2015 Regents' Alumni Awards Honorees
Director of Golf, generous athletics department supporter
Dave Bryan of Tulsa has been an active supporter of OU since he spent three years as a walk-on for the OU golf team. Growing up in Chickasha, he got his start in golf as a caddy at the Chickasha Country Club. While a member of OU’s golf team, Bryan helped the team finish second in the Big Eight Conference.
After earning his Bachelor of Science in marketing from OU in 1971, he began a distinguished career in golf, first as an assistant professional at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club. During this time, Bryan became a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. In 1975, he landed his first head professional job at the Milburn Country Club in Overland Park, Kansas, going on to serve as head pro at the Oakwood Country Club in Enid, Tulsa Country Club and then the historic Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa.
Under Bryan’s leadership and guidance, Southern Hills hosted five major professional golf championships and a USGA Amateur Championship. Southern Hills is the only club to host four PGA Championships.
Bryan currently serves as director of golf at the Patriot Golf Club in Owasso and continues to embrace his role as mentor. He is most proud of his former assistants who went on to become head professionals at other clubs around the country.
Bryan has been a generous supporter of OU athletics, especially men’s golf.
Nominated by: Chairman of the OU Board of Regents Jon R. Stuart and Head Football Coach Bob Stoops
Norman insurance professional, university supporter and advocate
Julia Chew of Norman has been a loyal and fervent supporter of her alma mater since earning her Bachelor of Arts in journalism in 1986. Chew has more than 28 years of experience with State Farm, and held several management positions in Dallas and Texas before becoming an agent in Norman. Since 2002, she has owned her own insurance agency, which provides a full range of insurance and financial products and services. Chew’s Norman insurance agency regularly achieves the Chairman’s Circle Award, given to the top agents in the country, and in 2012, the agency was designated as a President’s Club, a designation given to the top 50 agents (out of 19,000) by State Farm. Her agency has consistently been named as “Best Insurance Agency in Norman” by readers of The Norman Transcript.
While a student at OU, Chew was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, for which she currently serves as an advisory board member. An active OU alumna, her involvement includes speaking at and moderating conferences and mentoring student-athletes, journalism students and members of her sorority.
In addition to serving on several university councils and boards, Chew is active in the OU women’s basketball booster and mentoring club, Sooner Stilettos, and the President’s Associates Council. The OU President’s Associates program connects alumni and friends of the university who share a collective passion for the university; their annual leadership donations support OU’s mission in promoting efforts to help students achieve their educational goals.
A graduate of both Leadership Norman and Leadership Oklahoma, Chew also is active in the community and state, including service on the board of the Norman Chamber of Commerce. She was appointed by then-Gov. Brad Henry to the Oklahoma Board of Judicial Compensation, and recently was named one of The Journal Record’s “50 Making a Difference” Women of the Year nominees.
Nominated by: President’s Associates
Melissa Alexander Lee
President, OU Club of Boston
Melissa Alexander Lee has proved to be an outstanding leader to the OU Club of Boston – first as a member from 2011 to 2012, and then as president from 2012 to 2014 – during a critical transition time for the alumni club: the transition from club founder to the next leaders. Her many accomplishments in the club include establishing its first scholarship fund and committee; creating the “Boston Booster” membership program to ensure continued funding for the club and scholarships; and relocating the group to a new, dedicated location. As president, she has recruited new members and worked to foster an excitement for their mission, ensuring that the enthusiasm continues through the years.
Lee earned a Bachelor of Business in management information systems and finance from OU in 2003, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Tulane Freeman School of Business. She is senior manager of information systems at Biogen in Boston, the third-largest biotechnology company in the world, and co-owner and manager of Rusty Nail Winery in Sulphur.
In addition to excelling academically, Lee, who attended OU on a Phillips Scholarship, participated in a study abroad program in Parnera del Grappa, Italy, and held leadership positions in numerous student organizations. She was the founding president of the MIS Student Association, president and vice president of the Finance Club, treasurer for Chi Omega sorority, and also was active on the Student Business Advisory Board and Campus Activities Council.
Before moving to Boston, Lee was a supportive member of the OU Alumni Association in Houston and New York City. She also served as president of the Chi Omega Alumnae New York City Chapter and coordinator of her sorority’s National Alumnae Program. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Junior League of Boston.
