Alumni Hall of Fame member David PuentÃ© will see “South Oklahoma City Jr. College” sign dedication
Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) Alumni Hall of Fame member David PuentÃ© once saved a sign in the 1970’s that read “South Oklahoma City Jr. College”, OCCC’s previous name, from being disposed. A replica of this sign will be dedicated Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 4:30 p.m. in the college’s Main Building on the main campus.
The tale of the sign states the original was lying alongside May Ave., among other unwanted items, when discovered by former OCCC maintenance supervisor, the late Elven Gray, and Mr. PuentÃ©. Gray said to PuentÃ©, “Pick it up. You never know what it could be worth some day.”
PuentÃ© took home the sign that day and held onto it for more than thirty years. He then returned the sign to the college in 2011 and it was placed in the John Massey Center, then located at SW 119th and I-44. Unfortunately, in the construction of the new John Massey Center, located on the college’s main campus, the sign was misplaced. After an exhaustive search, it was determined the beloved sign had indeed vanished.
Recently, the vintage sign was reproduced in honor of David PuentÃ©. Upon completing his studies in Criminal Justice and Corrections at OCCC and Central State University (UCO), PuentÃ© began a long career in corrections during which he served at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center and as a senior officer at the Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno. Since his Federal service concluded, David has turned his attention toward community volunteerism. He has been an active advocate for civil rights, social justice, and neighborhood improvement. His efforts have benefitted teens, seniors, the Latino community, the Capitol Hill district, various neighborhood associations, the incarcerated, and more.
David’s many awards include being given the Leadership in Civil Rights Award by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Volunteer of the Year by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Civil Rights Activist Award by the Iris Santos Rivera Foundation, and a Lifetime Award by the Oklahoma Universal Rights Alliance.
OCCC serves more than 28,000 people each year. The college offers a full range of associate degree programs that prepare students to transfer to baccalaureate institutions while other degree and certificate programs prepare students for immediate employment in a variety of fields. At OCCC, students receive a quality education with small class sizes, dedicated teachers and leadership opportunities. Students can choose from more than 80 major fields of study and participate in any of the 40+ clubs and organizations and attend events such as the annual Arts Festival Oklahoma. For more information about OCCC, visit www.occc.edu.