Eight inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
The 2017 inductees to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, all come from very different backgrounds. They were honored Thursday night in a ceremony in Oklahoma City.
Each received a medallion.
Inductee Shannon Miller joked she's good at getting medals to sit well around the neck. The Edmond-native is the most decorated Olympic gymnast in the country. She received her honor from fellow gymnast Mary Lou Retton.
Each inductee chose the person who would present them with the award. For inductee Hal Smith, that was Barry Switzer. Smith, of the Hal Smith restaurant group, said the induction was the honor of a lifetime.
"I am so impressed. I've known all these fellas. I've known about Phil [Pardhun] for a long time, but I've known Bob Funk and the rest of them for quite a while, and I actually thought they were all in the Hall of Fame already, and Shannon Miller. So when I realized I was in the same class, it was very humbling," Smith said.
Funk, founder of Express Employment Professionals, was presented his award by actor Tom Selleck.
"We're glad that he was willing to come not only to honor myself, but honor all of Oklahoma as well," Funk said. "Oklahoma is a wonderful place to live, wonderful state, and wonderful people and it's just a great, great honor, the best honor of my entire life."
Congressman Tom Cole flew in from Washington D.C. just in time to accept his induction.
Inductee Tom Colbert is a former Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice and was the first African-American on the high court.
Pardhun is an inventor, who among other things, created a device used in most traffic signals across the country.
"I'm just delighted to be here and thrilled to be part of the group," he said
Two others were honored posthumously. One of them, Cherokee leader Sequoyah. The other, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher who took her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to gain the right to attend OU's law school during segregation.