Turpen, Hargis, and Ogle together again to celebrate 25 year

Mark your calendars now for “An Evening With the Stars” at the 25th Annual Oklahoma Academy Salute. In honor of the Academy’s 25th Salute, KFOR’s Kevin Ogle will be the evening’s Masters of Ceremonies, along with V. Burns Hargis and Mike Turpen, the original Salute emcees and the original stars of KFOR-TV’s “Flash Point,” who will be sure to make the evening an event to remember.

Join the statewide leaders of business, community, education, health, and economic development at the Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center, Aug. 24, along with Oklahoma’s congressional delegation, statewide elected and appointed officials, key legislators, and tribal leaders at a fun-filled evening to “Salute” dignitaries, and laugh with the hysterical Capitol Steps from Washington, DC, who will roast all the major politicos! 

The evening will also honor V. Burns Hargis, President of Oklahoma State University, and Mike Turpen, Partner with Riggs Abney Neal Turpen Orbison & Lewis, with the Oklahoma Key Contributor Award.

“Saluting those who publicly serve in statewide positions, elected and appointed, is very important, and to give that recognition during a celebratory evening is wonderful,” said Julie Knutson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Academy. “This year is very special as it is the 25th anniversary of the event, so we will recognize the original emcees of the Salute, Burns Hargis and Mike Turpen. Our evening emcee is Kevin Ogle with KFOR, who is the moderator of Flash Point. The original stars of Flash Point were Burns and Mike. So, connecting the dots, what a great celebration this will be, especially with Burns and Mike also being the recipients of the Oklahoma Key Contributor Award! The Academy presents this award to an individual, business, or group who has steadfastly made a positive difference for Oklahoma. Both of these fellows have definitely done that!”

During this election year, this nonpartisan event will not only honor those who serve the state of Oklahoma, but will also poke a little fun at the current political climate. 

“A true highlight of this celebratory evening is the entertaining and hilarious performance of the Capitol Steps, Washington DC’s musical political satire troupe that puts the “mock” in Democracy and shines through as an “equal opportunity offender!,’” said Knutson. “Their nonpartisan satirical performance each year is up-to-the-moment in the happenings…or not…of the national and world leaders, all set to tunes we know.”  

And the Capitol Steps will not be the only entertaining and hilarious performance, the Salute will also feature a couple of guys who love Sonic shakes, burgers, and hot dogs who will make a few special comments about The Oklahoma Academy! 

So, join The Oklahoma Academy on Friday evening, Aug. 24, at the Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center, 6808 So. 107th E. Avenue, Tulsa 74133, beginning with a Celebrity Reception at 5:30 p.m followed by the Dinner and Salute Program at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are still available by contacting The Oklahoma Academy at (405) 307-0986 or

The Oklahoma Academy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving our state, one public policy at a time. But, the Academy doesn’t work alone. They believe the people should have a say in their futures and quality of life, so the Academy engages citizens across Oklahoma and involves those citizens in every step of the proposal process. The Annual Oklahoma Academy Salute is the only fundraising event held by the Academy to provide the funding necessary to continue addressing critical public policy issues.

Jennifer Engleman | Jul 9, 2018