Class of 2020
The 2020 Oklahoma Hall of Fame Honorees are: Calvin J. Anthony, Stillwater; Gary Batton, Clayton; Martha Burger, Oklahoma City; Charles Dennis “Denny” Cresap, Afton; Terry Stuart Forst, Waurika; Stephen M. Prescott, M.D., Oklahoma City; Francis Rooney, Tulsa; and John W. Smith, Del City.
The 2020 Class was formally inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 12 in a virtual broadcast of the Induction ceremony. This historic event is available to watch for FREE on the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. OETA will air the Induction Ceremony on Saturday, November 14 at 3:00 PM and Sunday, November 15 at 10:00 AM.
This year’s Induction Ceremony includes each Honoree’s acceptance remarks, presenters’ remarks, video biographies and special musical performances by the 2020 Ambassador of Goodwill, Kyle Dillingham, all hosted by Oklahoma Hall of Fame Members Becky Dixon and J.C. Watts, Jr. The 2020 Honorees will be recognized in November with the unveiling of their portraits at the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Gaylord-Pickens Museum and their biographies, photos, and videos will be accessible through interactive exhibits in the Museum. In addition, the Inductees are recognized on granite monuments in the Heritage Plaza at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds.
Being inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is Oklahoma's Highest Honor. Since the Oklahoma Hall of Fame’s inception in 1927, 706 accomplished individuals have received this commendation.
Visit our archives to view all Oklahoma Hall of Fame Members.
Calvin J. Anthony | Stillwater
Calvin J. Anthony grew up in Carney, Oklahoma. He attended Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma’s College of Pharmacy. Upon graduation he purchased Stillwater’s Tiger Drug Company. His service to Stillwater includes mayor and the Oklahoma House of Representatives, where he chaired the joint committee tasked with solving funding issues for the OU College of Medicine and Oklahoma Memorial Hospital. As CEO for the National Community Pharmacists Association in Washington, D.C., he represented more than 70,000 pharmacists nationwide. Anthony’s honors include Stillwater Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year and the Calvin J. Anthony Leadership Award named in his honor by the National Community Pharmacists Association. He currently serves on the Oklahoma State University A&M Board of Regents, the BancFirst Stillwater Advisory Board, and chairs the Stillwater Medical Center’s Board of Trustees. Anthony, and his wife, Linda, reside in Stillwater and have three children and seven grandchildren.
Gary Batton | Clayton
A native and current resident of Clayton, Oklahoma, Gary Batton began his career with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1987 as a clerk in the purchasing department. In 1997 he became the executive director of health, where his first undertaking was to replace the Choctaw Nation Hospital with the first tribally-funded health facility in the United States. Batton became the 47th Chief of the Nation in 2014. As Chief, he oversees and leads the effort of serving more than 200,000 tribal members. As the largest employer in southeastern Oklahoma with close to 11,000 employees, the Nation continues to expand its business ventures with more than 170 businesses including gaming, hospitality, agriculture, and more. The Nation cares for its citizens through 144 different programs that provide opportunities for growth and prosperity. Batton has been recognized as one of the Most Admired CEO’s, Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador, and Outstanding Alumni at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Batton and his wife, Angie, enjoy spending time exploring the outdoors with their children and grandchildren.
Martha Burger | Oklahoma City
Martha Burger came to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma State University and has made Oklahoma her home. Burger’s career evolved from accounting in the oil and gas industry to human resources and finance executive. For many years she proudly worked with her friend and mentor, Aubrey McClendon, turning his vision of a first-in-class corporate culture into reality—earning a place on Fortune magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For”. In 2018 Burger was named the 18th and first female president of Oklahoma City University. She has lead the school through challenging times in higher education. A committed philanthropist, Burger primarily supports women’s heart disease research, animal welfare, her beloved sorority Delta Gamma, and higher education. Burger has been named Oklahoma State University’s Philanthropist of the Year, inducted into OCU’s Hall of Honor, and is a three-time finalist for The Journal Record’s Woman of the Year. Burger loves to travel, resides in Oklahoma City, and lives by the adage that to whom much is given, much is expected.
