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Larry Duffy Hall: A Time-Honored Tribute to a Pioneer at Western Oklahoma State College

Mar 12, 2024 -- maegan.martin
Larry Duffy Hall: A Time-Honored Tribute to a Pioneer at Western Oklahoma State College

Western Oklahoma State College is delighted to announce the official naming of the campus's central hub for musical creativity and education, formally known as the Band Hall, as "Larry Duffy Hall."  This honor recognizes the unparalleled contributions of Mr. Larry K. Duffy, a respected member of the Pioneer family since 1978.

Larry Duffy's impact on the institution transcends mere employment, with over 45 years of unwavering dedication spread across two pivotal departments. From his early days, Larry embodied the spirit of a Pioneer, the college's proud mascot, leaving an indelible mark on every corner of the campus through his exceptional leadership and service.

Duffy attended Altus Junior College and earned his Associate in Arts Degree from Western Oklahoma State College in 1975. He then earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Music Education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. In 1978, Duffy was hired as a vocal and instrumental music instructor, starting a remarkable career at Western. His passion for the arts and commitment to nurturing student talent were evident as he dedicated his heart and soul to this program until 1991. Even today, Larry's love for and dedication to the arts resonates throughout the institution.

Duffy has dedicated his time and talents to numerous projects on campus. He served on the committee for the design and development of the WOSC Performing Arts wing, directed and co-produced 15 all-school Broadway productions, coordinated musical events for WOSC, organized and managed the WOSC Young Artist Series, organized the Oklahoma Junior College Choral Festival, established the WOSC Community Chorus’ annual Messiah performance, served as the Messiah director for 20 years.

The year 2019 brought a challenging chapter as severe statewide budget cuts led to the unfortunate decision to eliminate the vocal and instrumental degree programs. Duffy, however, turned adversity into an opportunity for growth. Swiftly taking action, he spearheaded the creation of the "Friends of WOSC Performing Arts," a fundraising initiative that transformed the campus cultural landscape. Under Duffy's guidance, the college has since hosted a diverse array of events, including a community chorus, a children's theatre program, the Miss Altus Pageant, the Nutcracker, and numerous additional performances.

Duffy’s pioneering spirit extended beyond the arts to the WOSC Foundation in 1991. Transitioning to the newly created Office of Development and Alumni, he played a pivotal role in the Foundation's growth. His exceptional ability to cultivate relationships helped the Foundation grow from $525,000 to over $7 million in total assets, empowering citizens of southwest Oklahoma to generously support student scholarships, academic and athletic programs, and student and staff development.

His accomplishments for the WOSC Foundation include securing bond funding, construction completion, and lease agreement for a $1.5 million residential housing facility on campus; initiated, raised private funding, designed and supervised the construction of The Cecil R. Chesser Redbud Lane Project; instrumental in the design, completion, and designation of the Rotary Courtyard dedicated to Western; designed, implemented and raised funds to establish the WOSC Foundation, Inc. Partners in Education Excellence donor recognition wall; managed, improved and supervised the sale of the WOSC Foundation-owned rodeo property to expand the agriculture and rodeo programs; established the WOSC Alumni Association Hall of Fame wall and annual recognition event.

Reflecting back on his career accomplishments, Duffy said, “These achievements at Western were all due to the cooperative spirit of people with whom I have worked. No one single person is able to accomplish his dreams and goals without the efforts of those that share his dreams.”

At the age of 80, he continues to shape his legacy at WOSC, embodying the college's spirit of innovation and community. Larry and his wife, Sharon, have two children who both attended Western. Their son, Michael, is an attorney in Altus. Their daughter, Kimberly Duerksen, is a secondary vocal music educator for Clinton (Oklahoma) Public Schools.

“It is difficult to put into words what Larry Duffy means to Western Oklahoma State College.  Since 1978, he has devoted his time and talents to the institution.  His love for Western runs deep, which is the reason he has worked tirelessly to support over four decades of students, faculty, and staff.  Although he is still painting his Pioneer portrait, it’s safe to say that it will be a masterpiece,” said Dr. Chad Wiginton, WOSC President.

The dedication ceremony for Larry Duffy Hall took place Friday, March 8, 2024, during a celebration of Duffy’s 80th birthday. Family, friends, and colleagues came together to honor Duffy and commemorate his lasting legacy at Western Oklahoma State College.

The Western Oklahoma State College Foundation provides the opportunity to invest in the future by offering many ways to give. The WOSC Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 organization and exists to generate support for the students and programs of Western Oklahoma State College. For more information on the WOSC Foundation and ways to give, visit wosc.edu/give.   

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What is Western Oklahoma State College?

  • About

    Western Oklahoma State College, established as Altus Junior College in 1926, is the oldest original municipal two-year college still in existence in Oklahoma...
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  • Vision

    Western Oklahoma State College aspires to be the outstanding and innovative community college known for its focus on student success and its service to community and regional development.
  • Mission

    The mission of Western Oklahoma State College is to provide high quality education while ensuring equity, supporting student success, and empowering individuals to become productive members of diverse local, regional, and global communities.