April 6, 2021
By News Director Jared Atha
Southwestern Oklahoma State University with locations in Weatherford and Sayre has announced the establishment of the Dr. John Hays Scholarship Endowment.
The endowment will provide financial assistance in perpetuity to SWOSU students with demonstrated financial need. Recipients of assistance from the endowment shall be styled “Dr. John Hays Scholars.”
Hays, president of SWOSU from 2001-2010 and a 1969 SWOSU accounting graduate, died on October 9, 2020.
The Weatherford resident worked 30 years at SWOSU, having served as assistant business manager, comptroller, assistant to the president, vice president for administration and executive vice president for administration before being named president.
During his years as president, Hays completed the Wellness Center, started/developed the university’s athletic complex and had several major buildings renovated on the Weatherford and Sayre campuses. He also was instrumental in the development of a comprehensive marketing campaign for the university and started the President’s Leadership Class.
Hays was very active in community and economic development activities in western Oklahoma including being on the ground floor of many projects such as the Business Development Center at SWOSU.
Hays was a member of the inaugural class of the Higher Education Leadership Academy and was a member of Leadership Oklahoma.
The Dr. John Hays Scholarship Endowment is stewarded by the SWOSU Foundation, Inc. which currently stewards over $28 million in assets for the benefit of SWOSU.