Oklahoma City Community College’s (OCCC) Public Affairs Forum will feature former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh April 16. This nonpartisan forum is designed to give students and the community insight into the politics during the speaker’s time in office and how those political issues impact Oklahoma now.
Each semester, the forum features a past or current Oklahoma political leader. Former Oklahoma Governor David Walters is slated to speak the fall of 2016.
The Public Affairs Forum featuring Governor Nigh will be in the Sarkeys Atrium in the Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater, 7777 S. May Ave. The public forum will be 12:30 p.m.to 1:45 p.m.
About Governor George Nigh
Governor Nigh has served as governor four different terms (twice in interim and twice elected), more than anyone in state history. Born in McAlester to Wilber and Irene Nigh on June 9, 1927, he went on to graduate from Eastern Oklahoma A&M College and East Central State College. After which he returned to McAlester and became a school teacher.
In 1950, at age twenty-three, Nigh became the youngest member of the state legislature when he was elected to the House of Representatives from Pittsburg County. In 1953 he introduced the bill that made “Oklahoma!” the official state song.
By 1958, at age thirty-one, Nigh was elected lieutenant governor, the youngest in state history and the youngest in the nation at the time. Once again, in 1966 Nigh was elected lieutenant governor of Oklahoma and served until he realized his lifelong dream of being elected governor of Oklahoma in the 1978 election.
As lieutenant governor and governor, Nigh pushed Oklahoma tourism and industrial expansion efforts and enticed movie producers to film on location in the state. Nigh was reelected in 1982 and served Oklahoma well during his eight-year stretch as governor from 1979 to 1987. As governor, Nigh increased minority representation on state boards and commissions and in state agency management positions. He also appointed the first women to be Oklahoma Supreme Court justices, Alma Wilson and Yvonne Kauger. He led unprecedented state efforts in highway construction, funding for the arts and improving Oklahoma’s penal system.
Later, Nigh served as president of the University of Central Oklahoma. Nigh is married to Donna Nigh with whom he headed the Donna Nigh Foundation, a nonprofit organization serving Oklahomans with developmental disabilities. Most recently, Nigh worked in the banking industry.
For more information about the Public Affairs Forum, visit /paforum, or call (405) 682-7590.