NORMAN — Ron D. Burton, a member of the Rotary Club of Norman, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for president of Rotary International in 2013-14. Burton will become the president-nominee on 1 Oct. if there are no challenging candidates.
“This is an exciting time to be a Rotarian,” Burton said. “I believe we are well poised to capitalize on our strengths as we embrace the [RI] Strategic Plan and the Future Vision Plan. My vision is to have every Rotarian appreciate what it means to be a Rotarian. With these two tools, we can make that happen.”
The selection came Monday. Burton was in Chicago today and will return to Norman later this month. He was in charge of the Rotary International Convention in New Orleans this past May and has traveled extensively for Rotary since his retirement from the University of Oklahoma.
He retired as president of the University of Oklahoma Foundation Inc. in 2007. He is a member of the American Bar Association, as well as the bar associations of Cleveland County and the state of Oklahoma. He is admitted to practice in Oklahoma and before the U.S. Supreme Court.
He is a former president of the Norman Rotary Club. Burton and his wife, Jetta, are natives of Duncan. He is the son of Marie and the late Alton Burton Jr. They have two children, Ronna Ellen Schenk of Leesburg, Va., and Josh Andrew Burton of Amarillo, Texas, and three grandchildren.
Active in his community, Burton is a founder and past president of the Norman Public School Foundation, and founder and past board member of the Norman Community Foundation. A recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, he is a past vice president of the Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Burton believes that Rotary’s promotion of high ethical standards is one of the qualities that sets it apart from other organizations.
“It assures those dealing with us that we can be trusted,” he said. “Most of us are in a business or profession that already has a code of ethics. Vocational service in Rotary just adds to that responsibility. We have an obligation to go above and beyond to make sure that all our actions are above reproach.”
A Rotarian since 1979, Burton is vice chair of the Future Vision Committee and a member of the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for the United States. He has served RI as director; Rotary Foundation trustee and trustee vice chair; International Assembly moderator, assistant moderator, and group discussion leader; and district governor.
His other service to Rotary includes chair of the 2011 New Orleans Convention Committee, vice chair of the Investment Advisory Committee, liaison trustee of the Vocational Service Committee, Permanent Fund national adviser, and regional Rotary Foundation coordinator. He was aide to 2006-07 RI President William B. Boyd.
Burton has received the RI Service Above Self Award and The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service, Distinguished Service Award, and International Service Award for a Polio-Free World.
The 2011 nominating committee members are John M. Pinson, USA (chair); Eric E.L. Adamson, USA; Lars-Olof Fredriksson, Finland; Serge Gouteyron, France; Jerry L. Hall, USA; Rafael G. Hechanova, Philippines; Toshio Itabashi, Japan; Michael J. Johns, USA; Kwang Tae Kim, Korea; David D. Morgan, Wales; Hans J. Müller-Rech, Germany; M.K. Panduranga Setty, India; Julio Sorjús, Spain; Carlos E. Speroni, Argentina; Robert A. Stuart Jr., USA; Yoshimasa Watanabe, Japan; and C. Grant Wilkins, USA.
Burton, who holds both a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a juris doctorate from OU, joined the OU staff as an accountant in 1969 and became treasurer for the Foundation the following year. In 1978, he succeeded his mentor, R. Boyd Gunning, as the Foundation’s executive director, a title later changed to president. The two men had nearly equal tenures as the Foundation’s only chief executives.
During Burton’s tenure as OU Foundation president, the OU Foundation received, invested and managed nearly $1.1 billion in private donations and expended $834 million to benefit university capital improvements, research support, student scholarships and fellowships, equipment, faculty supplements and awards and other forms of program enrichment.