Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Tom J. McDaniel

Colleges and universities throughout the nation have experienced turbulent times and difficult finances over the last decade, and few have met these challenges as well as Tom J. McDaniel, president of Oklahoma City University. Born in Muskogee, Tom McDaniel obtained a B.A. in 1960 and then earned a law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1963.  In his years in private practice, Tom McDaniel served on numerous boards and commissions, to include the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, State Fair of Oklahoma, St. Anthony’s Hospital, and the Downtown Rotary Club.  He and his wife Brenda have chaired the Oklahoma City Art Museum’s annual Renaissance Ball and the 2006  Reflections of Hope dinner for the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial Foundation.  For his service to the needs of the people of the state and Oklahoma City, he has been given numerous awards; for example, in 2009 the Saint Paul School of Theology gave him their Good Samaritan Award, and in 2010 he was named Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEO for large non-profits.  Tom McDaniel became President of his alma mater Northwestern Oklahoma State University, and in 2001 he was elected President of Oklahoma City University.  Over the past decade, he has doubled the university’s endowment and net assets.  He set the school on an ambitious building program, creating the Meinders School of Business, the Wanda L. Bass Music Center, the Ann Lacy Visitors and Admissions Center, and the Norick Art Center. As well, he has fostered scholarship programs that  have enabled many students access to the school who previously could not afford entrance, and now OCU has enrolled students from every state in the Union and from fifty-seven countries.  It is with great pride that the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society inducts Tom J. McDaniel into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.