Cameron University’s Business Research Center will be named the “Bill W. Burgess, Jr. Business Research Center,” President Cindy Ross announced today following approval by the University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents. The naming comes in recognition of Burgess’ service as an Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education.
“State Regent Bill Burgess’ leadership, service and commitment to Oklahoma’s system of higher education are unparalleled,” Ross said. “During his 17½ years as a State Regent, he has steadfastly recognized the value of all 25 Oklahoma public colleges and universities. In particular, he has been a champion for the regional universities and Cameron. His interest in economic and business development resulted in vital support for the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES), Cameron’s primary economic development initiative. It is appropriate to recognize Bill’s leadership by naming the Business Research Center in his honor.”
Burgess graduated with honors from Cameron University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech before receiving his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma School of Law. As a Cameron student, he served as President of the Student Government Association and was also a standout member of the Speech and Debate Team, which ranked in the top 10 nationally. In 1988, the Cameron University Alumni Association named him a Distinguished Alumnus. In 1994, Burgess received Cameron’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. He continues to support Cameron as a lifetime member of Cameron’s President’s Partners and key donor to the Burgess Family Endowed Lectureship in Business, established in 2007.
Burgess was appointed to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in 1993 and reappointed in 2002. He is one of the youngest State Regents to be appointed in the state's history and has served as chairman twice during his tenure. Burgess was instrumental in the State Regents’ efforts that resulted in a record legislature allocation for higher education in fiscal year 2007. Burgess served as chairman of the Citizens' Commission on the Future of Oklahoma Higher Education and of the 1998 “Two for Technology” campaign for passage of State Questions 680 and 681 regarding higher education technology transfer.
In 2008, Burgess received the Champion of Free Enterprise Award from the Board of Advisors for the southwestern region of the Small Business Institute. The award recognized Burgess for his decades of support to the business community
Cameron’s Business Research Center (BRC) plays an essential role in the economic development of Southwest Oklahoma by conducting applied research that is utilized by business leaders in the region. In addition to keeping an inventory of county and regional economic data, the BRC provides information and research results to the business community through outreach activities that include public lectures, business forums and publications such as “The Southwest Business and Economics Journal.”
October 27, 2010