Nominated by: The OU Club of Boston
R. Clark Musser
Lawyer, adjunct professor and longtime university supporter
The service of R. Clark Musser of Oklahoma City has left a lasting legacy to OU and the legal profession. In addition to his career as an attorney, he served the university for 20 years as an adjunct professor of oil and gas law in the colleges of Engineering and Business.
Musser earned two degrees from OU: a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance in 1967 and a Juris Doctorate in 1970. As an undergraduate, he was a Top 10 Freshman, Big Man on Campus, and a member of the top-10 senior honor society PE-ET, also serving as president of Delta Tau Delta and Omicron Delta Kappa fraternities. At the OU College of Law, he served as president of the international legal honor society Phi Delta Phi, and he was the recipient of various scholarships and awards for academic excellence.
Musser worked in the private practice of law for nearly 30 years as co-founder of the Oklahoma City law firm of Musser & Bunch. He then served as general counsel of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, and, most recently, as general counsel of Alpine Energy.
He was instrumental in founding the Eugene Kuntz Conference on National Resources Law and Policy, co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Energy and Natural Resources Law Section and the OU College of Law. In recognition of his contributions to energy law, in 1996 he received the Eugene Kuntz Award – one of the most prestigious awards of its kind in the field. He has continued to promote the conference, and today it is the second-largest oil and gas conference in the United States.
Musser and his wife, Kay (OU class of 1968), are supporters of many OU programs. They have endowed scholarships in honor of Owen Anderson, a leader in oil and gas law at OU, and Suzette Grillot, dean of the OU College of International Studies. He has served on the OU College of Law’s Board of Visitors and is a member of the Dean’s Leadership Council.
Musser has received many honors from the Oklahoma Bar Association, including the Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award for excellence in writing; the Earl Sneed Award for excellence in teaching; the Neil Bogan Professionalism Award for conduct, honesty, integrity and courtesy representative of the highest ideals of the profession; and the OBA President’s Award for outstanding service to the association.
Nominated by: College of Law Dean and University Vice President Joseph Harroz Jr.
OU’s advocate in Silicon Valley, mentor
In his nomination letter, Devin Pauley of Mountain View, California, who earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 2004 from OU, was called OU’s “advocate in Silicon Valley.” As a current Apple employee and former senior product design engineer for Amazon, Pauley regularly meets with engineering students and faculty on campus to share his stories on designing cell phones, e-readers and ecosystem products, and to offer advice and encouragement on career advancement.
Pauley holds three patents and is a two-time recipient of the BRAVO! Award from Motorola, where he worked from 2004 to 2008 as a product design mechanical engineer. He also is the engineering program manager behind the development and launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus silicone cases.
Since 2009, Pauley has served on the OU College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board on Diversity, the purpose of which is to promote the vision, goals and objectives of diversity and inclusion in the college and to increase the number of underrepresented engineering graduates.
While pursuing his studies at OU, Pauley was involved in several leadership roles with the Sooner Racing Team, a Formula SAE international student-engineering competition in which students develop and exercise their engineering, business and organizational skills by designing, manufacturing and racing a small formula-style car. His roles on the team ranged from managing its engine systems, driveline integration and brake system leader to president. Under his leadership, the team won multiple awards, including in his final year a first-place finish in the Continental Teves Brake Systems category. Continuing his involvement with the Sooner Racing Team, he often returns to campus to visit and share advice with current members.
Also while at OU, Pauley was active in Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Nominated by: College of Engineering Dean Thomas L. Landers.
Pipeline COO, founding member of Arthur B. Adams Society
Harry Pefanis of Houston, who earned his Bachelor of Business in accounting from OU in 1979, has made it a priority to serve the Michael F. Price College of Business. Pefanis is a founding member of the Arthur B. Adams Society, a group named after the first dean of the business college, which allows alumni and friends to come together as a network of supporters. The group also provides support for academic and study abroad scholarships, undergraduate and graduate professional development, faculty resources, the JCPenney Leadership program, and more.
