During his 36-year educational career, Bill Harrison held only two jobs — but they were jobs that impacted thousands of Oklahomans.
A native of rural May, Oklahoma, Bill’s leadership abilities surfaced quickly. He was elected northwest district FFA vice president in 1940, representing the Fort Supply FFA chapter. He entered Oklahoma State University later that year, but World War II interrupted his college career. He served four years in the Air Force in the southwest Pacific theater.
Bill returned to OSU after the war, graduating in 1948. He moved to the small northwestern Oklahoma town of Leedey to establish the town’s first vocational agriculture department, a post he would keep for the next 27 years.
In 1969, he was elected president of the Oklahoma Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. In 1973, Bill was chosen president of the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers’ Association.
Bill left Leedey in 1975 to become the first full-time executive director of the Oklahoma Vocational Association, the professional association for vocational education teachers, administrators, and support staff members. As OVA’s executive director, he was instrumental in strengthening the “voice for vocational education” at the State Capitol. He retired in 1984 so that he and his wife, Betsy, could travel and enjoy their six children and 13 grandchildren.
Mr. Harrison was inducted into the CareerTech Hall of Fame in 1993.