.

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Kelli O'Hara | Elk City

O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of the King and Igarnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations.

Recently, O’Hara starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in The Merry Widow with Renee Fleming. Other Broadway credits include The Bridges of Madison County (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), South Pacific (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), Pajama Game (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), The Light in the Piazza (Tony & Drama Desk nominations), Sweet Smell of Success, Follies, Dracula and Jekyll & Hyde. Regional/Off Broadway credits include Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizon and WTF), King Lear (Public Theater), Bells Are Ringing (City Center Encores), Sunday in The Park with George (Reprise), and My Life With Albertine (Playwright’s Horizons).

Concerts span from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill. Film and television credits include Sex & the City 2, Martin Scorsese’s The Key to Reserva, Blue Bloods, Alexander Hamilton, N3mbers and the animated series Car Talk. She is a frequent performer on PBS’s live telecasts and the Kennedy Center Honors. Her solo albums, Always and Wonder in the World are available on Ghostlight Records.

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Russell Westbrook | Oklahoma City

Since joining the Oklahoma City Thunder with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, Russell Westbrook has made an impactful difference in the state of Oklahoma, both on and off the court.

A five-time All-Star, two-time All-Star Game MVP, NBA scoring champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Westbrook has helped the Oklahoma City Thunder become one of the premiere organizations in all of professional sports. Since the start of the 2009-2010 season, the Thunder has amassed the second best record in the NBA and the fourth best record among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States.

The past season Westbrook recorded 18 triple-doubles, the most since Magic Johnson accomplished the feat during the 1981-1982 season.Additionally, he joined Oscar Robertson as the only other player in NBA history to finish a season averaging 23-plus points, 10-plus assists and seven-plus rebounds.

Beyond Westbrook’s accomplishments on the court, he has taken a leading role in advancing the state through his community and philanthropic efforts. Westbrook’s "Why Not? Foundation" is dedicated to supporting community based education and family service programs while encouraging youth to believe in themselves. Whether it’s Thanksgiving meals to the homeless, giving away shoes and backpacks to children during the holiday season or opening another one of his signature "Russell’s Reading Rooms," Westbrook has made it a top priority to better the community in which he lives. In 2015, Westbrook was recognized with the NBA’s season long Community Assist Award for his philanthropic efforts.

2016 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Presenters

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Molly Shi Boren | Norman

Boren, an attorney, First Lady of the University of Oklahoma, former First Lady of Oklahoma and member of the 2004 Oklahoma Hall of Fame class, presented Burrage for induction.

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Ree Drummond | Pawhuska

Drummond, an award-winning blogger, New York Times bestselling author, food writer, photographer and television personality, presented Dixon for induction.

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Theodore Elam | Oklahoma City

Elam, retired counsel at McAfee & Taft, lecturer and adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, presented Dillingham for induction.

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Jane Jayroe Gamble | Oklahoma City

Jayroe Gamble, a broadcaster, author, public official, former Miss America and a member of the 2007 Oklahoma Hall of Fame class, presented Aragón for induction.

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Michael Jordan | Charlotte, N.C.

Jordan, a 14-time NBA All-Star who won six championships with the Chicago Bulls, presented Westbrook. Jordan is owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time.

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Pat O'Hara | Edmond

O’Hara, an attorney and partner at Tisdal & O’Hara, PLLC, a CPA and a rancher, presented his daughter, Kelli O’Hara, for induction.

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