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Ponca City alums give back to help students


Ten $1,000 scholarships will be awarded this fall to Ponca City deserving graduates.


Ponca City High School (Po-Hi) graduates and Northern Oklahoma College (NOC) alumni William W. (Bill) Phelps and Dorotha L. (Susie) Bristow are amending their endowment to the NOC Foundation (NOCF) to begin offering scholarships to qualified Po-Hi graduates attending NOC Tonkawa this fall semester. Even though they now reside 300 miles south in the Dallas area they decided to give back to the community where they grew up.

The William W. and Dorotha L. Phelps Educational Loan and Scholarship fund, originally established in 2011 and amended in 2014 and again this summer, will now provide 10 (ten) $1,000 scholarships to deserving students majoring in engineering or business. Recipients must be a graduate of Ponca City High School and enrolled full-time at NOC Tonkawa.

“We strongly believe in the mission of the two-year college and are excited to help those individuals who have the ability to be successful in the chosen fields of engineering and business,” the couple said. “We are excited to provide Po-Hi graduates the same educational opportunities we had.”

Bill and Susie met in the first grade and are 1956 graduates of Po-Hi and 1958 NOC graduates where they both received associate degrees, Bill in engineering and Susie in business administration. They continued their education at Oklahoma State University where both earned bachelor’s degrees, Bill in mechanical engineering and Susie in business administration. Bill later received his master’s degree in petroleum engineering from The University of Oklahoma. In 2017, Bill Phelps was inducted into the Northern Oklahoma College Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.

During a recent visit in Dallas, the Phelps announced their plans with NOC President Clark Harris and Vice President for Development and Community Relations Sheri Snyder. Snyder also serves as the executive director to the NOCF.

“We are so excited when our NOC graduates choose to give back to their local communities and to NOC,” said NOC President Dr. Clark Harris. “NOC appreciates the Phelps’ generosity and their willingness to pay it forward.”

“We are proud to announce this expanded scholarship opportunity,” said NOCF executive director Sheri Snyder. “NOC is grateful and blessed to have alumni such as Bill and Susie Phelps who are continuing on their tradition and commitment to higher education in Oklahoma and to their alma maters by establishing a scholarship to benefit students of academic merit in engineering and business.” Interested students should apply by completing the online scholarship application through the NOC scholarship office at Scholarship deadline for fall semester awards is August 25.

The NOC Foundation serves as a private fundraising organization for NOC, as designated by the NOC Board of Regents. Its primary purpose is to enhance the educational opportunities and the overall environment of NOC through scholarship and program support.