With this year’s Foster Bonanza, on October 11th, Oklahoma Wesleyan University is again honoring two “Pioneers in Free Enterprise Fellows” who will be inducted into the Keating Center Pioneers Hall of Fame. This year, OKWU has chosen to honor both a historic and a modern oilman who have had a profound impact on the University.
The Pioneer in Free Enterprise Fellow is a designation given to celebrate key individuals who have been pioneers in the marketplace, the community, and in the Church. The Pioneers are defined as individuals who are leaders that “open or prepare–a way, a business or organization—and then set the stage for occupation or development by others”. In other words, pioneers go first. They are selfless, assertive, and forward thinking. They are bridge-builders, bringing others together and helping them flourish as well.
One of this year’s Fellows entering the Keating Center Pioneer Hall of Fame posthumously is H.V. Foster. Foster was key to the development of Bartlesville and his successes set the stage for the beautiful campus where OKWU proudly resides today.
“H.V. Foster is one of the great stories of the oilmen of the old west,” shared OKWU President, Dr. Everett Piper. “He recognized the potential of stewarding Oklahoma’s natural resources to the mutual benefit of all parties involved and he did so with vision, confidence, and courage. He was the epitome of a business pioneer and entrepreneur.”
As a successful businessman, Foster’s legacy of education began long before OKWU, when he secretly funded the college education of a number of students, asking them to pay his kindness forward after receiving their degrees. His 1932 family home, La Quinta Mansion has been home to schools for most of its life, and home to OKWU since 1958.
Foster’s legacy continues through not only the campus, but through his family who continue to impact OKWU today. In his honor, the University will recognize the Kanes’, Prestons’, and Doornbos’ family connections during the celebration.
The 2018 Bonanza will be held at the Foster Ranch on the evening of October 11th. To learn more, purchase tickets, sponsor a table, or find other ways to help us thank the Foster family and another modern-day oilman, Dr. Mike Stice, visit www.okwu.edu/bonanza.