OKLAHOMA CITY (November 10, 2021) – Helen Ford Sanger Wallace, an 2021 OU Regents’ Alumni Award recipient and a familiar face in the community, was honored this fall at the University of Oklahoma. A group of friends, including past League Presidents, showed their admiration for Wallace by raising more than $100,000 for an endowed scholarship in Wallace’s name. The scholarship as well as a student gathering place in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication are both dedicated to Wallace.
Wallace, who served as the 1979-1980 Junior League of Oklahoma City President, retired in February as a journalist after more than 60 years with The Oklahoman; most of her time was spent as a feature writer and social columnist, making it a common occurrence for Leaguers past and present to see her at various social and charity events.
“I am so grateful to be honored in such special ways by my alma mater, said Wallace. “It was a great honor to be recognized by Dean Ed Kelley and Oklahoma University’s College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The Gaylord College rotunda naming for me and the endowed scholarships are so important and just added to the blessings of my love for writing for The Oklahoman all these years. Additionally, the OU Regent’s Alumni Award deeply touched my heart as OU’s been the center of my life always.”
Jeary Seikel, 1990-1991 JLOC President, secretly began work on the “Helen Project” and within a month, had collected the bulk of the funding, which totaled $100,000 from 200 donors.
During the dedication, the first two scholarship winners were introduced, and Wallace was shown the plaque that will hang in the rotunda and a courtyard bench which was installed at the journalism college.
“I was so honored and grateful for Junior League support during this project. I am so thankful for the precious committee Jeary Seikel headed, along with Jane Elliott, Nancy Ellis, Christy Everest, Linda James, Chris Purcell, Gayle Semtner, and Lee Allan Smith, who raised the funds for these events to occur,” said Wallace. “Thank you to all Active and Sustaining Members, as well as Board Members, who donated. You are forever etched in my heart.”