Regent chairman Larry Wade dies at 72
Larry Wade, chairman of the OU Board of Regents, died at 1:10 a.m. Sunday at the Integris Health Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City at age 72.
Leslie McKean, hospital spokeswoman, confirmed the death. However, she could not provide a cause of death until the medical examiner had made an official determination.
Wade was on his way to an OU basketball game when he collapsed. He was an avid OU sports fan, said Chris Purcell, executive secretary to the OU Board of Regents. He was flown to Oklahoma City to be treated by a heart specialist.
Oklahoma has lost a dedicated citizen leader, OU President David Boren said.
“As an active alumnus and regent for the University of Oklahoma, he was a champion for students,” Boren said. “His first priority was more scholarships for students to give all an opportunity to learn.”
Wade was one of the biggest advocates for students, Purcell said. He was always concerned about making sure there was enough money for students to attend college, she said.
“He was very active,” Purcell said. “He was a very kind man. And he really cared about students.”
Max Weitzenhoffer, a fellow member of the OU Board of Regents, said he met Wade as a college freshman in 1957. They were members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and roommates for almost five years. Weitzenhoffer also was best man at Wade’s wedding.
Wade was one of the most devoted alumni the university has ever had, Weitzenhoffer said. He said Wade was the driving force behind the push for more scholarships.
“Everything he did was selfless,” Weitzenhoffer said. “Everything he did was only in the interest of the university as a whole, and it’s a great loss to lose alumni like that.”
Wade was the editor of The Oklahoma Daily in 1960. He graduated from OU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1961.
The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication is proud to have had Wade as an alumnus, said college Dean Joe Foote.
”He has been supportive on every front from top to bottom,” Foote said. “I’ve personally been proud to know Larry for more than 30 years.”
John Bell, vice chairman of the OU Board of Regents, will assume Wade’s duties as chairman until the regents elect his successor.
Wade’s advocacy for students was evidenced by his leadership for the scholarship campaign, Bell said.
“Along with being a loving husband and father, he was the ultimate OU fan,” Bell said. “Larry’s concern and involvement at all three universities governed by our board will be missed.”