A 1931 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, John E. Kirkpatrick was proud of his service to his country. Initially, he served as an officer until 1935 and remained in the Navy Reserves until he was called back to active duty in early 1941.
During World War II, Mr. Kirkpatrick served on the USS Alaska and the USS Oklahoma City, earning two Bronze Stars and holding the rank of Commander after the war. He continued his career in the U. S. Navy Reserve, retiring as a Rear Admiral in 1956.
He would go on to establish the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in 1969. This video was produced for what would have been Admiral Kirkpatrick’s 100th birthday in February 2008.
Oklahoma recently hosted its first-ever summit on inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE), focused on developing, expanding, and improving higher education options for students with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD). Organized by the Oklahoma IPSE Alliance, the summit brought together program leaders from Oklahoma and Texas, along with experts from the Think College Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Members of our staff were able to attend and learn more about this groundbreaking program.
IPSE college programs have been life-changing for students with I/DD, with over 64% of graduates pursuing careers in competitive wage jobs. This is a significant improvement compared to the Center for Social Development and Education’s statistics, which show that only 34% of adults ages 21-64 with disabilities are employed.
Six years ago, there were no IPSE college programs in Oklahoma. Today, there are four successful programs, and attendees had the opportunity to hear from each, including the Riverhawks Scholar Program at Northeastern State University, Opportunity Orange Scholars at Oklahoma State University, Sooner Works at the University of Oklahoma, and the Neill-Wint Center for Neurodiversity at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Congratulations to the #OKIPSEAlliance for hosting this groundbreaking summit and for their commitment to inclusive education for all students!