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Guy L. Patton, President
 
Brock gift provides executive in residence to
OU's Jerry Holmes Leadership Program
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John and Donnie Brock at John's 2006 induction into the University of Tulsa Hall of Fame. John recently endowed OU's Executive in Residence in Engineering Leadership.




A $1 million gift from retired Tulsa oil executive John Brock will make it possible for University of Oklahoma students to continue gaining skills from professionals with extraordinary life experiences through the Jerry Holmes Leadership Program for Engineers and Scientists.

The John A. Brock Executive in Residence in Engineering Leadership Fund was established at the OU Foundation to ensure that students become effective and ethical leaders. The fund will support an "executive in residence" who will teach leadership to students in OU’s Gallogly College of Engineering and Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.

Retired U.S. Air Force Gen. Holmes taught in the program for 19 years, reaching more than 3,000 students whose lives were deeply influenced by his example and friendship. He frequently invited industry leaders to share their failures and successes. Brock was among those industry leaders and has visited the class every year of its existence.

"It’s one of the most fun things that I do, because it’s great to be with OU students," he said. "I try to give them an illustration of what they can expect when they get out of school. I guess people think that leadership is natural and that everybody learns it, but it has been a long school of hard knocks for me. Gen. Holmes has been a great mentor and I think he has given students an edge that most don’t get. I have great expectations for our inaugural executive in residence, Gen. Donald J. Wetekam."

The Jerry Holmes Leadership Program emphasizes making positive change through collaboration, ethical practice and technical expertise. "Our world relies on the best in engineering discovery and innovation to address future challenges and opportunities," said Tom Landers, Gallogly College dean and OU’s AT&T Chair.

"We deeply appreciate the generous support of Mr. John Brock for honoring the legacy of Jerry Holmes. The holder of this position will be a distinguished role model and mentor for our students."

Wetekam, the new executive in residence, is a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general who served in the supply-chain logistics field. He went on to become vice president of government and defense business development for AAR Corp., which provides products and services to commercial aviation and worldwide government and defense markets.

He is no stranger to Oklahoma, having served as vice commander and director of aircraft management for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base. Wetekam is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and holds a master’s of engineering from the University of Utah and a master’s of national resource management from the National Defense University.

Brock is a 1953 OU engineering graduate and Korean War veteran who spent five decades heading independent oil and gas companies, most recently Rockford Exploration Inc.

He also is a Tulsa civic leader who created the Tulsa Innovation Center to help foster new businesses in northeastern Oklahoma. Brock founded OU’s Brock Chair of Energy Economics and Policy, has been named to Mewbourne College’s Distinguished Alumni, the Gallogly College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates Society, and was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

He and his wife, retired educator Donnie Brock, established and endowed the Brock International Prize for Education and Brock Symposium for Education, both administered by the OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies.