One hundred and ninety-eight Tulsans. Some educators, some philanthropists, some artists. All leaders and visionaries who have left a profound mark on Tulsa. Now, six more will join these distinguished numbers and be inducted into the Tulsa Hall of Fame.
Now in its 33rd year, the Tulsa Hall of Fame, the signature fundraising event of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum, will honor Juley Roffers and Jim Langdon, Madeline Manning Mims, Joe Moran, Susan Neal and Jeff Stava.
“Tulsa Hall of Fame members are selected based on their exemplary dedication to their professions, civic and philanthropic endeavors,” says Michelle Place, THSM executive director. “They are visionaries who have spent so much of their lives working for others. These inductees have made Tulsa a better community for all of us.”
Madeline Manning Mims
Manning Mims mentors athletes, several of them runners, offering words of encouragement and sharing life experiences. After all, she knows what it is like to be a champion.
Manning Mims won the Olympic gold medal and set an Olympic record in the 800-meter race at the 1968 Olympic Games, followed by a silver medal in the 1,600-meter relay in 1972. She was a member of the 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams, but her Olympic involvement did not end there. Now, she serves as a chaplain at the games, which she has been requested to do since 1988. She also is founder and president of the U.S. Council for Sports Chaplaincy. She holds a doctor of ministry degree.
“I don’t want to just be known for just what I’ve accomplished and done,” Manning Mims says. “I want to be known for what I’m doing. That is, I’m passing the baton forward through the Council.”
The USCSC assists athletes trained in pastoral care to be chaplains for major events, encouraging athletes to go back into the sport and serve on staff as chaplains.
“We are looking at the development of Olympic chaplains who will be skilled at a graduate level to perform services to help empower and help athletes to produce at their highest levels,” Manning Mimms says. “I realize as I get older I’m not going to be able to keep doing this, so I don’t want the vision and service to die with me.”
Moran remembers the defining moment that inspired him and his wife, Darcey, to give back to Tulsa. They were, as he describes it, blessed with two children given to them by extraordinary birth mothers through Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma.
“I still remember the exact moment I held my daughter for the first time — it was life changing,” Moran says. “Our lives were changed more than we ever could have imagined. Because of the blessings we received, we wanted to be able to give back.”
And so he has. Using his business background, Moran has transferred those skills to nonprofits, whether he has served on boards, created or co-chaired events or assisted with fundraising.
One of his proudest endeavors is the corner of North Harvard Avenue and East Apache Street in north Tulsa. He purchased the property, and now nonprofits like Catholic Charities, Domestic Violence Intervention Services and LIFE Senior Services have made it a helping corner, serving more than 100,000 people a year, he says.
“The biggest thing is that I have gotten so much more out of it than I ever gave,” Moran says. “The people, the clients, the staff and other board members whom I got to meet along the way just enriched our lives tremendously. You just meet the most wonderful people when you take the walk.”
For Neal, loving Tulsa is as natural as loving her family. “My mother was exceptional at weaving the importance of family, Tulsa history, literature and civics into one cohesive story, and I wanted to be part of that story,” Neal says.
She is part of Tulsa’s story, with more than 30 years of experience in management, government and community relations, with current leadership roles for the University of Tulsa, Gilcrease Museum and the Helmerich Center for American Research. Previously, Neal was elected to serve two terms on Tulsa’s City Council before serving on both Mayor Kathy Taylor’s and Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s management teams.
The recognition from THSM reminds Neal of her parents, who taught her to be involved with her community, making it clear she was a part of something larger than herself, while also teaching her the responsibility of making her own
“This recognition by the Historical Society means my parents were as wonderful as I thought they were, and that I have been fortunate enough to honor their many sacrifices to realize the aspirations they had for me,” Neal says.
Juley Roffers and Jim Langdon
Navy blue wool suits weren’t the only things Roffers and Langdon had in common when they first met on a blind date in 1983. Alumni of the University of Oklahoma, Roffers, an Oklahoma City attorney, and Langdon, a manager with the Oklahoma Press Association (OPA), attended OPA’s annual dinner on their first date.
After marrying and relocating to New York City, they moved to Tulsa in 1986, and Langdon immersed himself in his new vision, creating a publishing company with a city magazine. The first issue of TulsaPeople Magazine was published that November. Over time, the company grew from two full-time employees to now, 20. Roffers, a co-owner of Langdon Publishing, continued to practice law before joining the company about 20 years ago.
Roffers and Langdon have served on many nonprofit boards and committees and have co-chaired multiple fundraising events.
“One of the things I love about Tulsa is the widespread spirit of generosity and the positive difference charitable giving makes in the lives of all, particularly those who are less fortunate through no real fault of their own,” Langdon says. “Tulsa is filled with everyday philanthropists whose giving spirit reflects a unique kindness toward humanity.”
As for being inducted into the Hall of Fame, Roffers admits it is beyond her wildest imagination. “But, now that it’s happened,” she says, “I can’t think of any honor I would appreciate more — for me or Jim.”
The couple recognize the role of TulsaPeople in their selection. “The magazine reflects the importance of doing and supporting things that make Tulsa a better place for all, and spotlights people whose varying leadership and work make a positive difference in our community,” Langdon says. “All of us who work at Langdon Publishing take pride in our work and that mission.”
Stava has a long history of giving back. His parents, who were both active in the Tulsa community, taught him the value of community service. “Because of how I grew up, it’s a strong part of who I am,” Stava says.
Now it is something he strives to instill in his two children, Will and Luke. Together, the family volunteers at nonprofits like Youth Services of Tulsa, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma and Up With Trees.
Through his work with Tulsa Community Foundation and George Kaiser Family Foundation, Stava says he spends his time thinking about and working toward projects that give back to Tulsa — one of which has been Gathering Place. Stava was involved in the earliest stages through the opening of the park, and now he gets to witness it become a point of pride for Tulsans. Currently he is working on the park’s second construction phase.
“To dedicate 10 years of your life to a project, there’s definitely joy,” he says, while reflecting on the park’s opening in 2018. “I was awash with a lot of emotions.”
Stava has been involved with several community, civic and nonprofit boards, and he says that service gives him a strong sense of personal satisfaction. “I just love giving back to the community that has given our family so much.”
Oct. 7 — Tulsa Hall of Fame
5:30 p.m., reception; 6:30 p.m., dinner; 7:45 p.m., program. Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st St. Sponsorships available. Benefits Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. tulsahistory.org