Edmond Chamber Announces Inductees into Edmond Hall of Fame
Above, from left: Claudette Dills, Ray Hibbard, Steve Murdock, Gov. George Nigh and Avilla Williams.
The Edmond Hall of Fame banquet occurs every five years and has since its inception in 1981. The Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the banquet to honor individuals whose civic and professional contributions are exceptional. To date, 74 individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The formal presentations of the 2020 inductees will be at Edmond Chamber Annual Awards Banquet on Friday, January 24, at the Edmond Conference Center.
The 2020 Hall of Fame inductees are Claudette Dills (posthumously), Ray Hibbard, Steve Murdock, George Nigh and Avilla Williams.
Claudette Dills was the founding member of UR Special Ministries, a non-profit with the mission of fostering self-esteem by providing handsewn clothing to needy and at-risk children in Edmond. What began with sewing dresses for 60 girls quickly grew to a registered non-profit organization serving hundreds of boys and girls in the community. Dills’ legacy of loving and caring for Edmond children has lived on long after her passing in April 2007.
Longtime newspaper veteran Ray Hibbard is among Edmond’s 2020 Hall of Fame inductees. Hibbard has been the publisher of Edmond Life and Leisure for nearly 20 years and currently serves as the chairman of the board for Citizens Bank of Edmond. Hibbard has a long list of community involvement including the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Edmond Rotary Club, Downtown Edmond Business Association, Leadership Edmond Class XII, Edmond Arts and Humanity Board of Directors, City of Edmond Capital Improvements Board and the INTEGRIS Health Edmond Board. Hibbard was named Edmond Citizen of the Year in 2004.
Steve Murdock has served as Edmond’s city attorney since 1987. Over the past 32 years, Murdock has represented the city in all litigations, served as a legal advisor to various boards and commissions and has provided legal services for the mayor and city council. Murdock was honored with the distinction of 2014 Edmond Citizen of the Year.
Former Governor and University of Central Oklahoma president George Nigh will rightfully join the Edmond Hall of Fame on January 24. After serving as Oklahoma’s 17th and 22nd Governor, Nigh went on to lead the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) as president from 1992-1997. During his time as president, Nigh is largely accredited with beginning UCO’s shift from a commuter college, to a regional university. He oversaw the construction of the physical plant, Education building, Max Chambers Library, Howell Hall and the Business building. He also expanded the University Center, which was later renamed the Nigh University Center in his honor in 2001. In 1999, Nigh and his wife, Donna, created the George and Donna Nigh Public Service Scholarship to assist students preparing for careers in public service.
Avilla Williams is the president of INTEGRIS Health Edmond, where she leads a team of more than 400 physicians, nurses, clinicians and other healthcare professionals in the delivery of patient care and community service. As an experienced leader, she provided oversight to the development of a new acute care hospital and medical office building on a 44-acre site in Edmond, giving citizens access to a state-of-the-art full-service community hospital. Among many other accomplishments under Williams’ leadership, the INTEGRIS Arcadia Trails Center for Addiction Recovery, a 65,000 square foot residential treatment facility located on the INTEGRIS Health Edmond campus, opened in May 2019. Williams’ long-term goal for INTEGRIS Health Edmond is to build a medical campus that meets the needs of the community.
Nominations for this prestigious award were provided to the chamber by many individuals. “Edmond is fortunate to have citizens who go above and beyond for the community. Choosing inductees was a difficult task for our selection committee,” said Edmond Chamber President and CEO Sherry Jordan.
For banquet tickets and additional information, visit www.edmondchamber.com/events or contact Savannah Whitehead at (405) 341-2808. Reservations are required by Friday, January 17.