About the Brock Prize

What is the Brock International Prize in Education?

The Brock International Prize in Education recognizes an individual who has made a specific innovation or contribution to the science and art of education, resulting in a significant impact on the practice or understanding of the field of education. The innovation or contribution must be specific and must have the potential to provide long-term benefit to humanity through change and improvement in education at any level, including new teaching techniques, the discovery of learning processes, the organization of a school or school system, the radical modification of government involvement in education, or other innovations. In sum, the prize is not intended to simply recognize an exemplary career or meritorious teaching, administration, or service with a primarily local impact. Instead, the prize is about innovative ideas that make meaningful change in how we think and act.

The prize itself is awarded each year at a public ceremony during the Brock Prize Symposium and consists of $40,000, a vellum certificate, and a bust of Sequoyah.

How is the Prize Recipient Determined?

Each year, a jury of nine members selected by the Chair of the Executive Committee deliberates to select the recipient of the Brock International Prize in Education. Jurors include educators and champions of education, university officers, meritorious professors, business and government officials, and others committed to excellence in education.

Each juror nominates one candidate, submits a brief statement on the accomplishments of that individual, and develops a 20 to 50-page portfolio showcasing the nominee's work. During the deliberation process, each juror makes a 30-minute oral presentation in support of his or her candidate. Discussion and elimination voting follow until the Brock Laureate for the following year is identified.

What Makes this Prize Significant?

Education is a topic of ever-growing concern in all areas of civilized society. It is a field that is carefully practiced, actively researched, and often undergoing transformation. Where once education was a benefit of a privileged few, today it has become imperative for entire nations. To be uneducated diminishes one’s chances of success. Given an environment in which so much is at stake, it is important to recognize major innovations in education and adopt them into other education systems.

How is the Brock Prize Administered?

The Brock Prize Executive Committee supervises the administration of the Prize. The Committee includes executive officers and representatives from Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, the University of Tulsa, and the John and Donnie Brock Foundation. The Chair of the Executive Committee and Administrator of the Prize is Dr. Ed Harris, Professor and Williams Chair of Educational Leadership at Oklahoma State University.

For Whom is the Brock Prize Named?

John A. and the late Donnie V. Brock are Oklahoma natives. Donnie was a former educator, having taught elementary school in Oklahoma and Texas. John is Chairman of the Board of Medallion Petroleum, Inc. He served as an artillery officer in the Korean War, serves on several boards of directors, and is a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. The Brocks have both been active in civic organizations and have been patrons of the arts.

What is the Brock Family Community Foundation?

The Brock Family Community Foundation's sole purpose is the awarding of the Brock International Prize in Education and the establishment of the Brock Prize Symposium. The directors of the Foundation are Dr. Ed Harris, R. Blake Atkins, attorney; and Thomas W. Wilkins, President of the Trust Company of Oklahoma. The Trust Company of Oklahoma manages the Foundation’s funds. 

Brock Family Community Foundation funds the administrative costs of the prize as well as travel expenses for jury members and the laureate.

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