Legacy of Leadership: The Allison Martin Pumphrey Scholarship
Ask a UCO student, faculty or staff member who are the top student leaders on campus today and you will likely see the same name on everyone's list: Michael Goodman.
Michael, a senior Corporate Communications major from Midwest City, has been focused on making a positive impact on UCO since he arrived on campus. He is an active member of the President's Leadership Council (PLC), the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the UCO Student Association. As a sophomore, he was elected Vice President of the Student Body and was elected President the following year.
"I think it's incredibly important to be involved. The things I've done here, the people I've met, the experiences I've had, the successes and, more importantly, the failures are shaping the kind of person I am going to be in my career, and will help me help others in the future," Michael said.
But his campus involvement is not the only reason just about everyone at UCO knows Michael. He is also known for his positive attitude, easy smile and friendly demeanor. Not unlike the namesake of the scholarship he recently received through the UCO Foundation.
As a student, Allison Martin Pumphrey was a member of the PLC, the Sigma Kappa Sorority and the UCO cheer and pom squads, but it was her positive, caring attitude that left a lasting impression on those around her.
Tragically, her life was unexpectedly cut short in February 2005 when she died due to an undetected heart condition, just one day shy of her 27th birthday.
To honor her legacy of leadership, Allison's husband, Brad, and PLC Emeritus Council chose to honor that legacy by establishing the Allison Martin Pumphrey Leadership Scholarship at the UCO Foundation.
"We created the scholarship to honor Allison at a place she truly loved, the University of Central Oklahoma. It's also another way I can show our daughter, Madeline, just how special and respected her mommy was," Brad said.
Though he never knew Allison, Michael feels honored to be the first to receive this scholarship. As a student paying for his college education on his own, he is deeply appreciative of all of the scholarship opportunities he's had, but admitted this scholarship holds a special place in his heart.
"You always want to be able to say that you have left something better than you found it, and I'd like to tell Allison she left UCO better than she found it. People remember she was great and positive, and I think it's so great that she left a legacy with her personality, not just what was on paper with a list of activities or honors."
(Photo: Michael Goodman, a senior Corporate Communications major from Midwest City, received the first Allison Martin Pumphrey Leadership Scholarship in April 2007)