Hays and Jones Being Inducted into SWOSU Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame


Dr. John M. Hays of Weatherford and LaWayne Jones of Duncan are being inducted into Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame during 2011 graduation ceremonies on the Weatherford campus.

Hays is former president of SWOSU and Jones is an Oklahoma businessman, oilman and rancher.

Both Hays and Jones will be honored by SWOSU President Randy Beutler at the May 7 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.

Dr. John HaysDr. John M. Hays served as the 16th president of SWOSU from 2001-2010. Hays worked a total of 30 years at his alma mater, having served as assistant business manager, comptroller, assistant to the president, vice president for administration and executive vice president for administration.

For years, Hays has been active in many community and economic development activities in western Oklahoma.  He was on the ground floor of many projects such as the Center for Economic and Business Development at SWOSU and other economic development activities in the Weatherford area.

The 1994 Leadership Oklahoma graduate has been very involved in civic activities, including Leadership Weatherford, YMCA, Vision 20/20, Weatherford Arts Council,

Weatherford’s assisted senior citizen living center and many other projects through the Weatherford Area Chamber of Commerce, an organization he served as president in 1993. He served as president and on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Community Institute and previously served on the board of directors for Leadership Oklahoma.  He also served on the Weatherford School Board from 1985-90.

Dr. Hays has won numerous awards and was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Weatherford Area Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame for his service to Weatherford. Hays received the Sam Walton Business Leader Award in 1999 from Wal-Mart and has been honored by various organizations for his work throughout the years.

Dr. Hays is a 1969 accounting graduate of Southwestern, earned a Master of Education degree in business from SWOSU and completed his Doctor of Education in higher education administration from the University of Oklahoma.  He grew up in Willow  in southwest Oklahoma.   Hays has two children—Holly and Ryan—who both are graduates of SWOSU.  He and his wife, Linda, live in Weatherford.

LaWayne JonesLaWayne Jones is a native of Canute and graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1955 with a degree in education (industrial arts major and biology minor). He came to the university from Walters High School where he graduated in 1950.  

Jones and his father started Jones & Gilliam Drilling Company in 1956 and the company started drilling oil and gas wells in southern Oklahoma.

He moved to Duncan in 1959. Since then, Jones has continued the company and diversified his business holdings to include oil and gas production, ranching, retail and wholesale oilfield supplies and fabrication, nationwide mineral interest holdings, and oilfield chemicals. His company currently employs over 200 people, making it one of the largest employers in Stephens County.  The company is currently listed as the 18th largest oil and gas producer in Oklahoma.

In 1988, Jones purchased First Bank & Trust Company in Duncan. Under his leadership, First Bank has grown to one of the largest community banks in Oklahoma with assets of over $488 million with locations in Duncan, Healdton, Ardmore, Norman and Waurika.

Jones has been active in the Duncan Area Economic Development group, the Moose Lodge, Duncan Chamber of Commerce and an avid supporter of community causes in southern Oklahoma.