Looking Back..jpg

March 24 - The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum: Looking Back. Thinking Forward.

Authors Bob Johnson and Kari Watkins are joining us to discuss their book, The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum: Looking Back. Thinking Forward. from Oklahoma Hall of Fame publishing. The story within these pages is of an unexpected journey that began on 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, when a massive bomb ripped apart the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, taking 168 innocent lives, including 19 children, and changed life as we know it forever.

Registration for Discussion = $0

Book = $39.95 (book purchase not required for discussion attendance)

About the Authors

Bob Johnson

A Thomas, Oklahoma native, Robert M. "Bob" Johnson attended Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, earning Bachelors and Juris Doctor degrees respectively. He served in the United States Army, awarded The Distinguished Graduate Award and The Leadership Award from the Adjutant General Officers Training Program, before being honorably discharged from his military career as a Captain. Joining the Oklahoma City firm of Crowe & Dunlevy in 1967, Johnson’s practice focused on general business, commercial real estate, and financial transactions.

Johnson served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for the University of Oklahoma College of Law, was the first Managing Editor of the Oklahoma Environmental Law Handbook, received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Oklahoma City University, and is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and American College of Mortgage Attorneys. He is the recipient of the Dean A. McGee Award, the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award, and the Ellen Hardin Walworth National Medal for Patriotism, among countless other awards.

Johnson was appointed by Mayor Ron Norick as the first Chairman of the Memorial Task Force following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. He was appointed as Chairman of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Trust by President Bill Clinton and reappointed by President George W. Bush.

Johnson resides in Oklahoma City with his wife Gennie and is the proud father of Brook and Brent, father-in-law of Tyfanna, and grandfather of Kirby and Burke.

Kari Watkins

A third-generation journalist and Cleveland, Oklahoma, native, Kari Watkins became the Oklahoma City National Memorial's first staff member in 1996. Three years later she was named Executive Director, overseeing the design competition for the for the Memorial, the building of the Museum, and the operations of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum—one of Oklahoma’s and the Nation’s most visited sites—and serving as Race Director for the annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

Watkins leads a staff that has been recognized with the highest national recognition--accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. Under her leadership, the Museum has won numerous awards, including The Videographer Award of Excellence, a Gold American Alliance of Museums MUSE, the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award, and multiple Addy’s, PRSA Awards, and Oklahoma Tourism RedBud Awards.

Personally, Watkins’ honors include being the Journal Record Woman of the Year and receiving the Stanley Draper Award for Community Excellence, Women in Communications Byliner Award, University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism Distinguished Alumni Award, Lee Allan Smith Oklahoma Legacy Award, and the John F. Kennedy Community Service Award.

Active in the community, Watkins serves on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the MAPS3 Park Sub-Committee, Board of Visitors for the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication, is an elder at Crossings Community Church, and serves on the Casady Parents’ Organization.

Watkins and her husband Hardy have two children—Ford and Caroline.