El Reno Masonic Lodge #50, Redlands Receive Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award

El Reno Mason Lodge #50, Redlands accept Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award
The successful partnership between El Reno Masonic Lodge #50 and Redlands Community College was recently recognized with the 2022 Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award. Accepting the honor on behalf of both organizations are (l-r) John Logan, executive director of the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma; Jack Bryant, Redlands Community College president; Ed Zweiacher, El Reno Masonic Lodge #50 member: Chancellor Allison D. Garrett; Annie Pearson, Redlands Agriculture department head; Mike Smith, El Reno Masonic Lodge #50 worshipful master; Dayna Rowe, Redlands executive director of External Affairs; and Dr. Todd Ecklund, Redlands vice president of Academic Affairs.

For many years, El Reno Masonic Lodge #50 and Redlands Community College have worked together to provide greater opportunities to the college’s agriculture students. Recently, this successful partnership was recognized with the 2022 Regents Business Partnership Excellence Award.

“Community support has a significant impact on the success of our students, and the involvement of the Masonic Lodge in the Redlands Agriculture program has given our students a valuable boost,” said Redlands President Jack Bryant. “The Masons have provided financial resources that have allowed ag students to focus on their education, but have also provided service learning opportunities in the community.”

In 2005, Redlands instructor Ed Zweiacher and Lodge Secretary Melvin Payton partnered with the college’s Aggie Club to create a matching scholarship fund to benefit students pursuing an agriculture degree at Redlands. Over the years, nearly $100,000 has been donated by the Masonic Lodge to match funds raised by the Aggie Club members. These funds have been used to award scholarships to and supports programs benefiting agriculture students. 

“It has been a pleasure helping so many Redlands agriculture students over the years. We are honored to be able to support these students,” said Mike Smith, worshipful master for Masonic Lodge #50. 

Throughout the year, Aggie Club members participate in community service projects, assist at many of the local and regional livestock shows and the Oklahoma Youth Expo. Each May the club hosts a banquet and auction as a fundraiser for the organization, and the Masonic Lodge #50 matches the funds raised at the event. 

“The Aggie Club appreciates the support of Masonic Lodge #50 and the opportunities this partnership provides our students,” said Annie Pearson, head of the Redlands Agriculture Department and Aggie Club faculty sponsor. “The Aggie Club provides a unique opportunity for students to merge agriculture and the community, and we appreciate the opportunity to work with the Masonic Lodge to help our students.”