Celebrating her highly successful career in business and her contributions to Rogers State University through her role as First Lady, friends of Peggy Rice honored her in a surprise celebration Wednesday with the creation of an endowment in her name.
The First Lady Peggy Rice Award in Business Excellence is an endowment with the RSU Foundation and will annually recognize a top graduating senior in business administration, with the recipient receiving a scholarship to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree at RSU.
“I’m humbled and honored by the establishment of this endowment. It means so much to me. Your benevolence will ensure our deserving students have a bright future,” Rice said.
Led by a $25,000 gift from RCB Bank, more than $51,000 has been raised to establish the endowment.
RSU senior Gracy Head of Claremore was selected by the business department faculty as the inaugural winner. She will receive a $1,000 scholarship to earn an MBA at RSU.
Rice served as President and CEO of the Small Business Capital Corporation, managing a loan portfolio of approximately $48 million that helped create more than 2,600 jobs. In 1996, she was named the National Small Business Administration’s Financial Advocate of the Year by President Bill Clinton.
She also has served as Director of Existing Business Development for the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce, Director of Tulsa Industrial Trust Authority, and Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending and Marketing Officer for First National Bank and Trust Company in Stillwater. Rice also served on the board of directors for RCB Bank.
Rice was raised on a farm in rural Osage County by hard-working parents who were limited by a lack of high school education, but instilled in her a strong work ethic, a passion for lifelong learning and a belief in service to others.
She has been actively involved in improving the quality of life in her communities, including service to the YMCA, United Way, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Stillwater Public Schools Foundation and the Chouteau-Mazie Public School Foundation. She co-founded the Eskimo Joe’s Juke Joint Jog United Way Fundraiser, now celebrating 33 years. Rice is also a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma.
Those wishing to participate in honoring Rice are invited to make a tax-deductible contribution to the endowment through the RSU Foundation. Checks made payable to the RSU Foundation may be mailed to the RSU Office of Development, 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd., Claremore, OK 74017. Gifts by credit card may be made online at www.rsu.edu/give or by calling (918) 343-8357.