Senator Don Barrington of Lawton was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) and the Council of College and University Presidents at a ceremony on the Cameron University campus earlier today. OSRHE Chancellor Glen D. Johnson and Cameron University President John McArthur spoke of Senator Barrington’s leadership on behalf of higher education. The Distinguished Service Award honors Senator Barrington for his strong stance against concealed weapons on college campuses, his support of higher education funding and Cameron University, and his support of providing services specifically for veterans at Oklahoma’s higher education institutions.
“Sen. Don Barrington is very deserving of receiving Higher Education’s Distinguished Service Award for a second time,” says Chancellor Johnson. “He has consistently been a strong champion for higher education, working hard on behalf of our students and our colleges and universities. Our state system of higher education is grateful for his leadership in making higher education a top priority and for his efforts to keep weapons off of our college and university campuses. We look forward to working with Sen. Barrington next session as higher education continues to provide our students with a top quality educational opportunity at a very affordable cost.”
“Senator Barrington’s support of higher education throughout his legislative career is noteworthy,” says McArthur. “He understands that student success and degree completion are impacted by budgetary constraints that frequently lead to increases in tuition. His continuing efforts to improve higher education throughout Oklahoma, including his commitment to providing a productive academic environment as well as to ensuring the well-being of students, is deserving of this recognition.”
Senator Barrington enjoyed a 32-year career with the Lawton Fire Department, advancing to Chief, before retiring in 2002. He was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in November 2004 and is currently serving his third and final term, representing Comanche, Cotton, Jefferson, Tillman and portions of Stephens Counties. As a member of the 55th Legislature, Barrington continues to use his fire service and public safety experience for critical lawmaking decisions as the Chair of Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee and also serves as a member on the Appropriations, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transportation and Rules Committees as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary.
He is a key member of the Republican Rural Caucus where significant agricultural producers’ issues are protected by those Senators whose districts are mainly comprised of rural communities. In 2011, Barrington was appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Law and Criminal Justice Standing Committee and the Southern Legislative Conference Human Services and Public Safety Committee.
His legislative service has been recognized with numerous accolades and honors, including 2008 Legislator of the Year by the Oklahoma State Troopers Association, 2008 Senator of the Year by the Oklahoma Veterans Council, 2008 Legislative Excellence in Rural Health award by the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma, 2009 Senator of the Year by OCARTA, 2009 Meritorious Service Award by the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the 2010 national First Annual Shawn Beaty Award by the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute for his legislation on cold cases. He previously received OSRHE’s Distinguished Service Award in 2011.
June 12, 2015