Lawton_Bill Burgess, Jr., is a tireless advocate for higher education, Chairman of Oklahoma's largest software engineering company , and Senior Partner of Burgess & Hightower Law Firm in Lawton. On Wednesday, he joins the ranks of most accomplished citizens as he is inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
For some people, talking about personal and career accomplishments comes easy. Bill Burgess, Jr. is not one of those people. "It's a overwhelming humbling experience," he said. While his words may not convey it, his resume speaks volumes for induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.
Burgess is a proud graduate of Cameron University in Lawton, and the University of Oklahoma School of Law. "My father was a sergeant in the Army, and when I started law school it was an unusual situation to the extent we didn't have any lawyers in the family," he said. Now, there are three lawyers in the family.
Burgess returned to his roots in Southwest Oklahoma to practice law, but he didn't stop there. Joined by a team of partners, he helped develop Telos OK - today, known as Techrizon, the largest software engineering company in the state. Techrizon specializes in software that runs smart weapons systems for the United States Department of Defense. "It's very rewarding to get letters and messages from soldiers, thanking you for the technology your company provided, and [saying] how they felt it allowed them to achieve a victory, and at the same time come back safely to their loved ones," said Burgess.
In the early 1990s, Burgess was given the opportunity to give back to society - something he says he owes because of his success. "Higher education has done so much for my friends and my family," he said. "It's done so much for me that I just wanted to return something to the system."
Former Oklahoma Governor David Walters named Burgess to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in 1993, making him one of the youngest regents in state history. He was reappointed to a second nine-year term by former Governor Frank Keating in 2002. "We can provide a great education for Oklahoma students, and hopefully - at the same time - provide great opportunities for those students to stay in the state."Whether it's higher education, economic development, or science and technology research, Bill Burgess, Jr. has made his mark on Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame is returning the favor. "I'm a little humbled by the whole experience," he said. "I know so many folks out there that deserve to be in [the Hall of Fame]."
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