NORMAN — Clayton I. Bennett of Oklahoma City has been re-elected as chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents and Leslie Rainbolt-Forbes, M.D., has been re-elected as vice chairman of the board.
Bennett was appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2011 for a seven-year term and was reappointed in 2018. He serves as president of Dorchester Capital, a diversified private investment company, and chairman of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a franchise of the National Basketball Association. Since its arrival in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has achieved significant success on and off the court. That includes five Northwest Division titles, four trips to the Western Conference Finals and one appearance in the NBA Finals. The team has sold out more than 300 consecutive home games and in 2013 was named the Sports Team of the Year by the Sports Business Journal. Thunder players have made more than 2,000 appearances in the community as part of the Thunder Cares program. The team and its foundation also have refurbished or built 18 basketball courts in communities across Oklahoma.
Highly involved in civic and charitable efforts, Bennett has served as chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, the Oklahoma State Fair, Oklahoma Industries Authority, the Oklahoma Heritage Association and the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation. Bennett serves as a director of the Oklahoma City Industrial and Cultural Facilities Trust, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the Native American Cultural and Educational Authority of Oklahoma.
Bennett also serves as Chairman of the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Reform Task Force, seeking solutions in the areas of Oklahoma County Jail overcrowding, treatment of mental illness and substance abuse, and other contributors to increases in incarceration that have an impact on Oklahoma City's public safety and quality of life.
In 1997, Bennett was presented the Economic Development Citizen Leadership Award by the National Council of Urban Economic Development. In 2007, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and in 2008 was named “Oklahoman of the Year” by Oklahoma Today magazine. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Rainbolt-Forbes was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2006 by Gov. Brad Henry and was reappointed to a second seven-year term beginning in 2013 by Gov. Mary Fallin. She has previously served as chairman and vice chairman of the board. Rainbolt-Forbes received her BA from Newcomb College of Tulane University, her MBA from Thunderbird, The Garvin School of International Management, and her M.D. with special distinction from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and remained on the faculty of the College of Medicine as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, teaching and practicing pediatric dermatology until retiring from practice.
Likewise, highly involved in civic and philanthropic activities, Rainbolt-Forbes currently or has previously served as a director or member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, Harold Hamm Diabetes Center Board of Advisors, Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, MD Anderson Board of Visitors, Colorado College Parents’ Council, American Saddlebred Horse Association and the Oklahoma Health Sciences Facilities Inc. board. Her memberships include the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Oklahoma Zoological Society Board of Directors, the OU Breast Health Institute Community Advisory Board, the Calm Waters Board of Directors, the Casady School Board of Visitors, the AIDS Care Fund Advisory Board, the Communities Foundation of Oklahoma, the Junior League of Oklahoma City and other professional organizations as well as civic and charitable events. Rainbolt-Forbes and her family are long-time supporters of the University of Oklahoma on both the academic and athletic levels, and twenty-one members of the family have attended the university. She has four daughters and lives in Oklahoma City with her husband, Scott Forbes.
Chris A. Purcell of Norman was elected to serve as the board’s executive secretary and vice president for university governance. Purcell, who has been re-elected each year since 1992, also serves as secretary of OU, Cameron University and Rogers State University. She was selected in 2005 by OU’s Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education as one of “75 Who Made A Difference” as well as being honored with the Walter Neustadt and with the UOSA Outstanding Administrator awards. In 2014, the Norman Chamber of Commerce selected Purcell as the recipient of their Women’s Leadership Award, and in 2012, she was honored by The Journal Record among 50 Making a Difference in Oklahoma. In addition to her other duties, she teaches courses in adult education, higher education and human relations. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master’s in Education and doctoral degrees, all from OU.