Faculty Hall of Fame Award 1998
James Eddie Phillips


"Phillips, McKellips receive CUAA faculty honor"
From the Fall 1998 Cameron Today

James Eddie Phillips' commitment to education and his civic and agricultural endeavors complement Cameron's mission as an interactive university.

Phillips taught math for 34 years, first in high school and then at Cameron where he stills teaches as an adjunct. At the same time, he has farmed and raised cattle. More than 25 boards and organizations have benefited from his involvement.

"Cameron's caring teachers and administration taught that I could compete and do whatever I wanted to do," Phillips recalls.

That caring became an integral part of his own teaching career. Anyone who was one of Phillips' students is still considered one of his "kids," and it's likely he'll remember their names and the years he taught them. He is a regular at Lawton High School and Cameron reunions.

Born in 1929 at Lawton, he was valedictorian of his class at Faxon High School and earned an associates degree in math from Cameron State Agricultural College in 1949. He later earned a B.S. in math education and an M.Ed. in school administration from the University of Oklahoma and a M.A. in mathematics from Louisiana State University. He was a National Science Foundation scholarship recipient, as well.

Phillips initially planned to become an engineer, but decided he wanted to teach during his senior year at OU. He taught math and history at Lawton High School for 11 years and math at Cameron from 1967 until his retirement in 1990.

While teaching he was always involved with his students. He served as sponsor of the LHS Key Club for nine years and was faculty advisor for the CU Student Senate for 14 years. At Cameron he served on a faculty committee to select a new president, the education committee and several North Central committees.

Among his many careers is service as a sergeant with the 45th National Guard Division during the Korean War. He was a member of OU's advanced Air Force ROTC program and served as a captain in the Air Force Reserve.

Phillips' love of farming has been a lifelong one. He grew up on a farm and bought one of his own in 1944 with earnings from his state fair prize-winning hog. He still farms nearly 1,400 acres, raising cattle, cotton, wheat and maize. James Eddie and his wife, Ruby, were named Comanche County Farm Family of the Year in 1997.

In addition to careers in farming, ranching and teaching, Phillips worked for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission and as a civil servant.

His service on a multitude of boards and organizations includes the Lawton Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, 4-H, FFA, Comanche County Excise/Equalization Board, the Water Resources Board, the Camp Fire Board, the Museum of the Great Plains Board and Wesley Chapel Methodist Church. He has chaired the Comanche County Excise Board, the County Flood Plain Board and the Tri-Creek Preservation Association.

Phillips is a past president of the CU Alumni Association and has been involved in several education associations. He is a member of six honorary education societies.

He and Ruby, Cameron Class of 1973, are charter life members of CUAA and are annual donors to CU's President's Partners.

The family's loyalty to the university extends to their children, who are all Cameron graduates and life members of CUAA: Eddie Mitchell, `78; Polly Belle Krasser, `80, and Michael Duane, `82.