The University of Central Oklahoma Alumni Association will recognize five recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award and the Central Family of the Year at the 2013 Alumni Recognition Ceremony, 11:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 1 in the Grand Ballrooms of the Nigh University Center.
This year's distinguished UCO alumni include Ray Hardin, president of Edgewood Homes, Inc. in Midwest City; Glenn Lewis, mayor of Moore and owner of Lewis Jewelers in Moore; Dalen McVay, law partner at Ewbank, Henningh and McVay, PLLC in Enid; James T. “Jim” Stuart, law partner at Stuart, Clover, Duran, Thomas and Vorndran in Shawnee; and Allen Wright, vice president of Public and Government Affairs at Devon Energy.
A committee of UCO alumni board members selected the recipients based on peer recommendations and notable accomplishments in one of three categories: professional, community service and university service. The UCO Alumni Association has given the awards annually since the inception of the program in 1952.
The reception will include a formal awards presentation with video highlights of the honorees' lifetime accomplishments as well as an opportunity to reconnect with alumni.
June 17, 2013 Reunion unites community scarred by tornado
By Zachary Snowdon Smith The Norman Transcript NORMAN —
Moore High School’s class of 1973 reunion was an opportunity for old schoolmates to reminisce and relax. But the class of ’73, like everything else in Moore, has been touched by the destruction of the May 20 tornado. Today, this class is a cross-section of those affected by the tornado: citizens who lost homes, families split by tragedy and the municipal officials whose job it is to restore this fractured community. Among the graduates of the class of ’73 are Moore’s mayor, city manager, assistant city manager and assistant fire chief, all of whom have played major roles coordinating relief efforts.
The reunion took place Saturday evening at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, in a modest but spacious hall lined with handmade photo collages and small bouquets held by stuffed lions, the Moore High School mascot. About 130 people attended.
“I think people need a release,” said Glenn Lewis, who has risen since 1973 from class president to Moore’s 19-year mayor. “To get away from the disaster and talk to people and meet old friends. I kinda needed it.” The immediate task facing the City of Moore is removing debris so that mass reconstruction can begin, said Stephen Eddy, Moore city manager. The work of clearing away debris has been accomplished in large part by Moore-area volunteers, said Lewis. Lewis is working with the rest of the Moore City Council to equip all apartment complexes, assisted living centers and daycare centers in Moore with safe rooms. He also hopes to have safe rooms installed in all newly built houses, he says. “Most people have told me they’re building back and they’re building bigger,” said Lewis. “A lot of people who had 900-square-foot homes are building 1,400-square-foot homes. It’s going to be nicer, bigger, better, and most of the houses are going to have safe rooms.” Public officials like Eddy and Lewis became the center of the reunion in a presentation on the tornado relief effort.  
During a montage of news footage of the storm’s aftermath, several members of the audience excused themselves from the room. “I had to leave when they started the film,” said John Taylor, a class of ’73 alumnus whose house had its roof and chimney torn off. “I didn’t want to see it again, y’know. It’s hard.” At the door of the conference hall, “Restore Moore”
T-shirts were sold to raise money for area relief organizations. The shirts were produced by Restore Joplin, an organization formed after the 2011 Joplin, Mo., tornado event. Sales raised more than $1,000 on the evening of the reunion, said Steve Shrum, volunteer T-shirt vendor.
“This reunion represents a lot of different people who experienced damage,” said Eddy. “It represents the people of Moore, proud to be from Moore. ... We all have a strong sense that we’re going to recover fine.”

Mayor of the Month for July 2013
Glenn Lewis
Mayor of Moore, Oklahoma, USA
By Tony Favro, USA Editor

Mayor of the Month for July 2013 Glenn Lewis Mayor of Moore, Oklahoma, USA By Tony Favro, USA Editor 1 July 2013: Tornados, like lightning, alight in a hit-or-miss fashion, and not every community is touched more than once in an average person's lifetime. One city in the US that was devastated twice by tornadoes in recent years was Moore, Oklahoma (population 55,000). Hundreds of buildings were severely damaged or destroyed when some of the most powerful tornadoes ever recorded tore through Moore in 1999 and again on 20 May of this year. The most recent tornado killed 24 people, including 10 children.
