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partnership excellence award

Pioneer Cellular and SWOSU Presented Partnership Excellence Award

Photo Caption: Pioneer Cellular was recently presented the Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for its partnership with Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford. Accepting for Pioneer Cellular were (fourth from left) General Manager Richard Ruyle and Pioneer representatives Jill Kuehny, Mary Petty and Blake Callaham. Making the presentation were (from left): Oklahoma Chancellor for Higher Education Glen D. Johnson, SWOSU Business Enterprise Center Director Doug Misak, SWOSU President Randy Beutler and (far right) Oklahoma Secretary of State Dave Lopez.

Twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized for innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce, and among the partnerships recognized at a reception in Edmond were Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Pioneer Cellular.

Pioneer Cellular was given the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award.

The award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions and businesses and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.

Pioneer Cellular has been a long-standing community supporter to SWOSU through local blood drives, food drives and school programs. Since 1991, Pioneer has awarded more than $916,927 in scholarships to students in its service area. Pioneer sponsors President’s Leadership classes at SWOSU and other universities.

This fall, Pioneer invested in a new retail location in historic Towne Centre on Route 66 in downtown Weatherford. Recently, employees of Pioneer donated 1,190 pounds of food to the Weatherford Food and Resource Center. In keeping with Pioneer’s message, “We Are Oklahoma,” employees donated nonperishable food items to the Weatherford Food and Resource Center at the company’s annual employee meeting.

In 2014, Pioneer collaborated with SWOSU and the city of Weatherford to construct the new state-of-the-art Pioneer Cellular Event Center. The 93,000-square-foot facility hosts concerts, banquets, conferences, meetings, athletic tournaments, athletic camps and other events. These events brought an estimated 84,180 people to Weatherford, which meant nearly $8.5 million in business from 2014 through 2016.

SWOSU President Randy Beutler said this impact is an example of how public/private partnerships shape the economic strength and future of our communities. Events at venues like the Pioneer Cellular Event Center not only promote SWOSU’s interests but also enrich the community and the state.

“Our colleges and universities are working side by side with leaders in the private, public and nonprofit sectors,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “These collaborations between business and industry and our state system institutions ensure that we continue building the skilled workforce needed for Oklahoma to be globally competitive.”