NOC, First National Bank of Oklahoma Recognized for Business Partnership

Ponca City Now - March 18, 2024 6:07 am

Northern Oklahoma College and First National Bank of Oklahoma were recognized for their business partnership in 2023. Front Row (L-R): Sheri Snyder, NOC Vice President for Community Relations & Development; Anita Simpson, NOC Vice President for Financial Affairs; Ann Holloway, State Regent; Brad Purdy, FNB President and Regional Manager; Diana Watkins, NOC Interim President; Kramer Simpson, FNB Vice President. Back Row (L-R): Mel Martin, FNB President and CEO; Ricardo Soto, FNB Vice President; Patrick Rooney, FNB Executive Chairman; Chancellor Allison D. Garrett, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; State Regent Jack Sherry; Dr. Rick Edgington, NOC Vice President for Enrollment Management; Alan Foster, NOC Director of Athletics.

Northern Oklahoma College and First National Bank of Oklahoma was one of twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships throughout the state were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships between higher education institutions, businesses, and the community to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants. Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, State Regents’ Chair Jack Sherry, State Regent Ann Holloway, and Chancellor Allison D. Garrett participated in the ceremony, held March 7 at the University of Central Oklahoma.

“What a great opportunity to recognize First National Bank for being such a fabulous partner to Northern,” said NOC Interim President Diana Watkins.  “The generous contributions of time from their employees combined with their financial support for many academic and extra-curricular programs at NOC assist in creating Life-Changing opportunities for our students.”

The following was the remarks for NOC and First National Bank of Oklahoma:

  A proud Tonkawa business partner with a strong belief in the value of higher education, First National Bank of Oklahoma has made meaningful contributions to Northern Oklahoma College’s educational endeavors, including Presidential Partners, agriculture and biological science programs, the Affinity Card program, and the FNB Employee Scholarship. FNB has sponsored men’s and women’s basketball, cheer, soccer and softball, and a generous FNB contribution allowed NOC to start men’s and women’s wrestling in 2024. FNB employees generously share their expertise, serving on academic advisory and alumni committees and the NOC Foundation board.

Institutions involved in these partnerships provide $500 for tuition waivers to employees of the partnering businesses; internships that enable current students to work at the partnering businesses; faculty externships with the partnering businesses; and/or enhancement of the partnerships with additional equipment, materials or supplies. The State Regents provide a $500 match to the waivers.

“Producing more workforce-ready graduates by partnering with the business community and connecting students to the workforce is fundamental to meeting Oklahoma’s future workforce needs,” said Garrett. “We are proud to recognize these partnerships, which demonstrate successful collaborations with public, private and nonprofit partners to strengthen Oklahoma’s economy.”

  For more information about RBPEA and this year’s partnerships, visit


Northern Oklahoma College, the state’s first public two-year community college, is a multi-campus, land-grant institution that provides high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services.

NOC serves nearly 4,000 students through the home campus in Tonkawa, branch in Enid, and NOC/OSU Gateway Program in Stillwater.  Of these students about 80% receive financial aid and/or scholarships. 75% of NOC students complete their degree with zero debt.

The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers associate degrees in three general areas: Arts, Science and Applied Science; the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs; and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing.

For more information about Northern Oklahoma College please call (580) 628-6208 or visit the NOC website at


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