Gary Pierson of Denver, who was elected the board’s next chairman at its October 2019 meeting, will lead the board during the 2020-2021 term. At the board’s regular March meeting, Frank Keating of Oklahoma City was elected vice chairman.
Pierson was appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2019. He serves as executive vice president of Anschutz Corp., a privately held group of companies with business operations in North American, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Pierson also is the CEO of the Broadmoor-Sea Island Co. From 2002 to 2019, he served in several leadership positions at The Oklahoma Publishing Co., including general counsel, chief operating officer, and president and chief executive officer.
Before joining OPUBCO, Pierson was a vice president at the McAfee & Taft law firm, where he practiced in all areas of litigation with a focus on labor and employment law. He was admitted to practice law in all state and federal courts in Oklahoma, several U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Pierson has served on the Board of Directors of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and is past chair of the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation. He also served as chair of the OU College of Law Board of Visitors and as a member of the Price College of Business Board of Advisors. Pierson earned a bachelor of business administration in finance and a J.D., both from OU. While in law school, he served as editor and research editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and was president of Phi Delta Phi scholastic honorary society. In 2016, he was honored with the OU Regents’ Alumni Award.
Keating was appointed to the Regents by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2017. Currently a senior partner in the international law firm of Holland & Knight, he was formerly the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association and, prior to that, was president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers.
His years in the private sector were preceded by three decades of law enforcement and public service, culminating in two terms as Oklahoma’s 25th governor. Over the course of 30 years, Keating also served as an FBI agent, U.S. Attorney, state prosecutor, and Oklahoma House and Senate member, including service as a Republican Senate leader. He also served Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the Treasury, Justice and Housing departments.
In 1993, Keating returned to Oklahoma to successfully run for governor and was re-elected in 1998. As governor at the time of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City, he helped raise more than $6 million in scholarships for the nearly 200 children left with only one or no parents.
Keating has served as a member of numerous boards, including those of the Bipartisan Policy Center, the National Archives and the Jamestown Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from OU.
Chris A. Purcell of Norman was elected to serve as the board’s executive secretary and vice president for university governance. Purcell, who has been re-elected each year since 1992, also serves as secretary of OU, Cameron University and Rogers State University. She was selected in 2005 by OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education as one of “75 Who Made A Difference” and has also been honored with the Walter Neustadt and the UOSA Outstanding Administrator awards. In 2014, the Norman Chamber of Commerce selected Purcell as the recipient of its Women’s Leadership Award, and in 2012, she was honored by The Journal Record among 50 Making a Difference in Oklahoma. In addition to her other duties, she teaches courses in adult education, higher education and human relations. She earned her bachelor of arts, master’s in education and doctoral degrees, all from OU.
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