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1997 Zelia O. Brunk Wilson

 Zella O. (Brunk) Wilson

Zella O. (Brunk) Wilson began her teaching career at age 18 and contributed mroe than half of her adult life to the education profession. Shortly after graduating from Altus High School she earned a temporary teaching certificate by completing college level courses from Altus Junior College in 1922. AJC, now Western Oklahoma State College, was not recognized as a junior college until 1924; however, a few junior college level courses were offered on the top floor of the Altus High School. This would make WIlson one of the first AJC students. She then recieved a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. A long time elementary school teacher, Mrs. Wilson taught one year at Warren and 41 years at Wilson Elementary School in Altus, before she retired in 1966. In 1958, she was named Altus Teacher of the Year. Before her death in 1994, Mrs. Wilson provided in her estate that funds would be designated to the Western Oklahoma State College Foundation, Inc., to establish the Zella O. (Brunk) Wilson Scholarship Endowment. She established the endowment to provide an opportunity for generations of young people to achieve their goals in higher education. It is a continous expression of Mrs. Wilson's love and appreciation for the many students who touched her life throughout her teaching career. From the time of her death to the settlement of her estate, the amount of her contribution totals more than $1 million dollars.