Glenn Lewis was the city's mayor during both disasters, and, both times, his leadership was widely praised as exemplary. A narrow swath of land in Central Oklahoma roughly bisected by Interstate Highway 44 is known as Tornado Alley. The US National Weather Service has recorded hundreds of tornadoes in the region over the past 120 years. In 2009, Popular Mechanics magazine named the corridor one of the eight most dangerous places to live on Earth because of the frequency and severity of tornado strikes. The magazine said that living in Tornado Alley is as hazardous as living next to an active volcano in Indonesia, in the extreme cold and isolation of deepest Siberia, or on the hurricane-prone island of Haiti.
When President Barack Obama visited Moore after the May 2013 storms, he said that the federal government would support affected residents and businesses every step of the way. At that point, rescue efforts were ending and Mayor Lewis was already taking the first steps toward recovery. He hosted Community Assistance Meetings where people could get vital disaster information and assistance in one place directly from organizations such as the American Red Cross, US Small Business Association, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Mayor Lewis continues to convene these meetings so residents and service agencies can work together to define needs and the most appropriate responses. Mayor Lewis instituted a 6:00 pm curfew to keep people safe and out of the way of recovery workers and equipment, and to prevent looting. He asked people to check on their neighbors and offer help. He realized that everyone is a leader who can make a difference. Power outages left banks, gas stations, and food stores closed, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) inoperable, and traffic lights out. The Mayor helped coordinate law enforcement and relief operations, so that people could travel safely and get needed medicines, money, and fuel. He also attended to less visible but important details to help the recovery proceed as effectively as possible, including sheltering hundreds of pets that were set loose by the storms, expediting building permits to repair damaged structures or build new, and qualifying contractors so people don?t get defrauded.
Mayor Lewis won his first nonpartisan election as the city's part-time mayor in 1994 and has served continually ever since. A professional jeweler, he lost his warehouse and factory in the May storm.
 Despite his personal loss, Mayor Lewis conveys a sense of calm and order on television and radio. The connection to his constituents and their losses is clear, as is his matter-of-fact resiliency.  We've been through it before, and we'll get through it again, he told MSNBC, a reassurance he repeats in various ways to the media. There is no doubt that Moore, Oklahoma and other communities affected by the tornadoes are strong. Mayor Glenn Lewis' leadership has demonstrated to his constituents and the wider world just how tough their communities character can be.
Also from the City Mayors Foundation website
Tornadoes and the City of Moore A tornado, which has become known as the 2013 Moore tornado, struck the City of Moore, on the southern outskirts of Oklahoma City, mid-afternoon of 20 May. The tornado was part of a larger weather system, which had produced several other tornadoes over the previous two days. It stayed on the ground for 37 minutes and covered a path of 27 km.
At its peak, the Moore tornado was more than two kilometers wide and travelled through a heavy populated part of Moore. According to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, the tornado caused the death 24 people and injured 324 others. Despite the 2013 tornado following almost the same track as an even deadlier one in 1999, very few homes in Moore and neither of the two stricken schools had purpose-built storm shelters. The Oklahoma center of the US National Weather Service warned of severe weather on 20 May as early as 15 May. The most intense severe weather activity was expected across the southern Great Plains, specifically central Oklahoma, during the afternoon hours.
The Storm Prediction Center issued a moderate risk of severe thunderstorms during the early morning hours of May 20 from southeastern Missouri to north-central Texas. A tornado watch was issued at 1:10 pm early that afternoon for the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma, northwestern Arkansas and portions of north-central Texas. At 2:40 pm a tornado warning was issued for the storm as it approached the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Fifteen minutes later the tornado touched down. A tornado emergency was declared for southern Oklahoma and the city of Moore. The tornado crossed mainly rural areas - some 80 horses were killed on a farm that took a direct hit - before it struck the residential areas of the town.
Among the hardest hit areas of Moore were the two public schools: Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School. At the latter school, 75 children and staff were present when the tornado struck. Seven children died at Plaza Towers Elementary School. Moore Medical Center was heavily damaged, but no injuries were caused. Staff had to relocate 30 patients to a hospital in Norman and another hospital. Part of Interstate 35 was shut down due to debris that had been thrown onto the freeway. On 21 May, Moore still did not have running water. There were more than 61,500 power outages related to the tornado.
More than 100 people were rescued from the rubble on 20 May 20. Moore, with a population of just over 55,000, was damaged by significant tornadoes in October 1998, May 1999, May 2003, May 2010 and again in May 2013. Moore is located in Tornado Alley, a colloquial term for the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. About 20 tornadoes occurred in the immediate vicinity of Moore from 1890 to 2013. The deadliest one was in 1999.