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Co-Chairs announced for Northeastern State University capital campaign

(L-R) Dr. Denise Roddy, Gregg Wadley, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief, top optometrist, business executive chair $20M campaign

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- Northeastern State University recently announced the names of three alumni who will co-chair its capital campaign.

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, top optometrist Dr. Denise Roddy and business executive Gregg Wadley will chair fundraising efforts for the university’s Preserve our PastENSUre Our Future campaign which aims to raise $20.925 million in campaign investments, by focusing on four project areas: opportunities for students, strengthening the faculty, new and revitalized facilities and enhancements in athletics.

“As we began laying the foundation for NSU’s most ambitious campaign in our sixteen decades of existence, we looked for campaign co-chairs who had a passion for NSU and understood our students' needs and dreams,” said NSU President Steve Turner. “In fact, these three co-chairs were once NSU students themselves, and now are inspirational and distinguished alumni whose degrees made a difference in their lives and beyond. Each of them understands the value of private investment in higher education, where a scholarship can break the cycle of poverty and faculty development can lead to research breakthroughs.”

Bill John Baker

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker currently serves as the 17th elected chief of the Cherokee Nation, the largest Indian tribe in the United States. Baker spent 12 years as a member of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council and was elected Principal Chief in October 2011. 

Baker is a graduate of Tahlequah High School and Northeastern State University, earning his bachelor’s degree in political science and history, with minors in psychology and sociology. He has been a small business owner in Tahlequah for more than 40 years. As the son and grandson of educators, his passion for education also led him to complete the requirements for his teaching certification. He was named an NSU Centurion in 2014 and an NSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus in 2015.

Baker still resides in Tahlequah with his wife, Sherry. They have been blessed with six children and are the proud grandparents of 10.

Dr. Denise Roddy

Dr. Denise Roddy grew up in Gore, Okla. and graduated from Webbers Falls High School. She graduated with honors from Northeastern State University College of Optometry in 1988. Roddy was awarded the Bausch & Lomb Award for Excellence in Academic Achievement in Contact Lenses and was active in many student government roles, as well as a member of the NSU President’s Leadership Class. She has served as NSU Alumni Association President and since 2012 has been on the NSU Foundation Board of Directors. Roddy was named Oklahoma Optometrist of the year in 2012 by the Oklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians for outstanding service to the profession and her patients. She resides in Bixby and is the proud parent of two young adults.

Gregg Wadley

Gregg Wadley graduated from Northeastern State University in 1969 with a bachelor of science in math and physics. He was a programmer, systems engineer and technology manager in the oil industry until 1989 when he founded DataCom Sciences Inc. The company grew from a startup to 600 employees operating in 22 states. Wadley’s company was recognized by Inc. magazine as the 54th fastest growing company in America in 1998 and by the Small Business Administration as the outstanding minority enterprise in 2000. He sold the company to the Chickasaw Nation in 2003 and served as President and CEO until 2009. Wadley serves as Vice Chairman of the Native American Cultural Authority, Chairman of the American Indian Museum and Cultural Center Foundation, and was the first president and cofounder of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce. He has been a member of the Allied Arts board of directors. Wadley and his wife, Dr. Susan E. "Betsy" Brackett, reside in Oklahoma City. He has one son and one granddaughter. Wadley is a trustee for the Northeastern State University Foundation and was honored by the NSU Alumni Association as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2004. He was named an NSU Centurion in 2012.  

Published: 11/20/2015 10:13:24 AM

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