The University of Central Oklahoma College of Education and Professional Studies has established the Elementary Education Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon through the UCO Foundation.
The scholarship is named to honor the legacy and accomplishments of Aragon, a Central alumna. The scholarship will be awarded annually, providing financial assistance to UCO students pursuing a career in teaching. Applications for the first scholarship will be available beginning January 2021 through the UCO Scholarship Portal at scholarships.uco.edu.
"I am honored to be named in this opportunity because I feel like I am touching the future in a small way," Aragon said.
A lifelong education advocate, Aragon received both her bachelor's degree in elementary education and her master's degree in guidance and counseling from Central. She served as a teacher, principal and counselor in Oklahoma City Public Schools for nearly 25 years where she was the recipient of numerous awards including the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce Excellent Educator of the Year in 1990.
In addition to a successful career in education, Aragon spent many years serving in the U.S. Air National Guard and U.S. Air Force before retiring in 2007. During her military career, she became the first female to hold the rank of brigadier general in the Oklahoma National Guard and the first female commander of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. She also became the first female to serve as the Oklahoma Secretary of Veterans Affairs, appointed by Gov. Mary Fallin in 2010.
Aragon has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her career including the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Oklahoma Woman Veteran of the Year and an inductee of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2016. She also was named one of UCO’s Distinguished Alumni in 2004 and currently serves on UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar’s Council of Advisers.
For more information about the Elementary Education Endowed Scholarship in Honor of Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon or to contribute to the fund, visit www.centralconnection.org/aragon or contact the UCO Foundation at 405-974-2770.