Charles Dennis “Denny” Cresap | Afton
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Charles Dennis “Denny” Cresap became an Oklahoman in 1952. He attended the University of Oklahoma and served in the U.S. Army before marrying Diana “Gail” Campbell. In 1968 the couple purchased a small Anheuser-Busch distributorship in Bartlesville, Northeast Distributing Company, and son John joined the family business twenty years later. The family next purchased the Budweiser distributorship in Oklahoma City, Premium Beers of Oklahoma, and grew it into one of the top 15 Anheuser-Busch distributorships in the United States. After selling Premium Beers to Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri, he family established the Cresap Family Foundation. Through the foundation, the Cresaps now dedicate their time and resources to improving the quality of life for their fellow Oklahomans. The foundation’s areas of emphasis are youth and families, health and wellness, education, arts and humanities, and animal welfare. Today, Cresap and his wife, Gail, make their home in Afton.
Terry Stuart Forst | Waurika
A fifth-generation Oklahoman, Terry Stuart Forst was born in Oklahoma City. In 2001 she became general manager of The Stuart Ranch, the family ranch she grew up on near Caddo. Through innovative planning and hard work, Forst and her family have built an award-winning equine program, cattle operation, and outfitting division. The Stuart Ranch is the oldest ranch in the state under continuous family ownership and encompasses more than 40,000 acres in southeastern and southwestern Oklahoma. Forst served as the first woman president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association and as a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Council. She was honored with the Master Breeder Award by Oklahoma State University, named “Top 50 Women Making a Difference” by The Journal Record, was the first female to receive the Oklahoma Cattlemen of the Year Award, and inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Forst, her two sons, and their families live and work on the ranch in Waurika.
Stephen M. Prescott, M.D. | Oklahoma City
Dr. Stephen M. Prescott joined the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in 2006. His successes include: raising $100 million for the largest campus expansion in the foundation’s history, resulting in its Autoimmune Disease Institute’s recognition as one of ten Autoimmunity Centers of Excellence in the country by the National Institutes of Health; recruiting more than 40 scientists to help in the fight against a wide range of diseases, including the development of a trio of FDA-approved drugs used worldwide; and, most recently, a diagnostic test being used for COVID-19. A noted author of more than 270 scientific articles, Prescott is a sought-after speaker and accomplished research scientist in his own right. He has been named Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador, Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO by The Journal Record, and Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Magazine. He and his wife, Susan, make their home in Oklahoma City and have two children and three grandchildren.
Francis Rooney | Tulsa
Formed in 1896, Manhattan Construction Company received the first corporate charter in the State of Oklahoma. The company earned the bid to build the first State Capitol Building in Guthrie and the permanent State Capitol in Oklahoma City, as well as having had a part in the Capitol Dome addition and the major renovation of the structure currently underway. As president & CEO, Francis Rooney built Manhattan into one of the largest privately-held construction firms in the nation widely known for building high-profile, technically difficult mega projects including AT&T Stadium, the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, The Chickasaw Nation’s Winstar Conference Center, Stephenson Cancer Center, and BOK Center. Rooney entered public service following a presidential appointment to the United States Department of State as Ambassador to the Holy See and currently is completing his final term as Congressman from Florida’s 19th District. Rooney and his wife Kathleen, who split time between Naples, Florida and Washington, D.C., have three children and two grandchildren.
John W. Smith | Del City
Del City native John W. Smith is one of the greatest Olympic wrestlers in U.S. history, winning more world-level gold medals in wrestling than any other American. In 1992 he became head wrestling coach for his alma mater, Oklahoma State University. This year Smith became the fifth all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I wrestling history with 439 dual victories. His coaching legacy is the influence bestowed on countless athletes by teaching technique, leadership, and the correlation between hard work and results. His former wrestlers include 129 NCAA All-Americans, 110 Conference Individual Champions, and eight NCAA Division I head coaches. Smith was the first wrestler to win the James E. Sullivan Award, bestowed upon the nation’s top amateur athlete, named a top 100 Olympian at the 1996 Olympic Games, and has been inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. Smith and his wife, Toni, live in Stillwater and are the parents of five.