In 2008, Pefanis was named one of Price College’s first Executives-in-Residence. He serves on the board of advisers, providing strategic insight to the Executive Education curriculum and the MBA energy specialization, and also has served on the college’s Campaign Cabinet.
His support for the annual Sooner Launch Pad Pitch Competition, sponsored by Price College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, has allowed students from all academic disciplines to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win cash awards. He also is one of the supporters helping the college build its first Active Learning Classroom.
Pefanis has served as president and COO of Plains All American Pipeline since its formation in 1998. As COO, he is responsible for business strategy, overseeing day-to-day operations, coordinating departments and identifying areas for future expansion. He previously served Plains Resources in positions of increasing leadership, including as senior vice president. Before joining Plains Resources in 1983, he was with the accounting firm PriceWaterhouse.
Pefanis has hosted entrepreneurship and engineering students at Plains for experiential learning trips to Houston and encourages the recruitment of Price College students, resulting in many internships and hires at Plains All American.
He serves on the boards of the American Petroleum Institute, Association of Oil Pipelines and Memorial Hermann Foundation.
In 2012, Pefanis received a Distinguished Alumni Award for his continued service to Price College.
Nominated by: Michael F. Price College of Business Dean Daniel W. Pullin and Price College Executive Director for Development and Alumni Relations Mary Lurry
Michael S. Turner
Consulting Petroleum Engineer, tireless student advocate
After graduating from OU in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering, Michael S. Turner of Dallas has become a tireless supporter of OU. Often working behind the scenes to ensure all students have access to a full range of offerings at the university, Turner is involved in a number of college- and university-wide initiatives and endeavors, including those targeting executive education students on the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses.
Through his position as a consulting petroleum engineer with Michael S. Turner LLC, he supports engineering and nursing students who are pursuing careers in entrepreneurship. This includes programs through the Entrepreneur Center that allow students to travel and meet CEOs, founders and Fortune 100 executives.
When the Michael F. Price College of Business established its Energy Executive Education Program, Turner not only offered his expertise and counsel. To obtain a better, firsthand overview of the topics covered, he enrolled in the new courses. He also was instrumental in the development of the College of Engineering’s School of Biomedical Engineering, the plans for which were announced this spring.
Turner is a member of the J.H. Felgar Society in the College of Engineering and the Adams Society in the Price College of Business. He also is a member of the Seed Sower Society, which recognizes donors contributing in excess of $1 million to OU.
Nominated by: College of Engineering Dean Thomas L. Landers and
Executive Director of Development Jill Hughes
John H. Waller
Engineer, generous advocate for the arts
An engineer by profession, John H. Waller’s passion for the arts has played an instrumental role in enhancing fine arts programs at OU. A generous advocate for the Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, Waller has supported the renovation of historic Holmberg Hall and the establishment of the Ballets Russes Archives in the School of Dance. Additionally, he and his wife, Lou, are founding members of Dance Partners, the School of Dance donor support group.
Waller has served as member of the Pride Alumni Board and is a current member of the Musical Theatre/Opera Guild Board. He chaired the highly successful Pride of Oklahoma’s Centennial Reunion, where Pride alumni joined active members during a special reunion halftime show. He has served on the college’s Board of Visitors for more than 10 years, including one term as president.
After earning a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from OU in 1961 and an MBA in 1971, Waller was owner of Toefco Engineering in Michigan. After spending most of his adult life in the upper Midwest, he returned to Norman in 1996.
Outside of fine arts, Waller has lent his support to athletics and the College of Engineering. A member of the College of Engineering’s J.H. Felgar Society, he sponsored the establishment and, later, refurbishing of a student computer lounge. For 25 years, he has been active on the OKChE board – an organization chartered at OU in 1967 to advise the faculty of the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and the College of Engineering dean to improve the academic quality and stature of the school. Waller also is a President’s Associate.
He is a frequent visitor to campus, advising students about life at OU and after graduation; coaching students on job interview techniques; and speaking to student groups on topics ranging from teamwork to techniques for writing reports.
Outside OU, Waller is involved in numerous community and civic organizations. He is a multi-term Norman Communities Foundation board member, past chairman of Food and Shelter for Friends, immediate past president of the Norman Reviewers Club, and a member of the Rotary Club of Norman.
Nominated by: Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts