The Oklahoma Israel Exchange recently honored Ann Hargis as the organization's 2012 recipient of the Light, Leadership and Legacy Award.
Hargis, wife of Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis, received the award Oct. 11 at an event at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
“I am honored to be recognized by the Oklahoma Israel Exchange and am truly humbled by the Light, Leadership and Legacy Award,” Ann Hargis said. “I have taken great pride in watching the relationship flourish between OSU and OKIE to provide unique educational experiences for faculty and students.”
In 2007, Hargis and her husband traveled to Israel as part of an OKIE/OKC Jewish Federation Mission. The visit inspired her to begin envisioning an exchange between OSU programs and parallel ones in Israel.
Upon her return, Hargis discovered that OSU already had connections with Israel. The OSU Fire Protection Publications Department had established relationships with a number of safety training groups in Israel.
And not long after Ann Hargis' return, Bill Ryan, director of the OSU School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, invited well-known Israeli chef Avi Sekerel to participate in OSU's Distinguished Chef Series.
That success opened the door for Ryan to travel to Israel with OKIE Executive Director Susan Robertson, and chef Aaron Ware from the Okmulgee Technical Institute, to explore student culinary exchange between OSU and Rimonim Culinary School in Tiberias.