Honoring 100 for the 100th: Eloise Reynolds

Eloise was an anchor within the school for 24 years from 1963 to 1987. Not only did she serve as the secretary for the school, she also attended classes in journalism. She enjoyed her work at the school, especially working with the students. She was staff support for admissions, recorder of grades, and sometimes she undertook a role of unofficial advisor for students. Her presence in the old Rhyne Hall was reassuring and energizing.

Mrs. Reynolds established the Eloise Reynolds Scholarship Fund in the University of Oklahoma’s Foundation in the hope that others would help her build it into a permanent endowment to assist students in the field of social work. She said she would always have a place in her heart for the School and its students. At the time of her retirement, she established the Eloise Reynolds Student Award. Mrs. Reynolds would say, “So many of them needed financial assistance, and I made personal loans to some of them. Some repaid, and some didn’t, but all the people I helped said they wanted to do something someday to help. Well, now they have a chance.” Eloise “shepherded” many social-workers-to-be through the school during her tenure. Eloise was always a student advocate. This was manifested in many ways, from her loaning emergency money to students in crisis to making Indian shawls for student ceremonial dances. Although she was an “equal opportunity” advocate, she is perhaps best known for her special support to Indian students and the American Indian Student Social Work Association.

Following her retirement, she put her knowledge and expertise to work doing publicity for various nonprofit organizations in Norman. She was a frequent nominee for United Way’s volunteer of the year award for her work. Eloise passed away on July 15, 2000 in Oklahoma City.

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