Bland sworn in as member of the Eastern Oklahoma State College Board of Regents


WILBURTON, OK (May 12, 2020) – Cara Bland of McAlester was recently appointed to serve a seven-year term as a new member of the Eastern Oklahoma State College Board of Regents. She was sworn in at the Board’s May meeting by Oklahoma Associate District Judge Bill Welch.

“Cara is a longtime citizen of McAlester and we are pleased to have such a well-respected and outstanding community leader join our Board,” said Eastern President Dr. Stephen E. Smith. “Eastern is stronger when people with diverse experiences and ideas collaborate to advance the college’s mission. We look forward to Regent Bland’s contributions in supporting Eastern’s commitment to providing a high quality educational experience.”

A certified public account, Bland has served as an accounting specialist at First Realty, Inc. in McAlester since January 1993. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from East Central University in 1985.

For two decades Bland has served as treasurer and trustee of The Puterbaugh Foundation, an organization that awards thousands of dollars in scholarships annually to students in Eastern’s registered nursing program. The Puterbaugh Foundation was created by Jay Garfield Puterbaugh to provide grants benefiting Oklahoma education, health care, medical research, youth and children’s programs and other projects to enhance the quality of life in Oklahoma.

Bland was the first woman to serve as chair of the McAlester Regional Health Center Authority. She also currently serves as treasurer for First United Methodist Church in McAlester.

The membership of the Eastern Board of Regents is made up of seven people appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Senator Larry Boggs of Red Oak carried Gov. Kevin Stitt’s nomination of Bland to the Senate Education Committee for confirmation.

"We appreciate Gov. Stitt for his nomination of Regent Bland, as well as Senator Boggs for carrying the nomination forward to the Senate Education Committee," Smith said.

Bland replaces Carl D. Wooldrige of Wilburton who completed his seven-year term last year.

Other regents include Chair Bobby Mouser of Stigler, Vice Chair Teresa Jackson of Hartshorne, Secretary Ruth Harkins of McAlester, Latt Jeffrey of Wilburton, Brian Lott of McAlester, and Loise Washington of McAlester.

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