Penny Williams was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives (1981–1988) and to the Oklahoma Senate (1989–2004). Born in New York City in 1937, she attended Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Tehran and the University of Tulsa. She represented the city of Tulsa in the sate House of Representatives and as a state senator where she ultimately bacame chair of the education committee. Senator Williams authored important bills on education, including the historic education reform legislation, House Bill 1017. Her efforts were instrumental in creating the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, providing public higher educational opportunities, and improving public elementary and secondary education. Before Senator Williams helped to establish a public university in Tulsa, it was the largest city in the United States without a public four-year college. She also authored the Art in Public Places Act, and was instrumental in the commission and placement of artwork throughout the Capitol building. Among her many awards and honors, she received the Constitution Award from Rogers State University in 2004. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, the University of Tulsa Board of Visitors, the St. Gregory’s College Board of Trustees, and the Tulsa Committee on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals.
Interview with Penny Williams
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: April 11, 2012
Date Published: May 10, 2014
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Senator, Oklahoma Representative, Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Esther Williams, Sarah Lawrence College, University of Tulsa, UCAT, House Bill 1017, Education Legislation, Joseph Campbell, Brian Green, Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, James R. Jones, Don Ross, Norma Eagleton, Ronald Reagan, Rodger Randall, League of Women Voters, School Integration, Equal Rights Amendment