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College Chancellor and Former FBI Agent Named SWOSU Distinguished Alumni
April 23, 2008
Brice W. Harris and Walter E. Lamar are being inducted into Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
Harris is Chancellor of the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, CA, while Lamar is president and CEO of Lamar Associates, which is a Washington, D.C., based professional services firm offering consulting services in law enforcement and security.
Both Harris and Lamar will be honored at the May 10 SWOSU Convocation on the Weatherford campus and will be the featured speakers. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at Milam Stadium on the SWOSU campus.
BRICE W. HARRIS heads up Los Rios, which is one of the largest multi-college districts in America and covers more than 2,400 square miles of central California. The district includes American River, Cosumnes River, Folsom Lake and Sacramento City colleges and currently enrolls nearly 90,000 students each semester.
Harris was previously the president of Fresno City College in Fresno (CA) and a faculty member and vice chancellor in the Kansas City, Missouri community college system.
He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges and recently concluded a six-year term as a member of the board of the Western Accrediting Association of Schools and Colleges.
Also an active member of the greater Sacramento business community, Harris is a past chair of the Board of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and current chair of the Board of the Northern California World Trade Center. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Comstock’s Magazine, the Board of Linking Education and Economic Development Sacramento (LEED) and the Sacramento Area Commerce and Trade Organization (SACTO).
Harris is a winner of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Steuben Apple for excellence in conference teaching. He is a consultant and lecturer on communications, enrollment management and higher education marketing. He has taught communications, published a number of articles, and is active in the arts having served on the Board of the Crocker Art Museum, Board President of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, and Board member of the Kansas City Museum.
Harris did post doctoral study at the Harvard University Institute of Educational Management, received his Doctorate in Education at Nova Southeastern University, his Master’s in Communication from the University of Arkansas, and his Bachelor’s in Communication from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
WALTER E. LAMAR served many years as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Diego, San Francisco and Oklahoma City where his primary assignment was the investigation of violent crimes, bank robberies, fugitives, kidnappings, extortion, and criminal gang activity.
Highlights of his FBI career include serving six months in Seattle investigating the Green River Murder case. This individual was responsible for the killing of at least 48 women in the Pacific Northwest. While assigned to the Oklahoma City Division, he was deployed as a member of SWAT to the Branch Dravidian standoff in Waco, Texas, and three years later he responded to the bombing of the A.P. Murrah Federal Building where he participated in the rescue effort and the investigation. For his effort, he was awarded the prestigious FBI Shield of Bravery.
Lamar later earned another FBI Shield of Bravery. While attempting to determine the whereabouts of a desperate fugitive prison escapee, he became engaged in a running gun battle with the escapee. For his actions under fire, he was awarded a second Shield of Bravery, making him only one of two agents in the history of the FBI to be so awarded.
He has appeared on America’s Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries television programs and was featured in John Walsh’s book No Mercy. Another honor he received was in 1998 when Lamar was recognized by the American Indian Exposition in Anadarko as “Indian of the Year” in recognition of lifetime achievement.
While serving as an FBI supervisory special agent, Lamar was recruited to be the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement program, which placed him in charge of Indian Country law enforcement nationwide. Understanding the Bureau of Indian Affairs falls under the umbrella of the Department of the Interior, he was called into Washington, D.C. immediately after the September 11 terrorist attack where he assisted the Department to develop protection protocols for the nation’s icons, monuments and dams. For that effort, he received a special commendation from the Secretary of the Interior.
Lamar retired from federal law enforcement nearly three years ago and formed Lamar Associates. He also recently founded Mountain Chief Institute—A Center for Tribal Excellence, which is a recognized not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating solutions for Indian Country issues.
He is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana and a descendent of the Wichita Tribe of Oklahoma. He attended high school in Anadarko and then chose Southwestern Oklahoma State University to continue his higher education. After graduation, he moved to Montana and taught school on the Blackfeet Indian reservation. It was during that time he became interested in the FBI.